USC-Missouri preview: Making sense of where the Gamecocks stand
South Carolina comes home to Williams-Brice Stadium to take on the Missouri Tigers in an SEC East tilt. Here’s what you need to know about the game:
Who: Missouri (3-1, 0-1 SEC) at South Carolina (2-2, 1-2)
When: Noon, Saturday
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)
Series history: The series is tied 4-4, with USC leading 4-2 since the Tigers joined the SEC
TV: SEC Network (Taylor Zarzour, play-by-play; Matt Stinchcomb, analysis; Kris Budden, sideline)
Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Langston Moore, sideline) ... See all the radio affiliates around the state here.
Satellite radio: Sirius 103/XM 191
Line: South Carolina by 2
Weather: Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Temperature expected to be 86 degrees at kickoff, 89 around the time the game ends. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.
What’s at stake
There’s also the question of if quarterback Jake Bentley will play after suffering a knee injury against UK. Teammates said he was varying degrees of limited in practice on Tuesday and news broke Friday he’s expected to be out, replaced by Michael Scarnecchia.
If Missouri adds another road win, it’ll have the Tigers at 4-1. With Tennessee and Arkansas still on the schedule, that would mean an almost guaranteed bowl for Barry Odom’s third season.
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds Rush/Game
Opp. Yds. Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds/Game
South Carolina players to watch
1. USC quarterback Jake Bentley is now a hugh question mark with a nagging knee injury. Without him, Michael Scarnecchia with his 13 career passes and 98 career yards steps in.
2. Top South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel has yet to get things going this season, outside a 58-yard catch-and-run against Kentucky. For the season, he has 22 catches for 206 yards and a pair of scores.
3. Senior safety Steven Montac has had an up-and-down start at a leader of USC’s defensive backfield. The group will be tested by Drew Lock and Missouri’s vertical passing game. This season, Montac has 20 tackles and three pass break-ups on the season.
Vanderbilt players to watch
1. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock sits ninth nationally with 320.8 passing yards per game. A candidate to be the No. 1 pick in draft, Lock is 1-2 against the Gamecocks in his career with four touchdowns and four interceptions. Meanwhile, South Carolina’s secondary is thinning as safeties Jamyest Williams and J.T. Ibe went down with injuries at Kentucky.
2. When healthy, Mizzou receiver Emanuel Hall is as good a downfield threat as any in the SEC. The senior is second in the league in yards per catch -- 23.9. A combination of a groin injury and Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker made Hall invisible against the Bulldogs in Missouri’s last game as he was held catch-less. Coming off a bye week, Hall should be itching for a bounce-back performance.
3. With Hall out, Lock still threw 48 times in the Georgia loss. His favorite target was tight end Albert Okwuegbunam. The All-SEC performer caught nine passes for 81 yards against the Bulldogs. He leads the Tigers with 23 grabs this season.
South Carolina depth chart
OR Ty’Son Williams
OR A.J. Turner
OR Mon Denson
Andrew Ramspacher contributed to this report