He was put in a tough spot, starting his first game with the team in desperate straits. He did most everything you could ask and more, throwing for 249 yards and three scores with a 145.2 quarterback rating.
Bryan Edwards and Deebo Samuel
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The Gamecocks needed someone to bail out a new quarterback. Edwards and Samuel did just that. Most of Edwards’s six catches went for third-down conversions or touchdowns. Samuel had 88 yards on four catches, arguably his best game of the season.
South Carolina’s defense didn’t have a banner day, but Sherrod Greene made a play when it counted. Tigers QB Drew Lock appeared to be trying to throw it away on a busted screen, but Greene scooped it up and took it back for a touchdown.
The Gamecocks were pretty much done after a 57-yard kick put them down with 1:18 to go. But they fought back, as they had from down two scores earlier in the game.
The punt game
Get two punts off, USC would’ve been in good shape. Instead, the Gamecocks gave up nine points on a blocked punt and a dropped punt. That erased a short-lived eight-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
Granted, it was raining, but Missouri runners were sliding through tackles like greased pigs. The Gamecocks gave up 286 yards on 6.2 per carry.
With a backup QB running the offense, it would’ve behooved the Gamecocks to start well on the defensive side. Instead, Missouri got two touchdowns and a field goal on its first four possessions.
Veterans not producing
South Carolina still hasn’t assembled any reliability at the safety position, and Keisean Nixon struggled in some big moments. That’s a veteran-laden group to say the least, and it wasn’t helping all that much.