The South Carolina Gamecocks will look to carry forward their surprising momentum when they hit the road for their last trip of the season, this time to Bizarro Columbia for a matchup against the Missouri Tigers. What has been seen as a winnable game dating to preseason predictions now takes on immense and added importance, as South Carolina could reach bowl eligibility with a victory. With both teams on more or less even footing, though, Vegas is calling for a close one. Here’s how the GABA gang sees things playing out.
Kody: I can’t even begin to describe how nervous this game makes me. There is so, so much at stake here, both between achieving bowl eligibility and also casting off the historical shackles of South Carolina football immediately flopping after a signature win. I do like the fact the Gamecocks will be taking a lot of confidence into this one — Jason Brown seems like a legitimate spark at quarterback, and Kevin Harris finally looked like his old self while he and ZaQuandre White were tearing up the Gator defense. Missouri fielding one of the worst defenses in the country is also reassuring, but this has been an odd series with some wild and crazy games, so you just never know. I think this will be a close one — it’s on the road, and I assume Missouri isn’t going to just lay down and die against one of the more beatable opponents on their schedule — but I’ll channel some optimism here and say USC comes away with a win, 31-28, on the strength of Parker White’s leg.
Matt: When South Carolina is favored to win a game, they have come through every time this year whether it be Eastern Illinois, East Carolina, Troy or Vanderbilt. The spread has shifted from Missouri as three-point favorites to South Carolina as a one-point favorite, so that trend is once again in effect. Additionally, Missouri has only one win against the spread in nine games. What that tells me is the numbers are at least calling for a Gamecock victory. Honestly, I don’t know what is more powerful: numbers never lying or the Cocks always taking away the fans’ happiness right when they get it. I feel very confident in a USC victory this week, but that’s what scares me. They should dominate a bad Missouri run defense, right? They should take advantage of a backup quarterback or banged up starting quarterback playing, right? If they could handle Florida, they should at least be able to take care of Missouri, right? All of our questions will be answered soon, and I honestly cannot wait. Give me South Carolina in a shootout by the score of 37-27.
Sawyer: This is one of those classic scenarios where the Gamecocks have the best week of the season then look like they forgot how to play football the next week. We have seen this time and time again. However, I think that Beamer will have these guys in the right mindset and ready to play. Last week against Florida was more than anyone in this fanbase could have asked for. The Gamecocks were dominant in every aspect of the game, and no matter what happens the rest of the season, that should be a really encouraging sign of things to come. I think the great play rolls over into Saturday at Mizzou. I do not see the Mizzou defense stopping the run and I think our defense will play well. Road games in the SEC are no joke however, and because of that this will still be a close one. I’ll take the Gamecocks in this one 27-20.
Katie: Let’s hope this is a Mizzourable game for the Tigers!! [insert “why are you booing me? I’m right.” gif here] This is one of the rare weeks where the guys are all aboard my optimism train, and as the resident Eternal Sports Optimist, I obviously agree with their decision and will also predict a win over Missouri. Let’s kick off a three-game winning streak against a trio of Tiger teams with a victory in the lesser Columbia on Saturday.