The Missouri Tigers under Eli Drinkwitz continued their mastery of the No. 25 South Carolina Gamecocks, handing the home team a deflating 23-10 loss on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams opened the game by trading punts, but Mizzou took control early when it marched down the field on a 96-yard drive that took nearly 7 minutes off the clock and staked the Tigers to a 7-0 lead behind quarterback Brady Cook’s scrambling ability and the strength of a 3-for-3 performance on third down. South Carolina was unable to answer on its next possession, as the offense went nowhere fast with penalties and negative plays, and the first quarter came to an uneventful close.
Unfortunately, the start of the second quarter was very eventful, with Mizzou immediately ringing up an explosive, 67-yard completion behind the Gamecock defense. South Carolina continued to yield on third down, ultimately setting up a Cody Schrader 1-yard touchdown plunge to make it 14-0 Missouri. The Gamecocks once again couldn’t muster an answer, going three-and-out in response, and Mizzou was off and running again, aided by an awful pass interference call and more third down success. However, South Carolina’s defense got something of a win, making a goal-line stand and holding the Tigers to a field goal to limit the damage and make it 17-0. The offense then followed up with a win of its own, when quarterback Spencer Rattler tucked and ran on third and goal to put the Gamecocks on the board and make it a 17-7 halftime score.
The third quarter opened without much fanfare on either side, which -- unfortunately for the Gamecocks -- changed when Rattler fumbled while reaching for a first down and gave the Tigers the ball on the 10-yard line. Thankfully, South Carolina's defense and special teams combined to come up with a huge stop when Missouri shanked a field goal wide left.
The Gamecocks cashed in on their next drive, with Mitch Jeter drilling his own field goal attempt to narrow the gap to 17-10. However, Missouri countered with a made field goal of its own, making it a 10-point game once again, and the USC offense failed to gain a yard on its ensuing possession to end the third quarter.
Missouri opened the fourth-quarter scoring with another field goal, one that took a fortunate doink in-between the uprights to make it 23-10. The Tigers continued putting the screws to the Gamecocks from there, running the ball effectively to kill clock and keep South Carolina's offense off the field. When the Gamecocks did finally touch the ball again, Rattler threw a game-sealing interception that extinguished any hope of a comeback.
South Carolina (5-3, 2-3 SEC) hosts Vanderbilt next week at 7:30 p.m.