After an impressive offensive debut and shaky defensive performance, Mizzou is ready to host South Carolina in their SEC opener. However, if the Tigers don’t see improvement on defense, it could be a long night.
There was a lot to take away from the Missouri State game last week, in that it was what we expected. The offense was impeccable and the defense was atrocious.
While having a non-existent defense can be enough to beat Missouri State, that is not the case for South Carolina, who comes in with some scary play makers that would give even the most stout defenses in the nation nightmares.
First, South Carolina has sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley, who led the Gamecocks to an impressive upset against the favored NC State. Bentley threw for a solid 17-of-29 for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns.
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Bentley is also mobile, which makes him a dynamic play maker. He will certainly test the Tigers’ secondary like they haven’t been in a long time.
While Bentley is a scary player, what the Tiger’s D really needs to worry about is the Gamecocks’ emerging superstar receiver, Deebo Samuel.
Samuel had a fantastic game against NC State, with 5 receptions for 83 yards and 2 scores. Samuel is quick, elusive and gets open when he needs to. He can also serve as a rushing threat, and will be the Gamecocks’ biggest weapon on offense.
Containing Samuel will be the Tigers’ number one priority; if they are able to keep him under control, then it should be a win for Mizzou, because the offense will do the rest.
For Missouri, Drew Lock is coming from a record-setting performance, where he went 21-of-34 for an impressive 521 yards and 7 touchdowns. Lock’s performance, along with Damerea Crockett’s 202 yard rushing performance and J’mon Moore’s contribution of 187 yards receiving and 2 touchdown receptions, I expect Mizzou’s offense to run over Carolina’s defense.
I expect this game to be a shootout, and honestly, it may just come down to who has the ball last. That being said, I believe the Tigers’ offense will be too much for Carolina’s defense, and the Tigers will make at least one defensive stop, if they have to.
This should be an exciting game and a strong test for Missouri on both sides of the football. If you can’t be at the game, then you can find it Saturday evening at 7:00 PM, EST on ESPN 2.