South Carolina is coming off a hard-fought loss to the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide. Now comes a trip to Missouri to start six SEC East games in a row. What you need to know:
What time do the Gamecocks play?
Who: South Carolina (1-2) at Missouri (2-1)
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
TV: SEC Network Alternate (Mike Morgan, play-by-play; Ray Bentley, analysis; Tera Talmadge, sideline)
SEC Network Alternate channels in Columbia:
DirecTV: Ch. 611
DISH Network: Ch. 404-02 through 404-05
AT&T UVerse: Ch. 1608
Verizon FiOS: Ch. 332/333/832
Spectrum: Ch. 385
Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Jamar Nesbit, sideline) ... See all the radio affiliates around the state here.
Satellite radio: Sirius 105/XM 385
Line: Missouri by 9 1/2
Series history: South Carolina leads the all-time series 5-4, riding a three-game winning streak. Since becoming SEC rivals in 2012, the teams have played for the Mayor’s Cup.
Weather: A 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 81. Projected wind gusts of more than 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 43% at kickoff.
South Carolina badly needs this one to keep the dream of a bowl game alive this season. The 2019 campaign was always going to come down to the toss-ups, and after UNC surprisingly became one, this is the next toss-up.
Freshman QB Ryan Hilinski looked like be belonged against the No. 2 team in the land, but now he’s going on the road in a game where USC has something to lose. The Gamecocks had little at risk against Alabama, but that changes now.
The Tigers started the season with a surprise loss to Wyoming, but have bounced back quite nicely. ESPN’s FPI has them projected to win seven or eight games, and winning this one would be big for maintaining the Barry Odom era.
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds Rush/Game
Opp. Yds. Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds/Game
South Carolina players to watch
1. Quarterback Ryan Hilinski is making his first road start after throwing for more than 300 yards against Alabama and earning SEC freshman of the week. He’s facing a defense that’s allowing fewer than 96 passing yards per game.
2. Running back Tavien Feaster has been explosive thus far in his Gamecocks tenure, but has yet to carry the ball more than 13 times in a game. Granted he’s splitting time with Rico Dowdle, but against Missouri’s stingy defense, South Carolina needs some threat on the ground.
3. Senior safety J.T. Ibe didn’t have the best day against Alabama, and the same could be said for USC’s whole secondary. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said they need to simply play better, and Ibe factors in there in a big way against a QB with almost 800 yards in three games. He has 10 tackles and a pass break up in two healthy games.
Missouri players to watch
1. Kelly Bryant ranks only behind only LSU’s Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa in the SEC passing race. A threat with his legs at Clemson, Bryant has carried 24 times for just 26 yards — with a long of 12 — and no scores with Missouri.
2. Six different Tigers have made at least six catches this season, but Bryant’s most accomplished target remains Albert Okwuegbunam. The junior tight end — and Mackey Award candidate — has three touchdowns over Mizzou’s last two games.
3. Linebacker Nick Bolton was recognized as the SEC’s defensive player of the week on Sept. 9 after his 10-tackle, two-interception (including a pick-six) performance in the 38-7 West Virginia win. The sophomore ranks first in the SEC in INTs and sixth in tackles.