After losing its their first road game in three seasons this past last Saturday against Kentucky, Missouri is back at Faurot Field to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Tigers enter Saturday’s game with true freshman quarterback Drew Lock making his first career start starting under center.
Here’s everything you need to know leading up to Saturday’s game:
South Carolina Gamecocks (2-2) at Missouri Tigers (3-1)
Kickoff: Sat., Oct. 3, 12:00 p.m., SEC Network
Weather: 64 degrees and mostly sunny
Line: Missouri -4 (according to Bovada)
By the numbers:
1 – This will be Drew Lock’s first collegiate start. Lock has seen playing time throughout the first four games of the season, completing 60 percent of his passes for 225 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Last week against Kentucky, he played in one drive, completing 3-of-5 60 percent of his passes for 47 yards.
411.2 – This is the amount of yards that South Carolina’s defense has given up per game this season. South Carolina is ranked 85th in the country in yards per game allowed.
209.8 – Average rushing yards per game for South Carolina’s offense. The Gamecocks are ranked 38th in the country.
Storylines to watch?
How will Drew Lock perform?
With Maty Mauk being suspended on Tuesday night, all eyes are on Lock to see what he can do in the Tigers’ offense. Lock came to Missouri after comes in receiving numerous accolades from high school and high praise from Trent Dilfer, who believes he is an Aaron-Rodgers-type quarterback. The freshman will have a chance on Saturday to show why he belongs and try to deliver hopefully delivers Missouri its first conference win of the season.
Can the offense score at least 20 points?
Despite, averaging 20.8 points per game this season, the Tigers have not scored 20 points since Sept. 12 against Arkansas State. Last This past Saturday against Kentucky, the Tigers’ offense only scored 13 points, with their only touchdown of the game coming in the first quarter. Missouri should be able to put points up against a South Carolina defense that is giving up 26.2 points per game. The opportunities should be there for the Tigers but they must capitalize.
Can the Tigers’ running game get back on track?
With Drew Lock starting on Saturday, coach Gary Pinkel needs his running game to help out his freshman quarterback. Last week, the Tigers got back senior running back Russell Hansbrough. Hansbrough didn’t look fully up to speed as he only had 11 rushing yards on six carries. That number should go up to help out Ish Witter, who had 50 rushing yards on 11 carries last week.
The Tigers’ have a three-headed monster at running back with Hansbrough, Witter and Tyler Hunt, who should have success against the Gamecocks’ defense that is giving up 171.8 yards per game on the ground. If the Tigers are successful on first down with the running game, then it should make Lock’s job easier.
Prediction: Mizzou 20, South Carolina 13
Missouri’s offense may start off slow against South Carolina but expect Lock to not be rattled by the Gamecocks’ defense. Lock will throw a touchdown, while getting the help from the running game to add the other touchdown. Finally, the Tigers’ defense will continue to play well and rattle Gamecocks freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez. Lock will get the first victory of his career, creating a rivalry between him and Nunez.