COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina rolled to its third straight win Saturday in a back-and-forth game against Missouri.
We take a closer look at how the Gamecocks performed in their 31-21 win:
A 400-yard game? Yes, a 400-yard game. For the first time this season, South Carolina broke the 400-yard mark in a game, finishing with 428 against Missouri.
Individually, it was a career-high setting night all around. Jake Bentley had 254 passing yards. Rico Dowdle had 149 rushing yards. Deebo Samuel had 125 receiving yards. The unit just keeps progressing week by week.
But for the second straight game, the offensive line is a concern, primarily in the first half. Bentley was sacked 4 times a week after being sacked 6 times, but he has handled the pressure quite well and has yet to turn over the ball.
An under-the-radar encouraging sign? Chavis Dawkins was a deep threat early in the game, giving Bentley another weapon.
Missouri had a lot of first-half success on the ground, as both Ish Witter and Damarea Crockett were averaging more than 7.0 yards per carry at halftime. They also each had a touchdown run, gashing the middle of the South Carolina defense for scores of 29 and 25 yards.
The Gamecocks made some adjustments to slow the Tigers in the second half, with 2 key interceptions making the big difference in the game.
Winning the turnover battle has been a key part of South Carolina’s recent winning streak.
Special Teams: B
No muffed punts!
South Carolina’s punt return issues were not present, but the Gamecocks did allow 24 yards on punt returns, which Will Muschamp chalked up to some issues after Chris Lammons was ejected for targeting.
Elliott Fry set the record for scoring in South Carolina history with his second extra point. He later kicked a field goal to push the lead to two scores, going 1 of 2 on the afternoon.
It was Jake Bentley’s game from start to finish against Missouri, even in short-yardage situations. The mobility he has shown should mostly keep it that way, which is the best situation for South Carolina at this juncture.
It was a well-called game all around, especially offensively. The Gamecocks showed a balanced attack, which led to a season-high in points and the highest scoring output in a SEC game.
Big ups for the coaches on the second-half adjustments to the run defense.
It’s a different South Carolina team than it was three games ago. The Gamecocks wrapped up their homestand with three straight wins and are playing much better football.
Saturday was a strong offensive performance with more progress made. The run defense needs more consistency and so does the offensive line, but there’s a lot more positives now.