South Carolina Football: 3 takeaways from “Mayor’s Cup” loss to Missouri

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Missouri Tigers
South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina football and Missouri met in Columbia on Saturday night to battle for the Mayor’s Cup with the Tigers winning.

The South Carolina Gamecocks played their first game of the post-Will Muschamp era on Saturday night in Columbia. The Missouri Tigers came to town to face the Gamecocks for the “Mayor’s Cup”, a trophy that goes to the winner of either team from Columbia and won 17-10.

Missouri is one of the many teams in the SEC whose schedule has been altered because of COVID-19 and came into the game 2-3. The last time the Tigers took to the field was on Halloween when they were soundly beaten by Florida.

South Carolina entered the game 2-5, including losing the last three in a row.

Some Carolina faithful were hopeful to see some changes implemented this week, while others expected to see the same level of play executed the entire season. Turns out the latter took place.

The Tigers would keep the Mayor’s Cup trophy.

3. The Gamecocks came alive in the second half

South Carolina’s production was ineffective and disappointing in the first half of the game. The offense was flat and never picked up any rhythm and the defense allowed Missouri to put 17 points on the board, shutting out the Gamecocks headed into halftime.

Missouri held South Carolina to just 68 total yards in the first half — 39 passing yards and 29 rushing yards. The Gamecocks spent more time on the field — nearly 16 minutes compared to just over 14 minutes for the Tigers — but the Gamecocks couldn’t overcome the unity and strength of the Missouri defense.

Carolina also had to contend with five penalties for 36 yards, two of which were facemasks in the final drive.

At the end of the game, South Carolina nearly caught up with Missouri in total yards, 201-283, and the Gamecocks did put more rushing yards on the books with 114 compared to Missouri’s 98. South Carolina had 11 penalties for 85 yards and Missouri recorded another seven penalties for 77 yards.

Both defenses should have been worn out at the end of the game as each offense spent nearly the same amount of time on the field. South Carolina held the time of possession advantage by just a few minutes.

A combination of Luke Doty being put in the game, executing plays and moving the ball, and the defense stepping up to stop Missouri gave South Carolina a spark in the second half. Doty made two errors in the last drive that could have potentially tied the game, but if it weren’t for the young quarterback, the second half may have been as dreadful as the first half.

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