Same old Gamecocks? To fans' lament, short-handed Missouri takes advantage in first half at South Carolina
The first game this season without coach Will Muschamp on the South Carolina sidelines yielded many of the same issues that led to his firing. One main difference was the Gamecocks didn’t have WR Shi Smith for much of the first half, after he suffered an apparent injury midway through the first quarter.
Without Smith, the Gamecocks offense struggled mightily and had just 28 yards at the end of the first quarter. The Tigers did it after they traveled to South Carolina with less than the 53 scholarship player limit yet the Tigers had a solid start on defense and produced over 200 yards of total offense. Interim coach Mike Bobo struggled to produce different results than Muschamp, though four players opted out this week, including star cornerbacks Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu, and the offense lost its most dependable playmaker.
Missouri, which returned to action for the first time in three weeks, looked sharp behind QB Connor Bazelak and a host of running backs. On a scoring drive capped by a Larry Rountree touchdown that put them up 14-0, the Tigers used Tyler Badie with a 28-yard catch and run out of the backfield. Then Elijah Young nearly reached the goal line on a jet sweep before Rountree cashed in with the 1-yard TD.
Earlier, Missouri got on the board with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Bazelak to Tauskie Dove, who made an acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone.
Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz returned to Williams-Brice Stadium 12 months after he led App State to a win over the Gamecocks.
Cam Smith offered a rare bright spot for the Gamecocks with an interception late in the first half.
South Carolina fans, in particular, were especially frustrated:
I want a federal investigation into why Larry Rountree was only a 2 star recruit
— Gateway City Sports (@SportsTalkSTL) November 22, 2020
Someone PLEASE tell me why Collin Hill is still the starting QB for the Gamecocks. Mind blowing at this point
— Matt Cather (@MCather525) November 22, 2020
Collin Hill can’t block or catch. He’s the quarterback.
It’s not his fault. Good God.
— Jamie Bradford (@SportsRadioJB) November 22, 2020
If this stands, Eli Drinkwitz will have more wins at Williams-Brice since 11/9/19 than UofSC.
— Greg (@CUGregors) November 22, 2020
With 11:58 left in the first half, it’s Mizzou 14, Carolina 0.
No other word to describe the Gamecock offense than bad. Really bad right now.
This looks an awful lot like the last time an Eli Drinkwitz team came to play a night game at Williams-Brice…
— Cam Gaskins (@CamGaskinsTV) November 22, 2020
Last year we should have fired Muschamp after we played Drinkwitz’s team, this year we fired him before we played Drinkwitz’s team.
— James Thomas (@jabulani1994) November 22, 2020