Film doesn’t lie.

South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson delivered a sub-par outing during Saturday night’s loss to Mizzou, much different than four previous starts to begin his senior season.

The Tigers’ disguised coverages frustrated a skittish Thompson and third-down struggles were noticeable. Nine punts, including an ill-timed three-and-out before Mizzou’s game-winning score, led directly to the Gamecocks’ second home setback in four games.

“For whatever reason, he wasn’t quite as sharp as he had been earlier in the season,” Steve Spurrier said. “Protection broke down several times and he got hit real hard a few times.”

In the second half, it appeared Thompson’s wide receivers lost interest altogether, a lack of confidence based on a couple errant throws for sure first downs.

Senior Nick Jones was the focus on one play in particular during the Gamecocks’ first possession of the third quarter after Thompson let one sail five yards out of play. Jones looked back toward his quarterback with his head cocked in disgust before trotting to the bench.

Later in the quarter near midfield, Thompson rolled to his right and tossed one just beyond the reach of Pharoh Cooper that would’ve gone for a 20-yard gain. Cooper made an acrobatic catch, but couldn’t get a foot down due to Thompson’s inaccuracy.

Both plays were a result of Thompson being rattled earlier in the game thanks to Mizzou’s fierce pass rush against an offensive line down to a third-team guard.

“It wasn’t any secret to how they were rushing … they were rushing three or four guys at times, but we didn’t do a very good job,” Spurrier said after South Carolina allowed four sacks. “We got our quarterback hit hard several times and that affects his play. (He) gets a little antsy. Everyone gets a little antsy when you get clobbered about four or five times.”

Injuries to starter Mike Matulis (preseason) and reserve Cody Waldrop have made depth an issue up front on what was projected to be the Gamecocks’ most dominant group up front in program history.

South Carolina’s running game has struggled as a result and pass protection, outside of the Georgia win, has underwhelmed.

It doesn’t get any easier this week when the Gamecocks travel to Kentucky, a much-improved team that often blitzes and has two of the nation’s top defensive ends in Za’Darius Smith and Bud Dupree.