First Road Game, a Major Challenge for the Mizzou Tigers Saturday

Mizzou faces top-ranked South Carolina in an SEC showdown.

Mizzou Football has history with Steve Spurrier and his South Carolina Gamecocks.

For one, Spurrier was the quarterback in 1966 who almost engineered a comeback for Florida in the Mizzou 20-18 win in the Sugar Bowl played that year out-of-doors at Tulane Stadium.

Mizzou beat Spurrier and his Gamecocks in the 2005 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, 38-31 and the Tigers beat South Carolina under Lou Holtz in the Hall of Fame Bowl game in 1979, 24-14.

Playing between the hedges in Columbia, South Carolina will be no walk in the park Saturday. Some 80,000 will be loud and proud for the 2:30 p.m. (C.S.T. kickoff) on CBS.

South Carolina is in full stride, heading into this SEC showdown with a perfect 3-0 start. After a shaky 17-13 win over Vanderbilt to open conference play, they steam rolled East Carolina 48-10 and UAB 49-6.

Mizzou has to slow down the down-hill running game of 218 pound All-American back Mo Lattimore if they have any chance of winning. Lattimore, who is rebounding from 2011 knee surgery has rushed 48 times for 239 yards and 4 TDs. He averages 4.5 yards per carry. Lattimore was picked first team All American by all national services and will undoubtedly be a first round draft choice if his knee holds up.

The Gamecocks are ranked 7th and 8th nationally in the top collegiate polls.

The Gamecocks feature steady-as-you go quarterback Dylan Thompson (26 of 50 for 52 percent completion mark and 5 TDs this season.

Defensively, Jadeveon Clowney, end is their top player. He was selected SEC Player of the Week in the win over UAB.

Road games are always tough, and this one in particular will be very demanding.

Mizzou comes with a full head of steam

The Tigers are always quick out the gate. They’ve outscored opponents 38-0 in the first quarter of their three games, then have been outscored 37-14 in the fourth quarter of those games. They need to learn how to better hold onto leads.

The winner over Arizona State was a doozer. They led for three quarters, only getting an interception in the end zone at the end of the game to beat visiting Arizona State, 24-20. They lost in overtime to the Sun Devils last year in Tempe.

How goes junior quarterback James Franklin’s shoulder goes the season. One of the top tier SEC quarterbacks, he sat out the Arizona State game resting a gimpy throwing shoulder.

Freshman redshirt Corbin Berkstresser from Lee’s Summit in Kansas City did an admirable job in relief Saturday both passing and running the ball. Berkstresser was 26 for 46 for 258 yards and Franklin is 38 for 62 for 400 yards in the 62-10 win over South East Louisiana and the 41-20 loss to Georgia.

T.J. Moe is Mizzou’s top receiver, (17 catches for 159 yards) and other balls go to Marcus Lucas, L’ Damian Washington and newcomer Dorial Green Beckham.

Kendial Lawrence has rushed for 233 yards (6.6 average) and 4 TDs.

Top defenders are linebackers Andrew Wilson (18 tackles) and Will Ebner (15 tackles) and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (15 tackles).

For Mizzou, there will be little margin for error deep in the heart of South Carolina.


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