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Missouri-South Carolina Preview Capsule

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 25, 2014 at 11:03 am •  Published: September 25, 2014
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MISSOURI (3-1, 0-0 SEC) vs. No. 13 SOUTH CAROLINA (3-1, 2-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: South Carolina by 5 1-2.

Series Record: Series tied 2-2.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

The game is for control of the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division. Missouri surprised the usual East suspects a year ago by advancing to the title game. South Carolina is 2-0 in the East and defeating the Tigers for a third straight time would give them a strong foothold in the seven-team division.

KEY MATCHUP

South Carolina QB Dylan Thompson against Missouri's defensive front. Thompson was greatly rattled by the Tigers' defensive line last year, led by SEC defensive player of the year Michael Sam. Thompson came out with the Gamecocks trailing by 17 points before Connor Shaw rallied South Carolnia to a 27-24 win in double overtime. The Tigers have continued the pressure this year with LB Michael Scherer leading the league in tackles and DL Shane Ray and Markus Golden first and third in SEC sacks.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Missouri: QB Maty Mauk leads the SEC with 14 touchdown passes, but he also is among the league leaders in interceptions (four) and sacks taken (six).

South Carolina: LB Skai Moore has again become the Gamecocks' defensive leader. He tops the team with 28 tackles, the fourth highest total in the SEC.

FACTS & FIGURES

Steve Spurrier won his 202nd game as a Southeastern Conference coach last week against Vanderbilt, breaking a tie at 201 with Vince Dooley and moving into second place all time behind Paul "Bear" Bryant at 292. ... Missouri has won its last six road games, including a 5-0 mark last year on the way to the SEC championship game. ... Former South Carolina QB Connor Shaw, now part of the Cleveland Browns practice squad, returns this weekend and will be recognized on the field. It was an ill Shaw who engineered last year's comeback South Carolina's fans call the "Miracle at Mizzou." ... Ray leads the country with 9.5 tackles for loss.