Missouri Looks to Rebound from Homecoming Loss
COLUMBIA - Saturday's Homecoming game against South Carolina brought back old memories of Faurot Field's north end zone for many Tiger fans.
Missouri's cinderella season hopes have come to a halt there several times, including the 1990 "Fifth Down" game loss to Colorado and the 1997 "Fleakicker" loss to Nebraska.
After Missouri lost in two overtimes Saturday, fans may be looking for where to place the blame or point the finger.
The most obvious place to look is Andrew Bagget's missed 24-yard field goal which would have tied the game at 27 and sent it to a third overtime.
However, there are other places to look.
After scoring two touchdowns in the first half, the offense was sluggish in the second half.
South Carolina quarterback Conner Shaw came off of the bench and helped the Gamecocks score on five of their final six possessions. When Carolina put in Shaw, it became another game.
Missouri also gave up a touchdown on fourth and goal from the 15 yard line. If Missouri would have stopped the play, the Tigers would have go on to win after Marcus Murphy ran in for the first touchdown of the overtime period.
Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel said the Tigers cannot point fingers though, because it is not a constructive way to move on from this game.
"It didn't come down to one play or one kick or one throw or one catch or what have you, Pinkel said. "It's not one guy here. We all could have done something different."
Junior defensive end Markus Golden said the team fought hard and it was a tough loss, but he said the team can come back stronger.
"I told our football team this will not define us," Golden said. "What will define this football team is how we deal with it."
Missouri could ultimately be defined as the SEC East champion at the end of the regular season. The Tigers still control the division with four games to play.
Shaw could give the Gamecocks what they need to finish their last two conference games strong. South Carolina's key remaining SEC game comes in three weeks, when the Gamecocks host Florida in Columbia.
If South Carolina loses, Head Coach Steve Spurrier's team would have three conference losses.
That means Missouri could lose one more conference game and still head to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game.