Tigers lose to 11th straight conference opponent
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Missouri’s chance at a bowl game this season ended Saturday evening in a 31-21 loss at South Carolina.
The Tigers (2-7, 0-5) are off to their worst start to a season since a 2000 team that eventually finished with three wins. Head Coach Barry Odom has yet to win against a conference opponent in his first season at the helm.
The Gamecocks (5-4, 3-4) have won three straight. All three wins came when Head Coach Will Muschamp, also in his first season leading his program, named true freshman quarterback Jake Bentley as starter for South Carolina’s game against UMass Oct. 23.
Bentley finished with 254 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 22 of his 28 passing attempts. He is 3-0 as a starter in his career.
Sophomore Tiger quarterback Drew Lock threw for 302 yards and a touchdown, but also had two costly interceptions. Missouri as a team lost the turnover battle, giving up possession three times while failing to force one on defense.
Freshman running back Rico Dowdle had a breakout game for the Gamecocks. He scored a touchdown for the fourth consecutive game and set his new career high in rushing yards at 149, surpassing his previous career high of 127 last week against Tennessee.
Missouri received good efforts from running backs Ish Witter and Damarea Crockett. The two backfield mates combined for 162 yards and two scores on 24 carries.
South Carolina and Missouri alternated touchdowns back and forth through the first three quarters until the gamecocks took a 28-21 lead. The two teams were separated by no more than a touchdown until the fourth quarter when South Carolina kicker Elliott Fry made a 24-yarder to put the Gamecocks ahead and finalized the scoring at 31-21.
Missouri will look to end their 11 game conference losing streak when they return home Nov. 12 to face Vanderbilt.