The Mizzou football team picked up its third win of the 2020 season with a 17-10 victory over South Carolina on the road Saturday night. It was the first road victory of the Eliah Drinkwitz era and improved Mizzou to (3-3) on the season.
"I can't be any more proud of our football team," said Drinkwitz in his postgame press conference.
The Tigers were hit especially hard by COVID-related issues, including contact tracing. Mizzou was missing 11 players for the game and only played with 52 scholarship players. Defensive Coordinator Ryan Walters also missed the game due to contact tracing and Defensive Backs coach David Gibbs served as the defensive coordinator against South Carolina.
"The defense played lights out, tip of the hat to our defensive staff," said Drinkwitz. "I thought Coach Gibbs called an excellent game."
Quarterback Connor Bazelak led the offense as he was 21-33 passing for 203 yards, 1 interception and 1 touchdown pass to Tauskie Dove. Larry Rountree rushed for 58 yards and accounted for the other Mizzou touchdown. Rountree also passed Zack Abron for second place on Missouri's all-time rushing list. With only former Mizzou quarterback Brad Smith ahead of him, no other running back in Missouri history has rushed for more yards than Rountree.
"I still don't believe it," said Rountree. "I would say I wouldn't have got any of those yards without even the past o-linemen that have been here."
"You're nothing without your o-line so I thank my o-linemen and all of the o-linemen that have been here. I wouldn't have any of those yards without them."
The Tigers scored all 17 of their points in the first half as the defense buckled down in the 3rd and 4th quarters to preserve the win. Missouri limited South Carolina to just 283 total yards.
"They played awesome ," said quarterback Connor Bazelak. "They did a great job and I'm excited for them that they got the win and they really took us home in the second half."
The Tigers forced a critical turnover to preserve the win as the Gamecocks drove down the field in the final minute in search of a game-tying touchdown. Devin Nicholson intercepted a pass to secure the victory.
"We needed a stop. They were kind of moving the ball methodically," said Mizzou linebacker Nick Bolton. "Devin, trying to build confidence, that's huge for him and I'm looking forward to the bright future he has."
"Hey, we're going home 3-3 and I'm really proud of our team right now," said Drinkwitz.
"I've got a couple screen-shots of people who only predicted we'd win two games so they can have those screen-shots back," added Drinkwitz. "Our guys are fighting and giving everything they've got. There's no quit in us. To be where we're at is a tribute to our players, it's a tribute to our seniors and a tribute to our staff."
Missouri returns home to face Arkansas at Faurot Field Saturday at 11 am.