While many concerns remain about the South Carolina defense’s ability to keep up with Missouri’s offense this week, the Gamecocks want to make sure their own offense is up to snuff this week.
After much was done to protect Jake Bentley and get the ball out quick to avoid the wrath of NC State’s vaunted front seven, the Gamecocks know they will have to provide a more balanced attack offensively against a Missouri team that allowed 45 points to Missouri State out of the FCS last week.
Out of their 50 plays last Saturday, USC ran it 21 times for only 31 yards, below the expectations of a group that Will Muschamp touted as a big step up for this team. Running back Rico Dowdle believes that will change this week:
While the run game lacked effectiveness, the passing game made up for the ungained yardage, yielding 215 yards and three touchdowns, including one from Dowdle. One absent part of the passing attack was Hayden Hurst, who stayed in to block on most plays and helped keep Bentley clean most of the day. Hurst was proud of his renewed blocking prowess, but believes he’ll be featured more in the passing game against Missouri:
Saturday’s game features two of the best young quarterbacks in a league with a lot of upcoming youth at the position, Missouri’s Drew Lock and South Carolina’s Jake Bentley. The USC sophomore has respect for the Missouri junior, and he says he tries to take the best from all of the quarterbacks he sees and implement them in his own game:
USC’s defense knows about how high-octane the Missouri offense is, but Chris Lammons says he has confidence having seen this group before:
Despite the previous knowledge of Missouri, some were taken by surprise at the enormity of the Tigers’ 72-point, 815 yard performance against the Missouri State. One of those players was USC defensive tackle, Taylor Stallworth:
Stallworth recognized the performance of TJ Brunson against NC State, who put in a double-digit tackle performance. Brunson talked about his renewed role at middle linebacker and the added responsibility that comes with it:
Will Muschamp addressed Missouri and how the team will flush the emotions from NC State in his press conference below: