South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Missouri Tigers Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

No. 21 South Carolina Gamecocks (5-2 SU, 2-5 ATS) vs. Missouri Tigers (7-0 SU, 6-1 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date and Time: Saturday October 26th, 2013. 7:00PM Eastern
Where: Faurot Field Columbia, M.O.
by Jay, Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: USC +3/Mizzu -3
Over/Under Total: 53

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The South Carolina Gamecocks were stunned in a 23-21
upset on the road in Tennessee last week. Despite being a favorite in the
SEC East at the beginning of the season, the loss crippled the Gamecocks
chances of capturing the division crown. Now the road to the SEC Championship
goes through Columbia, Missouri and not Columbia, South Carolina. That’s
right the Missouri Tigers are the lone unbeaten team in
the SEC East. Thanks to last week’s impressive 36-17 victory over no. 22
Florida, Missouri now holds a 2 game advantage over all SEC East competitors.
The Tigers are not only contenders for the SEC Championship but they are
also getting some National Championship buzz this week as well after vaulting
to no. 5 in the latest polls. This Saturday night Missouri looks to keep
the momentum alive when they host the South Carolina Gamecocks in yet another
big conference match-up.

The Tigers 7-0 start has included big wins over Georgia and again last week with Florida. However, last week’s win against Florida may have been the most impressive with backup quarterback Maty Mauk at the helm. A week after losing star quarterback James Franklin for the season with a shoulder injury, Mauk completed 23 of 42 passing for 336 yards with 1 touchdown to lead the Tigers to yet another decisive victory. Of course any quarterback in the country would love to have the opportunity to throw the football in the direction of L’Damian Washington and Dorial Green-Beckham. Both receivers have been excellent this season combing for just less than 1,000 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. Missouri’s offense as a group has been equally impressive averaging 44.3 points per game which is the 8th best average in the FBS. After putting up 41 points against Georgia, the Tigers posted another 36 points against a great Florida defense last week. Therefore it will be interesting to see if Missouri’s offense can stay hot while holding off a strong pass rush from JaDeveon Clowney and a talented South Carolina defensive front.

The Tigers will be slight 3 point favorites when the Gamecocks come into town this Saturday night which may seem like a small margin. Considering the fact Missouri is at home, undefeated, and the Gamecocks are on the end of a 3 game road trip without their starting quarterback; it definitely appears Missouri is the easy pick in this game. However the Gamecocks have their backs against the wall and rest assured they understand the importance of this game. A South Carolina win would open the door once again to the SEC Championship and coach Spurrier claims the Gamecocks have yet to play their best football.


Even with starting quarterback Connor Shaw out this week, backup Dylan Thompson has plenty of experience behind center. Thompson led the Gamecocks over a big win against Clemson last year starting for an injured Shaw and also stepped in to lead the Gamecocks to a come from behind win against UCF earlier this year. Thompson is a pocket style passer and has a strong enough arm to sling it all over the field. Therefore the Gamecocks passing game will not weaken but could perhaps be even better with Thompson behind center. The area that the Gamecocks will likely take a hit is in the running game. Shaw is an excellent running quarterback and the Gamecocks like to run a lot of option type plays with tailback Mike Davis. Thompson does not provide the same type of running threat on the ground so I would expect more of a traditional rushing them from the Gamecocks ground game this week. Running back Mike Davis is one of the best tailbacks in the SEC and he has had a huge year rushing for 879 yards with 10 touchdowns. Therefore it will be interesting to see if Davis can remain effective and if Missouri’s defense has an answer for a Carolina run game averaging 224 yards (19th in FBS) per game.

Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I expect the Gamecocks offense to actually benefit from Thompson behind center as they will spread the ball around in the passing game. I expect both offenses to have the upper hand in this game as Missouri’s running back Henry Josey and Russell Hansbrough will take advantage of an inexperience linebacker core to keep the chains moving. Take the over 53 to the bank!

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