Missouri seeks first SEC victory against South Carolina

By The Associated Press

James Franklin will be a player to watch when the Tigers visit South Carolina on Saturday. Photo by Pete Marek

Missouri (2-1, 0-1 SEC) at No. 7 South Carolina (3-0, 1-0), 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
Line: South Carolina by 10.
Series record: Missouri leads 2-0 (Missouri won 24-14 in  the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl and 38-31 in the 2005 Independence Bowl.)

WHAT’S AT STAKE
South Carolina is hoping to stay undefeated and beat another SEC Eastern Conference opponent. The Gamecocks opened the season by beating SEC East opponent Vanderbilt 17-13 in Nashville. Since then, South Carolina has beaten East Carolina and UAB by an average margin of 40 points. Missouri is seeking its first league victory in its inaugural SEC season. The Tigers are also looking to keep their record perfect in all-time meetings against South Carolina.

KEY MATCHUP

South Carolina QBs Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson against Missouri’s pass defense. Thompson has thrown for more than 500 yards and five touchdowns the past two weeks in relief of an injured Shaw. But Missouri has given up only 590 yards through the air this season. The Tigers have four interceptions.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Missouri: QB James Franklin. The Tigers junior missed last week’s 24-20 win over Arizona State because of inflamation in his shoulder. He’s completed 61 percent of his passes with 400 yards and three TDs in two games.
South Carolina: RB Marcus Lattimore. The tailback had only 25 carries combined in the past two victories over East Carolina and UAB. Expect Lattimore to see a lot more work this week with the Gamecocks heading back into SEC play.

FACTS & FIGURES

Lattimore set South Carolina’s career record with his 34th touchdown last week, breaking the mark he shared with Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers and Harold Green. … Missouri lost its first SEC contest, 41-20, to Georgia two weeks ago. The Tigers led 17-9 but turned it over twice in the third quarter as Georgia took control. … South Carolina has won seven straight games, two shy of the school record set in 1984 … Missouri has won its only previous meeting against coach Steve Spurrier, the Tigers taking a 38-31 victory at the Liberty Bowl over the Gamecocks in Spurrier’s first season at South Carolina in 2005. … Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is only six victories away from catching Dan Devine for second on the Tigers career wins list.

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