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Missouri faces competition spike against SC

Missouri faces competition spike against SC

SC fell behind Missouri 10-0 early, but roared back with a Deebo Samuel kick-off return for a TD.

Samuel took a second quarter kick and returned it 97 yards for a score against Missouri on Saturday. The Gamecocks went back to their best playmaker on the first play of the series, a jet sweep to Samuel, who dashed through the defense for 25 yards for another score, pushing the Gamecocks ahead 14-10.

The sophomore threw for 215 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on 17-of-29 passing last week in a 35-28 victory over North Carolina State.

1 Career start for Missouri S Jordan Ullmer, who drew the assignment for the Tigers' season-opening game last week.

The Tigers leaned on the run early and took the first lead on Tucker McCann's 43-yard field goal. Drew Lock completed 21 of 34 passes for 521 yards and seven touchdowns against an interception.

The one bright spot on special teams was punter Corey Fatony.

The wide receiver and return specialist scored two touchdowns in less than a minute in the second quarter to erase Mizzou's lead in the Southeastern Conference opener and hand the Gamecocks all the points and momentum they'd need in a 31-13 victory. A fumbled punt. A blocked field goal and several other miscues. Tight end Hayden Hurst also had a productive night, catching a 39-yard touchdown pass and rushing for a 2-yard touchdown. Moore had three catches for 29 yards and dropped two passes.

"Having a natural leader in that position is certainly a benefit for our goal", Muschamp said.

Hurst now has as many touchdowns (one) as he did all of a year ago, which is shocking considering how talented he is.

Instead, fans watched a dud of a performance from both sides, as Lock and Bentley threw for a grand total of one touchdown in the first half and combined for only two in the game.

Despite being outgained 432 to 361, the Gamecocks were able to capitalize on some short fields and explosive plays to win the game.

Sophomore running back Damarea Crockett had 18 carries for 97 yards before sidelined most of the second half with a bruised tailbone, MU coach Barry Odom said. He had a 32-yard rush down to the Missouri 1-yard line that setup the Gamecocks' final touchdown.

"I think we'll grow a lot from this performance", Lock said.

"That's probably the first time I've run a football since Pop Warner, so I was licking my chops a little bit", said Hurst, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end.

The Gamecocks look forward to their 2017 home opener, which is set for next Saturday, Sept. 16, when Carolina hosts Kentucky. Missouri opened the season last week against visiting Missouri State and, after playing SC, hosts Purdue and Auburn before an open date.

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