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South Carolina vs. Missouri Football Prediction and Preview

Kevin Harris, South Carolina Gamecocks Football

Kevin Harris and the Gamecocks look to become bowl eligible with a win over the Tigers when the two SEC East teams meet on Saturday

After a huge upset in Columbia, South Carolina, the Gamecocks will travel to Columbia, Missouri, to secure bowl eligibility this weekend and the Mayor's Cup Trophy.

South Carolina (5-4, 2-4 SEC) is coming off a massive 40-17 victory over the Florida Gators. Before last week the Gamecocks had scored 23 points or fewer in their previous seven games.

Missouri (4-5, 1-4) is coming off a 43-6 road loss to the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs. The Tigers are still looking for their first SEC home victory at Faurot Field this season.

Missouri leads the series with South Carolina, 6-5, although the Gamecocks hold a 5-4 edge since the Tigers joined the SEC in 2012. In their last meeting, Missouri defeated South Carolina 49-14 victory on the road last season. The last time the two met in Columbia, Missouri, the Tigers won 27-0.

South Carolina at Missouri

Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Spread: Pick 'em

When South Carolina Has the Ball

Since Gamecock quarterbacks Luke Doty and Zeb Noland were both injured, Jason Brown started against Florida last week and had a solid outing. Brown completed 14 of 24 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns.

Before coming to South Carolina, Brown spent time at FCS St. Francis (Pa.), where he threw for 3,084 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2019. Brown will get the start once again against the Tigers.

"He's got a great work ethic," South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer said. "He has had to put in a lot of work. We told him he needed to lose weight after spring practice. ... Then just from a physical standpoint, footwork, throwing the ball, and from a mental standpoint."

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South Carolina will face a Missouri defense that gives up the second-most yards on the ground in the FBS (271). Perhaps this could be the breakout game for 2020 SEC rushing leader Kevin Harris or former five-star recruit MarShawn Lloyd, who have combined for just 586 yards and three touchdowns on 142 carries this season.

When Missouri Has the Ball

Missouri starting quarter Connor Bazelak has been out recently due to a soft-tissue, lower-body injury. So that means the Tigers have used a two-quarterback system of Tyler Macon and Brady Cook.

Neither Macon nor Cook performed well against the stout Georgia defense last week, which ranks second in the country. Bazelak did return to practice this week, but it is unknown if he will play against the Gamecocks this weekend.

Whoever the quarterback is, expect Missouri to emphasize the rushing attack. This season, Tyler Badie has been one of the more productive running backs in the SEC as he has rushed for 1,030 yards and 11 touchdowns. Badie has also caught 45 receptions for 315 yards and four touchdowns as well.

Final Analysis

This game will feature two of the worst rushing defenses in the country. So expect both teams to use the ground game to generate offense. This could be a game that comes down to which defense can make a stop late in the game. If Bazelak does play, that games Missouri an advantage. However, no one knows how close to 100 percent he will be during the game, assuming that he does.

South Carolina has a lot to play for in Beamer's first season as head coach, and a spot in a postseason bowl could be plenty of motivation for the Gamecocks.

Prediction: South Carolina 27, Missouri 24

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— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.