1. This loss will be felt for the rest of the season
Going into this game, Mizzou had a commanding lead in the SEC East and a win this week would have all but assured a trip to the SEC Title game. Now, the Tigers still have a one game lead, but it feels like they are one game behind. South Carolina trails the Tigers by one game in the East and has a injury-riddled Florida and relative pushover in Mississippi State to close out its SEC slate. Mizzou still has Tennessee at home followed by road games with Kentucky and Ole Miss and a visit from Johnny Football and the A&M Aggies to close the season. If Mizzou wants a trip to the SEC Title game, the Tigers cannot lose again. A win tonight and the Tigers could have lost virtually every game for the rest of the season and still made the title game.
2. It is a good thing Connor Shaw is graduating
South Carolina’s Connor Shaw owns Mizzou. Shaw didn’t make an appearance until the third quarter, but his final stat line reads like that of a starter. The hobbled Shaw didn’t look it as he was 20-for-29 for 201 yards and three touchdowns in just under on half of play. This is the same Shaw who completed 20-straight passes against the Tigers last season.
3. Marcus Murphy was a bright spot when needed
Marcus Murphy scored two touchdowns on the ground, which included a great run with All-American Jadaveon Clowney draping himself all over Murphy. Just look at that photo above. There is no way he should have been able to shake Clowney. He finished with 53 yards rushing on 12 carries and almost broke a big return touchdown to start the second half.
4. For as good as the defense was in the first half, that is how bad it was in the second
The defense had three takeaways in the first half including a fumble recovery on their own two yardline that was turned into a 96-yard touchdown pass from Maty Mauk to La’Damian Washington going the other way. In the second half, the Tigers had no answer for the South Carolina’s screen game as Shaw torched the defense in the second half. Even with all the struggles, Mizzou had the Gamecocks 4th and 15 in overtime. An incomplete pass or a stop outside of the end zone and the game is over. Instead, Shaw hit Ellington for a 15-yard touchdown. E.J. Gaines cannot return soon enough.
5. Special teams finally came back to bite Mizzou
Last week Andrew Baggett hit five field goals to help the Tigers beat Florida. The big win covered up key special teams mistakes including a Marcus Murphy fumbled punt and a Florida kickoff return for a touchdown. This week it was the kicking game that failed the Tigers and it cost in the biggest way. Baggett missed two field goals in the game and that was all she wrote for Mizzou’s unbeaten record. If you take away last week’s stellar 5-for-5 performance from Baggett, he is 7-for-12 on the season.
I have heard the excuses Florida is not that good Georgia has a lot of injuries this is all true and Mizzou beat them fair and square but what the wins did was get everybody a little to hyped up this Mizzou team is alright but they are not a top 10 team in my opinion Georgia is the best team they have beat and they are not a top 25 team with all of the injuries. Mizzou might still make the SEC title game but there we will see what they are when Alabama mauls them by at least 4 touchdown an average team.