Roundtable: Can Missouri beat South Carolina? -

Roundtable: Can Missouri beat South Carolina?

Brian Feldman / News 4 Sports

Mizzou better put on its big boy pants this week because I fully expect the defense to see a heavy dose of South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore (Connor Shaw, its starting quarterback is dealing with an injury to his right throwing shoulder...though he should play).

Lattimore’s a 218 pound junior who’s averaged roughly five yards a carry for his entire career.  The Tigers wore down against Georgia two weeks ago and are learning very quickly what it’s like to play in the SEC.  It’s a lot more physical than the Big 12. 

Line play will be beyond crucial for Mizzou, not just on defense as it tries to control the line of scrimmage and Lattimore in the process...but also offensively because James Franklin is still banged up after missing the Arizona State game with inflammation in his shoulder.  Assuming he plays, he’ll need as much protection as he can get so he can make the type of highlight reel plays Tiger fans have grown accustomed to.  Franklin will need to make quite a few of those to give Mizzou a chance on the road.

Kyle Tons / Missouri Football App

With James Franklin back at quarterback for Mizzou, the offense should look a bit more fluid. With that said, South Carolina is ranked 7th in nation and have a great team. Marcus Lattimore is one of the top running backs in the country for the Gamecocks and if Sheldon Richardson continues his dominant play, Mizzou may have a shot. At the end of the day, I think Jadeveon Clowney and the Gamecocks will be too much for Mizzou. I think South Carolina wins 28-21.

Brendan Marks / Missouri Football App

If Missouri has any chance of beating South Carolina in its first ever SEC road game, the Tigers MUST do two things: Stop the run and limit turnovers.

South Carolina has one of the best players in college football in junior running back Marcus Lattimore. A preseason Heisman Trophy contender, Lattimore has a blend of power and speed rarely seen in college football. If Mizzou wants to win, they must stop Lattimore and force South Carolina into 3rd and longs.

On offense, Missouri absolutely cannot shoot themselves in the foot by turning the ball over. In its first SEC game against Georgia, the Tigers had three turnovers. Quarterback James Franklin fumbled in the red zone in the first quarter and threw a pick late in the game that effectively sealed the win for the Bulldogs. Mizzou must play clean ball if they have a prayer of winning.

J.J. Bailey / Missouri Football App

Missouri reminds me of Michael Jordan when he came back and joined the Wizards. He would occasionally show flashes of the dynamic player he once was, but every time you got to the edge of your seat, he would slow back down and pass the ball off.

Mizzou, apart for one series against Georgia, has yet to really dial up the offense. I know we sported a backup last week, but the Tigers have shown no indication they are going to let the reins out. Their defense is keeping them in the game, but without some punch on the offensive side, they are going to get overwhelmed on the road. Based on current trends, it’s loss in South Carolina this week.

Dan Greenwald / Missouri Football App

The Tigers, at best, will stay with South Carolina for a half, maybe a little longer before the Gamecocks pull away. It's hard to see the Tigers stopping Marcus Lattimore.  He had a poor performance against East Carolina in Week 2 but ran for 85 yards on 12 carries last week. Lattimore generally turns it on in early SEC play. Even if James Franklin has a strong game, Mizzou's best bet is to force a somewhat rusty Connor Shaw to make bad throws resulting in timely turnovers. I don't see this happening.


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