MISSOURI MINDSET: No team or individual has vexed Missouri since it joined the SEC than South Carolina and quarterback Connor Shaw. The Gamecock passer completed 20 of 21 for 249 yards passing and two touchdowns to beat the Tigers 31-10. A year later, Missouri held a 17-0 lead at home on the Gamecocks in the fourth quarter when Shaw, who had been ill all weekend, entered to rally his team to a 27-24 win in double overtime. The comeback included a 15-yard TD pass to Bruce Ellington on fourth-and-goal in overtime. Shaw, now on the Cleveland Browns practice squad, will make an on-field appearance at Saturday's game. "You know what? Last year was last year. That's what we're really preaching," Missouri center Evan Boehm said.
THOMPSON'S TIME: Gamecocks quarterback Dylan Thompson struggled early against Missouri in last year's victory before coming out in favor of Shaw said he used that poor showing to motivate him to improve in taking over for Shaw. Thompson is second in the SEC with 1,130 yards passing this season.
MISSOURI DEFENSE: The Tigers still have some bite up front even without SEC defensive player of the year Michael Sam. Missouri defensive linemen Shane Ray and Markus Golden rank first and third in SEC sacks, Ray with six and Golden with four. Linebacker Michael Scherer leads the SEC with 41 tackles.
HELP WANTED: PASS RUSHERS: South Carolina has struggled putting pressure on passers this season, so much so that when asked about improving that discipline, Spurrier quipped: "Pass rush? What's that?" For a team accustomed to NFL No. 1 draft pick Jadeveon Clowney the past three seasons, this year's group has been disappointing and is tied for last in SEC sacks with four.
GAMEDAY SUCCESS: Steve Spurrier's usually had a good night after ESPN's College GameDay has been on South Carolina's campus. The preview show is making its fifth trip since Spurrier became Gamecocks coach before the 2005 season. South Carolina as gone 3-1, including a 35-21 victory in 2010 over then No. 1 Alabama. Spurrier even won a GameDay contest here when he was Florida's coach, defeating Lou Holtz's team 54-17 in 2001.
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