After a tough battle against a perennially college football powerhouse, the Gamecocks don’t get much of a rest.
A drive up to the other Columbia to face the Missouri Tigers will challenge freshman Ryan Hilinski in his first ever road game.
The reigning SEC freshman of the week may have confidence, ability, and composure going for him at home. However, road games in the SEC can sometimes have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde effect on quarterbacks.
Hilinski, without a doubt, will face a hostile environment in a tough game, but still, it is a game that is completely winnable for him.
Will he stay sharp in Missouri, taking advantage of the recent historical success that the Gamecocks have had over the Tigers? Or will he fall in his first road start?
Those questions are lingering in the minds of Gamecock fans everywhere as this weekend looms.
So, to help get our collective minds on something a little more productive, here’s a quick recap of the last few Carolina wins against Mizzou.
2018: The Legend of Scarnecchia
Michael Scarnecchia is known for being an amazing teammate.
He possibly has the most positive attitude of anyone that has ever worn the Garnet & Black (Joyner is another honorable mention here).
He’s the type of guy that pushes aside personal accolades to do what’s good for the team, and that has made him a clear fan favorite.
Besides just this team-first-mentality, he is also known for one amazing performance, in a game that he was never supposed to play in.
As back up to Jake Bentley, Scarnecchia didn’t see much time.
The inability of the Gamecock’s offense to truly put teams away— even inferior opponents— also meant that opportunities to play late in blow out wins, rarely happened for Scarnecchia.
For his career, he completed 30 passes in 52 attempts.
Amazingly, 51 of those attempts came in 2018. 35 of those in the Missouri game alone.
Although his play time was dramatically limited, he delivered one of the best performances of the season for the Gamecocks, finishing the game with 249 yards and three touchdowns.
With two touchdown passes to Bryan Edwards and one to Deebo Samuel— as well as a big pass to Kyle Markway for 27 yards— Scarnecchia looked every bit as capable at the starting role as Bentley, and even developed somewhat of a cult following— having some demanding a switch at QB— after he led the team to the 37-35 win.
While the 2018 season is easy to forget due to the overall mediocre win total and poor bowl performance, Scar’s big game in the rain will go down as one of the best backup QB stories in Gamecock history.
2017: Deebo Asserts Himself in CoMo
Down 10-0 at 12:52 mark of the second quarter, Carolina looked as if it was on the ropes on the road.
If the Gamecocks didn’t get some points on the board in a hurry, the game looked as if it could get out of hand.
With the lead, and momentum on their side, it still baffles me why Mizzou kicked the ball to the most dangerous return man in college football.
However, they did, and Deebo responded with a 97 yard TD that effectively stole back the momentum and jump-started Carolina’s offense and defense.
The very next play, Drew Lock threw a pick to Jamyest Williams that set up the Gamecock go ahead touchdown.
The man on the scoring play? Deebo Samuel, of course.
This quick three-play sequence not only secured Carolina the lead, but it is perhaps the most exciting series of plays that I’ve ever seen as a Gamecock fan.
Bentley and others had solid performances too (Bentley 18-28, 187 yds, Hurst 2 TDs on the day) but this will go down in history as Deebo’s game, and boy did he deliver.
2016: QB1 Lights Up The Tigers
If 2018 was Scar’s day and 2017 was Deebo’s, then 2016 was without a doubt was Bentley’s.
The then true freshman dazzled in a tight contest at Williams Brice, and looked near perfect along the way.
In what was his 3rd game as a starter, and following up arguably his best career win – against a ranked Tennessee— Bentley made it a perfect 3-0 to start his career by throwing for 254 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember just how good he was as a freshman, but this game displayed an accuracy that had fans excited for the future.
He completed 22-28 passes, threw no picks, while throwing to seven different receivers.
He showed pocket awareness, decisive play making, and laser-focused accuracy.
Thanks to Bentley’s performance, the Gamecocks went on to hold off the Tigers 31-21, in a game that we should certainly tip our hats to Jake for.
Saturday’s matchup against Mizzou will be much different than either of the three recent wins mentioned.
Not only will Carolina be without Deebo, but they’ll be going on the road against a Missouri team that looks as talented as ever.
With Clemson transfer, Kelly Bryant, at QB— someone who has never lost to the Gamecocks, and won’t want to start now— Carolina will have its hands full.
Will the Gamecocks find success again in the hands of a confident looking true freshman?
Or will this be the year that Mizzou takes back the Mayor’s Cup?