MMQB: What Went Right, What Went Wrong In South Carolina’s 17-10 Loss To Missouri

The South Carolina Gamecocks fell to the Missouri Tigers 17-10 on Saturday night. The Gamecocks are now 2-6 (2-6) on the season.

The first half was pretty painful for South Carolina fans to watch, as the Gamecocks went into halftime down 17-0 and Collin Hill had totaled just 39 passing yards. However, Luke Doty played quarterback for the entire second half and provided a much needed spark for the team.

While the Gamecocks chances at a bowl game are bleak at this point, the quarterback change and opportunity for many young recruits on defense should make the rest of the season pretty interesting.

Let’s take a closer look at what happened on Saturday night. 

How The Offense Played

283 Total Yards

10 Points Scored

While the stats are nothing to look twice at, there are plenty of things for Carolina fans to be happy about.

Obviously, the big one was the quarterback change.

A new face at QB was something that many Gamecock fans have been calling for since early in the season. And after Collin Hill finished the first half just 6/10 with 39 yards, Bobo had finally seen enough.

In came true freshman Luke Doty, the highly rated dual-threat from Myrtle Beach. This move immediately injected life into the fans and the team itself.

In the first half before the quarterback change, the Carolina offense had just 68 total yards, 39 pass yards and 29 rush yards. In the second half with Doty at the helm, the offense had 215 total yards, 130 passing yards, and 85 rush yards. Doty was also the teams leading rusher with 59 yards.

It was also interesting to see Luke Doty spreading the ball around through the air since Shi Smith left with injury early in the game. Tight end Nick Muse led the team with 67 receiving yards. Jalen Brooks, Josh Vann, and both running backs also reeled in multiple receptions.

I am cautiously expecting to see Luke Doty start the rest of the year for South Carolina. I am only cautious because next week is a date with Georgia, who is widely considered to be one of the bigger, tougher, and all around better defenses in the nation.

For a true freshman making his first start, there will obviously be a lot of potential issues. I am assuming that Georgia will try and take advantage of playing an inexperienced passer, and send blitz packages as much as possible to rattle the young star. It will also not be fair to Luke to judge his performance against Georgia with too much weight.

Next weeks game will put him in a very, very tough position and it wont be a true litmus test for the freshman. 

How The Defense Played

301 Yards Allowed

17 Points Allowed

I doubt that this had too much to do with the quarterback change, but the defense also showed remarkable improvement as soon as the second half began.

After allowing 212 total yards, 140 passing yards and 72 rushing yards in the first half, those numbers vanished after halftime. In the second half, the Gamecock defense allowed just 89 total yards, 63 passing, 26 rushing and didn’t allow a point.

After a slew of opt outs in the secondary, there were opportunities for many young players to get their shot on the back end of the defense. And for the most part, the secondary played pretty well.

Redshirt freshman and highly rated recruit Cam Smith played a very good game all in all and also reeled in the second interception of his young career. Jaylan Foster also made the most of his playing time, totaling 8 tackles and 2 tackles for loss.

Damani Staley led the unit with 12 tackles. Kingsley Enagbare had the defenses only sack and leads the SEC with six sacks on the season so far.

The defense as a whole did a good job of keeping Missouri RB Larry Rountree III in check, as he finished with just 58 rush yards and 2.8 yards per carry.

The best part of the defensive performance was definitely the second half adjustments. To this point in the season, the adjustments have been inconsistent, but this was the best second half defense of the season so far. Especially impressive considering how many players are missing from that side of the ball.

The players that remain on the team seem to have come together and are all playing with one common goal, to finish the season on a strong note.

I am very interested to see how the unit plays against Georgia next week, who is a team that has struggled on offense throughout the season. 

Final Thoughts

It was the programs first game in the post-Muschamp era and it definitely could’ve gone a lot worse. It was great to see the team not give up, and the way they played in the second half was quite encouraging.

Looking ahead to next week, a rivalry game against the #13 Georgia Bulldogs looms. If there is such a thing as a moral victory, last Saturday was certainly a big one.

Now, with momentum on both sides of the ball and a rejuvenated offense behind a new QB, it’s possible for the Gamecocks to make some noise to end the season.

Carolina has been announced as a 19 point underdog for the Georgia game, but if the team can keep the momentum rolling and catch some breaks, that could end up being a closer game than many expect.

One thought on “MMQB: What Went Right, What Went Wrong In South Carolina’s 17-10 Loss To Missouri

Leave a Reply