Before I start, I just want to make clear that the Gamecocks should. and will not overlook any game this season. This article is written for fans’ expectations of the game and not the team’s.
I do not expect Shane Beamer to allow his team to overlook Missouri or any team this season. Nevertheless, here are three reasons why fans should be worried about Carolina’s matchup against Mizzouri and three reasons why they shouldn’t.
Will the Gamecocks continue to gain momentum and climb the rankings, or will they blow it all against the Tigers?
South Carolina Is Gaining Serious Momentum
Carolina is currently on a 4 game win streak and is ranked 25th in the country. Players and fans are starting to believe that they can make some major noise by the season’s conclusion.
After back to back SEC wins against Kentucky and Texas A&M, many are now expecting this Carolina team to win 8 games at the minimum. With that being said, it would be difficult to believe that this red hot Carolina team would drop a home game on homecoming weekend to a struggling Missouri program.
Missouri has Struggled Thus Far And Plays Poorly on the Road
Missouri is currently 3-4 this season and is 1-3 in SEC play. Their only win against an SEC opponent was last weekend against Vanderbilt in Columbia. The Tigers won by only 3 points.
On the road, Eli Drinkwitz has managed to win only one game against a power 5 opponent. Since 2020, the Tigers are currently 1-9 on the road in SEC play. Needless to say, Missouri is a struggling program.
Wins are becoming more and more scarce as the seasons go by.
Williams-Brice Will Be A Devastating Environment
Against Texas A&M, Carolina proved that they have one of the loudest environments in the SEC, if not the Nation. Williams-Brice was mistaken for an earthquake last Saturday night, noise levels in the stadium prompted 8 false starts against the Aggies and twitter has been absolutely erupting about the environment and continues to into this week.
If Carolina fans show the same intensity as they did against A&M, Missouri will certainly have trouble pulling out a win in Columbia, SC.
Eli Drinkwitz is Undefeated Against South Carolina as a Head Coach
Drinkwitz has had no trouble beating South Carolina over the years. In 2019 he beat the Gamecocks at home as the head coach of Appalachian State.
The very next year he earned his one and only win against a power five opponent on the road. The game was against the Gamecocks.
Despite struggling in SEC play, in his first two seasons as head coach of Missouri, Drinkwitz has still found a way to take care of the Gamecocks.
Missouri has Played Well as an Underdog This Season
Missouri’s record thus far has been nothing short of unsatisfactory. However, the Tigers have shown up in games they were expected to be stomped in. Mizzou was only 4 minutes away from taking down the top ranked Georgia Bulldogs in a very surprising effort.
The very next week, Missouri was only a touchdown away from taking down the heavily favored Florida Gators in The Swamp (although the Gators have also been disappointing, I’d still expect them to beat down Mizzou).
If Missouri decides to have another one of these performances, it could spell trouble for the Gamecocks.
Missouri Found a way to Beat Carolina and Shane Beamer Last Year After a Big Win
Last season, when the Gamecocks also appeared to be picking up momentum after a big win against the Gators, they were beaten by Missouri. Funny enough, like this season, a win last season also would have granted the Gamecocks bowl eligibility.
The scenario just seems all too familiar. It wouldn’t be unorthodox for Carolina to blow this game against Missouri, because they did last season in a very similar situation.
Personally, if Gamecocks fans continue to show up and be loud as they have been, and the team continues to perform, they should have this one in the bag. Carolina is a much stronger team than the struggling Missouri Tigers.
Missouri will definitely have trouble in this road environment just like they have the past two seasons. Unless South Carolina really plays way below their potential, this shouldn’t be a difficult win for them.