Recap: So Carolina vs. Missouri
Columbia, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - Russell Hansbrough had three touchdown runs, including a 1-yarder on fourth down with 1:36 left in the game that boosted Missouri to a 21-20 win over No. 13 South Carolina on Saturday.
Missouri (4-1, 1-0 SEC) rallied from a 13-point deficit to win its conference opener, one week after suffering a 31-27 home loss to Indiana.
"When things got tough, we just stayed positive. The defense kept us in it, but stayed totally positive about the offense the whole time, which I thought was really crucial for us to have the mindset to get back," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "Big win for us. It was the opposite a year ago, when South Carolina had a great comeback win. They did great things to win in the fourth quarter, and we were fortunate to get that win ourselves today."
It was a tough night for Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk, who completed only 12-of-34 passes for 132 yards, but more than half of them came during a big fourth-quarter drive.
Marcus Murphy gained 98 yards on 16 carries, while Hansbrough ended with 43 yards on the ground.
Dylan Thompson had 219 yards passing on 21-of-37 attempts along with a TD for the Gamecocks (3-2, 2-2).
South Carolina took more than four minutes off the game clock during a 63-yard drive that expanded the lead to 20-7. Pharoh Cooper made a leaping catch in the end zone between three defenders for a 23-yard score with 7:25 left in the game.
Missouri, which didn't run a play in South Carolina territory in the third quarter, needed only 36 seconds to get back within six points. It took just three plays, 67 yards on two completions from Mauk and a 1-yard scoring run from Hansbrough.
The Tigers forced a three-and-out on the next possession to set up the winning drive. Mauk threw three yards to tight end Sean Culkin for a 3-yard gain on 4th-and-1, pushing the ball to the South Carolina 39.
A pass interference call on Al Harris Jr. and a 22-yard run from Murphy brought the ball to the 2. South Carolina's defense stiffened on three straight running plays, but on fourth down Hansbrough kept moving his legs before falling over the goal line.
"We sat down as group and told ourselves that we had to finish. That's what we do at Mizzou. Everybody bought in to that drive," Mauk said.
Thompson threw four straight in completions to seal the outcome, as South Carolina lost for just the second time in its last 22 games at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The Gamecocks ended the game's opening possession by failing on a 4th-and-1 at their own 42 when Brandon Wilds was stuffed for no gain. The Tigers then needed just four plays to move ahead, but Missouri wouldn't have taken the lead if not for a penalty. Mauk threw an interception near the goal line, but the turnover was negated by an offside infraction.
Three plays later, Hansbrough ran to the right side 18 yards to the end zone.
Missouri moved from its own 10 into field goal range later in the opening quarter, but Andrew Baggett missed poorly to the right on a 48-yard attempt.
Elliott Fry connected from 33 yards out to cap South Carolina's next offensive series, and after a number of punts the Gamecocks went in front late in the second quarter. Thompson hit Mike Davis for a 24-yard gain, and on the ensuing play Davis rumbled 17 yards for a score with 1:36 left before halftime.
Thompson hit Nick Jones for a 47-yard gain to the 6 to put South Carolina in prime position to extend the scoring margin to two possessions, but tight end Rory Anderson dropped a sure TD pass in the end zone. Thompson then lost yardage on consecutive plays, leading to Fry's 41-yard field goal and a 13-7 difference with 6:38 left in the third quarter.
"It just hurts to lose really. I'll get over the soreness; I'm sore after every game. It just hurts to lose knowing you left a lot of points out there," Thompson said.Game Notes
Missouri has won seven straight road games. The Tigers haven't lost on the
road since ending the 2012 season at Texas A&M ... Davis had 104 yards on 22
carries ... Bud Sasser led the way for Mizzou with six catches for 86 yards.