Time: NOON, Oct 3 2015
Spread: MIS -3
(Betting odds c/o Bovada)
The Missouri Tigers are 3-1 but lost its only SEC game to Kentucky last week 21-13. Maize will look to correct that against South Carolina who is 0-2 in SEC play and 2-2 overall. Early odds favored Missouri by 3-points at Bovada with a low over/under set at 42.
This game has the potential to be an ugly one with two inexperienced QBs leading two offenses that have been mostly inept thus far. Lorenzo Nunez will make his second start for South Carolina after leading the team to a 31-14 win over UCF in his debut. Nunez there two TDs and passed 12 of 22 for 184 yards, while also rushing for 123 yards. Steve Spurrier said of him that he “let him play (to) see what happens,” and added that “he threw the ball very well, a lot of completions and he of course ran the ball well also.”
Mizzou will start Drew Lock for the first time this season, benching junior Maty Mauk who was suspended for violating team policies. Lock has completed 60 percent this season with one TD and one INT, and he is the first freshman to start at QB for the Tigers in 20 years. Pinkel expects some mistakes but also that he will go out and compete, which may be enough to knock off the woeful Gamecocks.
Neither school can afford to let this game go as it will have a much tougher road ahead. Missouri plays Florida on Oct 10 and Georgia the following week, while South Carolina takes on LSU next week.
South Carolina really needed its victory over struggling UCF last week, and won the game handily 31-14. The Knights are now 0-4 on the season with little to no chance of making it back to a bowl, while the Gamecocks can still hold out hope that it builds on a .500 record.
It was a non-conference game, but theoretically should have pitted two rather even teams, and Nunez busted that notion nearly single-handedly. It remains to be seen whether UCF can rebound, but it seems like South Carolina made a pretty decent statement leading into this game.
The Gamecocks also allowed UCF next to nothing on the ground, allowing just 26 yards on 23 carries and taking QB Ben Schneider for a -17 yard day as they rode him into the ground. If the Gamecocks can defend like that and get another stellar performance from Nunez it prevails as the 3-point underdog.
It is really tough to say whether that happens, however, given Nunez has just one week under his belt and can still be dubbed inexperienced. Even so many bettors will like the upside of betting South Carolina to prevail and win its first SEC game of the season.