Even with Loss to South Carolina, Missouri Controls Its Own Destiny

By Nicholas Crimarco

Missouri was one play away from having a complete stranglehold on the SEC East on two different occasions on Saturday Night. If they could have come up with one of those stops, they would be 4-0 in the division with Georgia and Florida having two division losses and South Carolina having three. They would also have the luxury of having beat all three of those teams, which adds and extra game to the lead.

Missouri was up 17-0 in the fourth quarter but allowed South Carolina to creep back in the game late. With 3:08 left in the game and down seven, South Carolina drove down the field and scored a touchdown with 42 seconds remaining. The drive was setup by a three-and-out by Missouri when South Carolina only had one timeout left, and only took two minutes off the clock.

In overtime, Missouri scored a TD on their first possession and was able to hold South Carolina to a fourth-and-goal from the 15-yard line. The defense gave up a 15-yard TD to Bruce Ellington and the game went to a second OT. South Carolina kicked a field goal and after stopping Missouri on the six-yard line, they held them to a field goal attempt. Missouri Kicker Andrew Baggett missed a 24-yard chip shot and Missouri’s undefeated season was over.

Even though Missouri lost to South Carolina, they still control their own fate. They are one game up on the Gamecocks and play three straight against unranked teams before a showdown with Texas A&M to end the season. The question for them is if quarterback Matt Mauk is the guy that played against Florida, or the QB that completed 40 percent of his passes against South Carolina.

My money is on the Tigers losing to Texas A&M and missing out on the SEC Championship game. The only two-loss teams remaining are Florida and South Carolina, who have yet play each other still. One of them will definitely get a third loss, and Florida has been struggling lately. South Carolina still has to play Mississippi State but if they win that game, they will be the favorite to win the division.

Although Missouri technically holds its own fate, it is more likely that this loss to South Carolina will cost them a chance at the SEC title game and any BCS Bowl Game.

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