COLUMBIA, Mo. – Drew Lock threw two touchdown passes in his first career start, and Russell Hansbrough became the sixth 2,000-yard rusher of the Gary Pinkel era as Mizzou coasted to a 24-10 win over South Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. The win was the sixth straight game, going back to the Citrus Bowl win over Minnesota, that the Tigers have held their opponents to 21 or fewer points. That’s the longest such streak for the Tigers dating back to the 2006 season.
The defense pitched a shutout in the second half with the help of three interceptions and four first-half sacks. Walter Brady matched his career-best output with two of those sacks, along with one of the picks. Kentrell Brothers, the nation’s leading tackler, continued his stellar season with another seven tackles (1.5 TFL, including an assisted sack).
In the first-ever matchup of true-freshman quarterbacks in SEC history, the Tigers (4-1, 1-1 SEC) got on board first when Lock drove Mizzou down 51 yards on 11 plays, capped off with an 8-yard pass to Nate Brown.
After the two teams traded field goals midway through the first half, the Gamecocks tied the game at 10 on a bit of a fluky play. With 9:20 left in the first half, Aarion Penton was in position to intercept Lorenzo Nuñez at the goal line, but it appeared that Pharoah Cooper knocked the ball out of Penton’s hands. As the ball fell toward the turf near the 2, Shon Carson scooped in and snatched the ball out of the air for the score.
On its next drive, Mizzou pulled away to stay when Lock found Brown in the right corner of the South end zone. Brown finished the game with 33 yards on a team-high-tying six catches to go with the pair of scores.
The last of the three takeaways set the Tigers up with a short field thanks to Brady’s inteception return. Lock led the Tigers down for another scoring drive, resulting in a one-yard Ish Witter rushing TD.
The Gamecocks (2-3, 0-3 SEC) only had the ball twice the rest of the way, and Mizzou killed the last 6:42 of the game for its sixth consecutive win in The ZOU.