Perhaps one of the most intriguing games of the week comes from Columbia. The South Carolina Gamecocks welcome Missouri for an SEC East showdown. The Tigers played very well against Georgia for three quarters. After controlling the game for much of the night, Missouri could not close the deal, falling apart late in a game where UGA ran away. This week, they will try again to get their first SEC win. They will also look to keep up the momentum established last week in their win against Arizona State.
Missouri is a difficult team to figure, especially for people who like to make their bets. When they are healthy, the Tigers play good offense and defense. Quarterback James Franklin sat out last week’s game against Arizona State and the Tigers still managed to win. He is questionable on Saturday, but his presence would surely provide a boost. The Tigers have a very good secondary, but they often struggle up front. That might present a big problem against an offense like South Carolina’s. The Gamecocks are likely to ground and pound if they can.
South Carolina has been under the radar so far in 2012. After nearly losing the season opened to Vanderbilt on the road, the Cocks rebounded by beating up on two inferior opponents. This week, the competition gets ratcheted up once again. They have some injury questions to deal with, too, so that is something that people will want to monitor as the week goes along. It is worth noting that Missouri runs a similar style offense to Vanderbilt and they run it with more talent. The Commodores nearly knocked off USC, so there is hope in Missouri that the Tigers can do the same.
South Carolina is probably the more talented team. They are also at home. If they do not bring their a-game, though, they might find themselves with an SEC East loss. Gary Pinkel’s bunch has been known to go into tough environments and win – like they did last season at Texas A&M – so Gamecock fans need to worry a little bit. As ten point favorites, the Gamecocks will need to play very well in order to cover a spread that continues to climb.
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