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Missouri Falls From Unbeaten Ranks

gamecocks-wrThe Missouri Tigers were looking great for three quarters against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday. Fans were likely making travel plans for the first Saturday in December in Atlanta for the SEC Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. That game may still happen, but it is not the done deal it appeared to be.

Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier brought Connor Shaw in for the fourth quarter with his Gamecocks down 17-0. Shaw rallied South Carolina for 14 fourth quarter points to tie the game and send it to overtime. In one quarter and two overtime periods, Shaw threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns. The game ended when a Missouri field goal attempt from 24 yards clanked off the upright and bounced away, ending the Tigers dream of an unbeaten regular season and a possible BCS National Championship Game appearance with a win over Alabama.

Tiger fans sat in disbelief at the sudden shocking end to a game they looked like they had won. Even in the second overtime it looked almost like a done deal as the Tigers Marcus Lucas rumbled past Jadaveon Clowney on the first play all the way to the eight yard line. But the Gamecocks stiffened from there and would not let the Tigers into the end zone on the next three plays. All Mizzou had to do though was hit the field goal from little more than extra point range and get the ball back on the 35 for the third overtime period. But then the unthinkable happened and the ball clanked off the left upright and sent Gamecocks players jumping up and down in celebration. Even the Old Ball Coach sprinted towards the celebration.

This loss lets the Gamecocks back into the race for the SEC East as well as the winner of next Saturday’s rivalry game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators. Another stumble by the Tigers and the East is up for grabs, especially if it happens before they play their regular season finale against the Texas A&M Aggies at Columbia. Next week the Tigers host the Tennessee Volunteers who are coming in off a humiliating loss to the Tide on Saturday 45-10. Kentucky Wildcats and Ole Miss Rebels, both on the road, follow the Vols.  Mizzou still leads the East with one loss but now the Gamecocks, Gators and Bulldogs are only one back in the loss column. To lose a game in that manner may have a carry-over effect for the Tigers.

Besides the big Florida-Georgia tilt next week, the Gators and Gamecocks will also meet later on. The Bulldogs also have a game against the suddenly resurgent Auburn Tigers as well.

Had the Tigers beaten South Carolina, the Gamecocks would have been eliminated and the Gators and Bulldogs would have been on the brink of elimination. Now if one of those three teams can get hot, they could find themselves in the SEC Championship game.


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