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No. 21 South Carolina Stuns No. 5 Mizzou in OT

It looked like it was going to be a long night for South Carolina early on.

It looked like it was going to be a long night for South Carolina early on.

After losing a heartbreaker to Tennessee last week, South Carolina rebounded in a big way with a dramatic overtime victory against previously undefeated Missouri.

It must have been a particularly bitter pill for the Tigers to swallow, as the Gamecocks had no business being in this game at the end.

It was all Mizzou through all of three quarters. The home team scored a touchdown in the first and second, before adding a field goal in the third for good measure.

Maty Mauk was no substitute for the injured James Franklin.

Maty Mauk was no substitute for the injured James Franklin.

Given the way South Carolina had played to that point, a 17-0 lead seemed like more than enough to give Mizzou the win. The first half was particularly disastrous for the Gamecocks, who looked hapless while turning the ball over three times.

Two of the three were very costly fumbles committed by running back Mike Davis, one of which was on the tail end of what should’ve been a scoring drive.

Starting in place of Connor Shaw, Gamecocks quarterback Dylan Thompson was steady early, but struggled more with each passing drive. A situation exacerbated by the pair of rushing fumbles.

Josh Kendall of South Carolina’s The State summed up the first half action perfectly with this tweet:

Yup. That about does it.

Yup. That about does it.

After three quarters of generating next to nothing on offense, South Carolina finally found something that worked. Hobbled by a knee sprain suffered against last week against Tennessee, Connor Shaw still dressed for the game against Mizzou.

When he asked Steve Spurrier to put him in at the end of the third, the Head Ball Coach had no other option but to oblige his request. Shaw stunned the Tigers and silenced their fans, throwing for two touchdowns in regulation, the second of which came with just 42 seconds remaining.

Connor Shaw became a star on Saturday.

Connor Shaw became a star on Saturday.

Mizzou still had two timeouts after the ensuing South Carolina kickoff. But after Maty Mauk, who recently replaced an injured James Franklin, was nearly picked off, the decision was made to run down the clock and attempt to win it in overtime.

A wise decision given the Gamecocks lack of OT success in recent years.

It started off well for the Tigers, who scored easily on their first possession, forcing the Gamecocks to match with a TD. Mizzou nearly ended it on the next South Carolina drive, but Shaw came up huge again, completing a 15 yard TD pass to Bruce Ellington on fourth and goal.

They got the ball back again and Gamecocks kicker Elliott Fry, who is not very reliable in the clutch—or any other time for that matter—somehow pulled a 40-yard field goal out of nowhere.

[Click here to watch the kick that broke the Tigers’ back]

After being held by South Carolina on third down, Mizzou kicker Andrew Baggett lined up for a 24-yard chip shot to tie the game. It was a sure thing that wasn’t so sure. Baggett shanked the kick, which went wide left and doinked off the goal post.

Shaw must have felt like he was in a movie by the time the game ended and he was being carried off the field by teammates.

It must’ve felt like a movie for Shaw—one with a very happy ending.

The miss devastated the home crowd, silencing them for the final time on Saturday, and elated the visiting Gamecocks. Shaw was carried off the field by his teammates like a conquering hero which, of course, he was.

The win means South Carolina is still alive in the SEC East, but they’ll need some more help from Missouri if they want to compete for a conference championship against mighty Alabama in December.

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