COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Tyler Badie rushed 34 times for 209 yards and a touchdown and Missouri held off South Carolina’s fourth-quarter charge to defeat the Gamecocks 31-28 on Saturday.
The Tigers (5-5, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) built a 17-point lead when Badie scored on a 19-yard run with 12:31 left in the game. That’s when the opportunistic Gamecocks (5-5, 2-5 SEC) made things interesting by converting two Missouri turnovers into touchdowns and slicing the deficit to three points with 4:32 left. But they never saw the ball again, thanks to Badie, who rushed for 63 yards on the final drive.
The game turned late in the third quarter when blitzing safety Martez Manuel jarred the ball from South Carolina quarterback Jason Brown and defensive end Trajan Jeffcoat recovered in the end zone to give the Tigers a 10-point lead. Missouri’s Connor Bazelak completed 15 of 23 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Mookie Cooper had three catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Brown, who was making his second start of the year, completed 16 of 30 passes for 193 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Josh Vann had five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. But the Gamecocks rushed for just 57 yards against a defense that entered the game allowing 270 yards per game on the ground.
Missouri recovered a fumble in the end zone with 4:28 left in the third quarter as Trajan Jeffcoat picked up the Jason Brown fumble to give Missouri a 24-14 lead. Carolina scored 14 straight points in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to three, but Missouri ran out the clock on its last drive to pick up the win.
209 – Tyler Badie recorded 209 yards rushing for Missouri in the Tigers’ win over Carolina on 34 carries. It’s the first 200-yard rusher against Carolina’s defense since Mark Ingram of Alabama had 246 yards on Oct. 17, 2009.
Carolina closes out Southeastern Conference play on Saturday, Nov. 20, as the Gamecocks host Auburn. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.