COLUMBIA, S.C. - Mizzou Football (3-3, 3-3 SEC) defeated South Carolina (2-6, 2-6 SEC), 17-10, Saturday night (Nov. 21) to claim the Mayor's Cup Trophy for the second consecutive season. Despite being down to a limited roster numbers due to COVID issues and injuries, Mizzou opened a 17-0 lead by the intermission and never looked back to even its record and earn first-year head coach Eliah Drinkwitz his third win at Mizzou.
The win came despite a 20-day layoff between games as well, the longest such break between regular season games for Mizzou since 2001 when the 9/11 attacks paused the college football season. Senior RB Larry Rountree III became the school's all-time leading rusher at the RB position, passing Zack Abron to move into second place with his 3,283 career rushing yards. Only legendary QB Brad Smith ranks ahead of Rountree with 4,289 in his career.
Mizzou's defense was the story Saturday, limiting SC to just 283 yards on 11 drives, as junior All-SEC LB Nick Bolton led the way with a team-high 14 tackles, two of which went for a loss, in another performance that showcased his All-America caliber skillset.
A QUICK RECAP
Mizzou used a stout defense and a pair of early scores to open a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter. QB Connor Bazelak found WR Tauskie Dove on a 20-yard strike to the left pilon as Dove went up-and-over a South Carolina defender for an incredible score, his second of the season. Rountree scored from one yard out with 11:58 remaining in the second quarter to extend the lead, and Mizzou added a 20-yard field goal from Harrison Mevis as time expired in the half to take a 17-0 lead into the intermission.
South Carolina made a QB change coming out of the half, opting for Luke Doty who sparked the Gamecock offense to a field goal with 10:13 remaining in the third quarter. Mizzou's offense sputtered a bit in the third quarter, but the defense held tough allowing just the field goal as the Tigers took a 17-3 lead into the fourth.
In the fourth, South Carolina was able to pull within a score, using a 13-play, 77-yard touchdown drive to make it a 17-10 game. With 4:59 left in the game, Mizzou was able to run two minutes off of the clock, while a 38-yard punt from Grant McKinniss would pin the Gamecocks on their one-yard line with 2:37 left in the game. South Carolina would drive to their 36 yard line, but Doty would be picked off by Devin Nicholson to clinch a win for Mizzou.
- Junior LB Nick Bolton continued his All-America caliber campaign with a team-high 14 tackles with two coming behind the line of scrimmage. It was fourth game this season and ninth in his career with 10+ tackles, all coming since the start of the 2019 season.
- Junior RB Larry Rountree ran for 58 yards on 21 carries with one score. He became Mizzou's all-time leading rusher by a running back as he now has 3,283 total yards to pass Zack Abron (3,198). He trails only legendary Mizzou QB Brad Smith on Mizzou's all-time career rushing list.
- RS Freshman QB Connor Bazelak went 21-for-33 for 203 yards and a TD as he improves to 4-1 as a starter in his career, with his only loss coming at top-10-ranked Florida on Halloween night.
- Sophomore WR Tauskie Dove scored his second TD of the season on a 20-yard strike from Connor Bazelak in the first quarter.
- Junior RB Tyler Badie accounted for 77 all-purpose yards Saturday night.
- Sophomore S Martez Manuel came into the game with a sack in his career, but left the first half with a career-high 1.5 sacks. He also added a pass breakup in an impressive outing.
- Sophomore LB Devin Nicholson recorded his first career interception on South Carolina's final drive to clinch the Mizzou victory. Nicholson was tied for third on the team with five tackles, adding a 0.5 sack.
Mizzou will return home next Saturday for a Nov. 28 tilt with SEC West Division rival Arkansas at 11 a.m. (CT) on SEC Network.