South Carolina at Missouri
When: Saturday, September 21 at 4:00 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field in Columbia, MO
TV: SEC Network
The SEC is a slugfest with a few National Championship contenders. The rest of the conference is up in the air as they fight for a bowl appearance. When South Carolina and Missouri meet up on Saturday, a win puts the victor one step closer to the goal. A loss sends the loser into a tough stretch with no momentum. This contest could prove huge in the grand scheme of each team’s season.
The South Carolina Gamecocks have already lost their quarterback for the season. However, freshman Ryan Hilinksi has stepped in and played well given the situation. He has 606 yards and four touchdown passes in his two starts.
Running backs Rico Dowdle and Tavien Feaster have split duties in the backfield this season. Feaster is a graduate transfer from Clemson, where he rushed 1,330 yards and 15 touchdowns in three seasons.
Wide receiver Bryan Edwards is one of the best go-getters in the nation. He highpoints the ball and attacks it in the air. Edwards has great leaping ability and knows how to win the ball over defenders, making him one of my favorites in the 2020 draft.
South Carolina has some studs on defense, too. Javon Kinlaw is the star. Kinlaw, a powerful interior defensive lineman, wreaks havoc for opposing blockers. He lives in the backfield for the Gamecocks. In his last 13 games, Kinlaw has 7.0 sacks and 12.0 TFLs.
Linebacker T.J. Brunson is a violent, downhill tackling machine. He posted 106 tackles in 2018 and 88 in 2017. He shoots gaps, blows up runs, and lays the wood up the middle with consistency. The South Carolina defense is fun to watch, and they’ll need to show up on Saturday.
The Missouri Tigers have a fun offense. Quarterback Kelly Bryant, formerly of Clemson, took over in 2019. Bryant is on pace for his best season as a passer, already racking up 798 yards and six touchdowns. If he continues to grow as a passer, he will get a shot in the NFL.
Albert Okwuegbunam is a huge bonus for Bryant. The tight end is among the best at his position in the entire country. In fact, Okwuegbunam currently sits seventh overall on my 2020 draft board. He is a well-rounded tight end with speed, hands, and a willingness to block. His presence in the offense is outstanding and I cannot wait to see him on Sundays.
The Tiger defense is headlined by cornerback DeMarkus Acy. Acy is a long, athletic corner with excellent ball skills on the outside. He uses a strong punch to knock balls loose but will rely on instincts a bit too often, making him susceptible to blown assignments. Still, his 6-foot-2 frame is very intriguing as he prepares for an NFL future.