It’s been a slow start to the season for the South Carolina football team as they sit at 2-4 on the year with another top-25 opponent coming up.
The Gamecocks are set to face No. 20 Missouri Saturday on the road in the other Columbia. The Daily Gamecock reached out to Quentin Corpuel, a sports editor for The Maneater, to learn more about the Tigers ahead of the matchup.
The Daily Gamecock: How has Missouri played compared to preseason expectations?
Quentin Corpuel: “I think they definitely exceeded, at least compared to what the outside world thought they were going to do. Inside the locker room, they believe they could do anything. They believed they could do anything since the start of the season."
“I think before the season, I would have had them around 5-2 or 4-3 at this point, but it's just been so fun to watch them, especially last week in Kentucky.”
What has been the biggest factor in this team's hot 6-1 start?
“Togetherness, just overall team camaraderie. It's — (graduate student defensive linebacker) Darius Robinson was talking about it after the game on Saturday, and he said he's never felt this type of connectivity within the team before. He says in past seasons there are certain people you wouldn't be able to talk to on the team or whatever, but this year everybody has bought in, everybody wants to see each other succeed, and that togetherness is growing by the week.”
Who do you expect to make a big impact on Saturday?
“Watch out for (junior defensive back Kris Abrams-Draine’s) strength. He had another interception last week. I believe he has five this season. He is a ballhawk. He is a cornerback that is going to be playing on Sundays sometime in the near future. His recovery skills are unreal.”
How important is this game for Missouri going forward?
“It's homecoming, so you would like to play well in front of all the alumni that are coming back for this weekend, but, this game, it'll hopefully be a launchpad to Georgia, which is, I believe, two weeks from Saturday.”
“They can't get caught overlooking South Carolina. This is a classic trap game. Even though Missouri has had a lot of success against South Carolina in recent memories, this is not a team you want to overlook. I believe they're still very talented. I know last week and a couple of games at least, just — there have been a few plays and moments that have decided games negatively.”
“I personally still believe (redshirt senior quarterback) Spencer Rattler still has something left. (Junior wide receiver) Xavier Legette is obviously extremely talented, so basically Mizzou can't get caught sleeping.”
Who wins, and what is your score prediction?
“There will always be a tiny part of me that thinks Mizzou is going to keep it really close a little later into the game than I think people want. But I think Mizzou's going to figure it out, even if they do start off a little slow.”
“I'm going to go Mizzou 37, South Carolina 24.”