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No. 20 S Carolina rallies past No. 5 Mizzou in OT

Saturday, 26 October 2013 22:36 Published in Sports

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Connor Shaw came off the bench in the second half to lead a 17-point rally, throwing for 201 yards and three touchdowns, and Elliott Fry kicked the go-ahead field goal in the second overtime to help No. 20 South Carolina stun No. 5 Missouri 27-24 on Saturday night.

After Fry put the Gamecocks ahead from 40 yards out, Missouri's Andrew Baggett missed a 24-yard attempt off the left goal post.

Missouri (7-1, 3-1) could have all but locked up the SEC East with a victory, instead South Carolina (6-2, 4-2 SEC) moves to within one game of the Tigers for the division lead, with home games against Mississippi State and Florida remaining.

A sprain left knee kept Shaw from starting, but he entered the game in the third quarter and helped the Gamecocks score the final 17 points of regulation. He also threw a 15-yard touchdown pass on fourth down in the Gamecocks' first overtime to match the Tigers' Marcus Murphy's 1-yard scamper.

Shaw engineered fourth-quarter scoring drives of 65, 69 and 63 yards, and the Gamecocks knotted the score at 17 on a two-yard reception by Nick Jones with 42 seconds remaining. Ellington scored his first touchdown on a 6-yard catch with 12:13 remaining, and Elliott Fry added a 20-yard field goal with 5:03 left.

Mike Davis caught three screen passes on South Carolina's final scoring drive in regulation, partly making up for two fumbles in the first half. The Gamecocks turned the ball over three consecutive times in the second quarter, helping Missouri take a 14-0 halftime lead.

Davis, who led the conference with 125.6 rushing yards per game entering the night, committed his first miscue at the Missouri 29-yard line with 12:30 remaining in the half, and his second halted a 71-yard drive at the Tigers' 2-yard line with 5:46 left. He finished the night with 51 rushing yards and 99 receiving yards while backup Shon Carson added 27 on the ground and 14 through the air.

Davis' second fumble set the stage for a 96-yard touchdown pass from Mauk to L'Damian Washington on Missouri's ensuing drive. Two yards deep in his own end zone, Mauk found Washington streaking toward the middle of the field for an easy first down, and then the receiver eluded two tackles at his 45-yard line before being untouched the rest of the way. The pass was Missouri's longest since a 98-yarder from Pete Woods to Joe Stewart at Nebraska in 1976.

Mauk struggled out of the gate, throwing a pass dropped by defender Sharrod Golightly and then an interception to Kaiwan Lewis, a far cry from the 41-yard pass and 20-yard touchdown toss he threw in his opening attempts last week in a 36-17 win against Florida. But Mauk then completed three of his next four to set up Missouri's first touchdown, an 11-yard scamper by Murphy with 1:23 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers added a 27-yard field goal by Baggett with 6:46 left in the third quarter before he missed a 46-yarder in the fourth quarter wide left.

Backup QBs in spotlight for Missouri, S Carolina

Friday, 25 October 2013 22:09 Published in Sports

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A pair of backup quarterbacks will have a big say in the Southeastern Conference East Division race this weekend.

After defeating Florida 36-17 in his first career start, Missouri redshirt freshman Maty Mauk again leads the No. 5 Tigers as James Franklin recovers from a separated throwing shoulder. Opposing him will be South Carolina junior Dylan Thompson, who hopes to save the No. 20 Gamecocks' season as Connor Shaw looks on with a sprained left knee.

Mauk gave Missouri a two-game cushion in the division last week by throwing for 295 yards against a Gators defense that previously allowed only 152 passing yards per game.

"If you watched him play in high school, that's what he looked like," coach Gary Pinkel said. "The bigger the game, the better he played."

Mauk finds himself as the most tenured available quarterback for the Tigers (7-0, 3-0 SEC).

Third-stringer Corbin Berkstresser, a sophomore who played in 10 games last year, tore his left medial meniscus in his knee during practice Oct. 15 and is out indefinitely. He continued practicing until an MRI on Monday discovered the cause of his discomfort.

Freshman Eddie Printz, who is currently redshirting, takes over as Mauk's backup.

Down two games to Missouri with only three conference games remaining, South Carolina (5-2, 3-2) would be virtually eliminated if it lost consecutive games for the second time since 2010 after losing 23-21 at Tennessee. The Tigers would need to lose their remaining four games to re-open the door.

Thompson is no stranger to playing despite making only his third career start. He's participated in 21 games and engineered wins over East Carolina, Clemson and Michigan last season. He's thrown for 421 yards this year after 1,027 in 2012-13.

"I think it helps, but it's a new team, new game," he said. "Missouri's a great team, they've got a good crowd. We have to be ready for that. This week's the biggest game we've played yet."

Five things to watch in this SEC East showdown:

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: Last year, Missouri played in its first SEC road game at South Carolina, losing 31-10 in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated. Shaw threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns and completed a school-record 20 consecutive passes. In just their second season in the league, the Tigers now appear to be the team ready to pounce. Wins at home over the Gamecocks and Tennessee next week would clinch the division.

QUARTERBACK PRESSURE: Missouri leads the SEC in sacks (23) while South Carolina has yielded 10 in its past three games. Tigers end Michael Sam ranks first individually with nine and 13 tackles for loss. All the pressure upfront allows Missouri to generally rush four, freeing defenders to sit back in coverage. The Gamecocks must contain their opponent's defensive line and give Thompson time to throw.

RUNNING MIKE DAVIS: The SEC's leading rusher is enjoying a breakout season. Averaging 125.6 rushing yards per game, the Gamecocks' sophomore has run for 100 yards against every opponent except Vanderbilt. If he's successful Saturday, he'll force Missouri to put more defenders up front and open the passing game for Thompson.

MISSOURI'S RUNNING BACK HEALTH: Missouri relies on 234.4 rushing yards per game to take some pressure off its quarterbacks, and is able to do so because of its trio of running backs. But both sophomore Russell Hansbrough (turf toe) and junior Marcus Murphy (concussion) sustained injuries against Florida last week, and junior Henry Josey survived a scare with his surgically reconstructed left knee. All three are expected to play this week, but their health will be closely monitored.

IMPRESSIVE START: Missouri is 7-0 after defeating ranked opponents in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1976. Another win this week over No. 20 South Carolina would make it the first Tigers team since 1939 to win three consecutive. A victory would also give the team its first 8-0 start since 1960 and first 4-0 start in conference since 1968.

Kesler's OT goal gives Canucks win over Blues

Friday, 25 October 2013 22:06 Published in Sports

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Ryan Kesler scored his second goal of the game at 4:45 of overtime during a power play to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.

With Patrik Berglund off for hooking, Vancouver took advantage of the 4-on-3 power play when Kesler got control of the puck down low in the slot and swatted it past goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Backup goalie Eddie Lack made 22 saves for the Canucks, who went 5-1-1 on their seven-game road trip.

Chris Higgins had Vancouver's other goal, and Mike Santorelli added two assists.

Alexander Steen had a goal and an assist for St. Louis, and Vladimir Sobotka also scored.

Higgins gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead with 2:49 left in the first period when he raced down left wing on a 3-on-2 rush and took a shot from the left circle. Defenseman Roman Polak slid down to block the shot, but he deflected it instead, and the puck sailed over Halak's left shoulder.

After Kesler made it 2-0 with a one-timer from the slot at 9:34 of the second period, the Blues got back in it by scoring on a 5-on-3 power play with 6.4 seconds left in the period.

T.J. Oshie got control of the puck deep in the left circle and sent a centering pass to Steen, who beat Lack with a one-timer.

Sobotka made it 2-2 with a shot from the right circle 1:38 into the third period.

 

NOTES: The Blues played their first game after having a week off. St . Louis played an NHL-low seven games in the first 22 days of the season. It marked the lightest schedule to begin a season in team history. ... Vancouver's Henrik Sedin, who entered the game tied for second in points with 15 and first in assists with 12, earned assist on Kesler's game winner. ... The St. Louis Cardinals' Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso attended the game during an off day in the World Series and received a large ovation when they were shown on the video board.

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