When South Carolina’s Dylan Thompson hit Pharoh Cooper for a 23 yard touchdown pass with 7:25 to play, it all but sealed the game for Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks.
Up to that point, the Mizzou offense continued to struggle, getting only two first downs and never getting the ball past their 32 yard line.
On the ensuing kickoff, down 20-7, Marcus Murphy returned the ball out to the 32 and one play changed the momentum. Maty Mauk fired a pass downfield to a backpedaling Bud Sasser who hauled it in for 41 yards, giving the Tigers the ball at the USC 27. Mauk then hit Wes Leftwich for 26 yards and Russell Hansbrough, started left, then cut back right and went in for a touchdown making it a six point game in the matter of three plays and 36 seconds.
The Missouri defense held South Carolina to a three and out…their sixth of the game and forced a punt. Marcus Murphy found a hole and returned it 22 yards to midfield.
Mauk threw two incomplete passes and on 3rd and 10, pitched it to Hansbrough who gained nine. On 4th and 1, Mauk hit tight end Sean Culkin for a first down keeping the drive alive. The Tigers got a pass interference call in their favor that gave them another first down at the USC 24 and then Marcus Murphy stormed down to the two.
Stopped three times, the Tigers had to go for it on fourth and goal from inside the one and Hansbrough followed Evan Boehm up the middle and on a second effort scored. Andrew Baggett, who missed the field goal in overtime last year, added the extra point to give Missouri the lead for the first time since late in the first half.
USC failed to get a first down and Missouri ran out the clock for the improbable comeback.