Maty Mauk managed to lead the Tigers to a fourth quarter victory.

Maty Mauk managed to lead the Tigers to a fourth quarter victory.

Phil Kornblut, from our sister network, in Columbia, South Carolina was just beaming last year after he cleaned up four pounds of bar-b-que in a bet he made with one of our Missourinet radio affiliates.  This time around, his mood a little somber as he tells me on this Google Hangout that it will be near impossible now for the Gamecocks to win the SEC East.

There are a lot of factors that need to work in their favor, and at the same time, as far as Tiger fans are concerned, Mizzou dodged a huge bullet.

Missouri was down 20-7 and were just 7:25 away from dropping their second game in a row and losing their SEC debut.  The loss would have put the Tigers basically two behind USC, who also has a win over Georgia.  Even though it only would have been one loss, the task of trying to climb out of an early hole may have been too difficult.

Yet, the Tigers somehow found a way.  As Kornblut explains, the weak part of the USC defense was their secondary, but with Maty Mauk losing Jimmie Hunt early in the game and not having Darius White, his options for experienced receivers were down to Bud Sasser and rarely used Sean Culkin.  Offensive coordinator Josh Henson continued to call balance plays of run and pass and it just wasn’t working when Mauk would throw on first down.  At one point he was 1 for 8 for eight yards on first down pass plays.

Then in the blink of eye, it changed with one pass to Sasser for 41 yards.  Just like that, the momentum of the game changed.