Near-flawless Shaw helps South Carolina subdue Missouri
Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - Connor Shaw's shoulder appears to be just fine.
The South Carolina quarterback put on a passing clinic and Marcus Lattimore became the school's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns, as the seventh- ranked Gamecocks downed the Missouri Tigers, 31-10, at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Shaw suffered an injury to his right, throwing shoulder in the opener against Vanderbilt. He missed the next contest, a 48-10 win over East Carolina, before starting against UAB last week. The junior signal-caller absorbed another big hit that aggravated the injury and didn't finish the game.
On Saturday, Shaw was nearly flawless, completing his final 20 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns after throwing incomplete on his first attempt of the game.
"My offensive line played great and our receivers caught great passes and made yards after catches as well," Shaw said.
Lattimore gained 85 yards on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns. He entered play tied with George Rogers and Harold Green for the most rushing scores in school history at 31.
South Carolina (4-0, 2-0 SEC) has won eight straight games dating back to last season, the second-longest streak in school history. The Gamecocks opened the 1984 campaign with nine consecutive wins.
Missouri quarterback James Franklin was limited to 92 yards on 11-of-18 passing. Franklin sat out last week's victory over Arizona State with a shoulder injury.
Kendial Lawrence led the Tigers' (2-2, 0-2) ground attack with 67 yards on 11 touches.
"That was a pretty dominating performance so we will learn from it and get better," said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel.
Lattimore ran for 21 yards on the game's first play from scrimmage, but the Gamecocks wound up punting after they were unable to move the chains again.
South Carolina's defense forced a three-and-out and the offense began from the Missouri 39-yard line. On 2nd-and-13 from the 22, Shaw completed a short toss to Damiere Byrd, who was stripped from behind by Sheldon Richardson.
Missouri couldn't capitalize on the fumble, punting the ball back to South Carolina. Shaw drew a roar from the crowd, galloping for an 80-yard touchdown run on first down. However, the electrifying score was negated by a clipping penalty.
Shaw shrugged off the penalty and meticulously moved the ball down the field, closing out the first quarter with a 9-yard completion to Justice Cunningham that set up a 3rd-and-goal. After being wrapped up for no gain, Missouri's defense drove Shaw back a yard on fourth down.
"We messed up on the 1-yard line and did not score," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. "Other than that we played really well, all the guys played well. I'm really proud of our team."
The Tigers picked up only six yards before punting from their own end zone, and Ace Sanders' 49-yard return placed the ball at the Missouri 4-yard line. Lattimore crossed the goal line after consecutive carries, entering the South Carolina record book in the process.
Russell Hansbrough fumbled on Missouri's next drive and South Carolina needed only two plays to cash in on the turnover. Shaw completed a 36-yard pass to Nick Jones along the right sideline and the deep strike set up a short TD run by Lattimore.
Andrew Baggett kicked a 22-yard field goal to put the Tigers on the board with 1:20 remaining in the second quarter, but Bruce Ellington returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield. On the drive's fourth play, Shaw hooked up with Sanders on a 23-yard touchdown, giving the Gamecocks a 21-3 halftime lead.
Following the break, Shaw threw a 13-yard TD pass to Rory Anderson in the third quarter. Adam Yates drilled a 38-yard field goal for South Carolina in the fourth quarter.
Missouri finally reached the end zone with 17 seconds remaining as Marcus Lucas hauled in a one-yard pass from Corbin Berkstresser.
Shaw's 20 consecutive completions are a school record ... The Gamecocks have started 4-0 for the second straight year ... South Carolina has won 10 straight games against SEC Eastern Division rivals ... South Carolina senior defensive back D.J. Swearinger was suspended for the Missouri game by the SEC for a helmet-to-helmet hit on a UAB player last week.
09/22 20:51:04 ET