The 21st-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks are turning to veteran quarterback Dylan Thompson to lead their offense Saturday when they take on the fifth-ranked Missouri Tigers in a huge SEC showdown Saturday night.
The Tigers have defeated the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators over the last two weeks. A win over the Gamecocks Saturday would all but give the Tigers the SEC East title. A third conference loss by the Gamecocks at any point would surely take them out of the race.
Thompson, a 6’3 junior from Boiling Springs, South Carolina, has shared reps with Connor Shaw, a senior from Flowery Branch, Georgia, at times throughout his career, but has primarily been Shaw’s backup.
However, Shaw strained his left knee in the Gamecocks’ 23-21 loss to the Tennessee Volunteers and is listed as doubtful for Saturday’s game.
Shaw may still dress for the game, but Thompson will definitely start.
“(Shaw) may be able to dress and get back up, we don’t know,” Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier told Neil White of Go Gamecocks. “But Dylan is definitely going to start the game, and it’ll be his game to go with.”
This season, Thompson is 29-of-51 for 421 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Thompson’s most extensive time came in a 28-25 over the Central Florida Golden Knights. Thompson completed 15 of 32 passes for 265 yards and an interception, helping the Gamecocks hand the Knights their only loss of the season.
Missouri has also been forced to go with their backup due to an injury to quarterback James Franklin. Redshirt freshman Maty Mauck was 18-of-36 for 295 yards with a touchdown and an interception and rushed for a touchdown in a 36-17 win over the Florida Gators Saturday. It was his first career start.
The Gamecocks and Tigers will kickoff at 7:00 pm EST Saturday and the game will be on ESPN2.