What We Learned: South Carolina vs. Missouri - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

What We Learned: South Carolina vs. Missouri

South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst, center, runs past Missouri's Ronnell Perkins, right, and Cale Garrett, left, as he scores a touchdown during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo) South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst, center, runs past Missouri's Ronnell Perkins, right, and Cale Garrett, left, as he scores a touchdown during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo)
COLUMBIA, MO (WIS) -

Here are three things we learned from Saturday’s contest between South Carolina and Missouri:

Getting Off the Field

Missouri’s ability to efficiently run a tempo offense was a big concern for South Carolina coming into the game.

Muschamp told reporters earlier in the week that the key for Carolina to stop Mizzou’s speedy offense was to simply get off the field.

The Gamecocks did just that. Missouri struggled to make things happen in drives when they reached third down. The Tigers were 5-of-14 on third down. When the Gamecocks weren’t forcing Missouri off the field on third down, they were coming up with key turnovers.

Carolina finished the game with three turnovers and put 14 points on the board using two of those takeaways. Typically, the magic number for takeaways for any defense is three. USC reached that and it paid dividends in the end.

Hello, Hayden!

A week ago, Hayden Hurst was praised for his work that didn’t make the stat sheet.

Despite having just one catch for negative yardage last week against NC State, Muschamp thought his junior tight end blocked well in the season-opening win and noted that Hurst needed to continue to block well.

Hurst did that and more on Saturday. The former baseball prospect ended the night with three catches for 69 yards and a touchdown along with a 2-yard rushing touchdown.

Regardless of the numbers, Hurst will be the first to tell you that doing his job is the most important thing because the only stat that matters is putting a W in the win column.

Deebo for Heisman?

Deebo Samuel has been on fire these last two games.

The junior wide receiver has scored multiple touchdowns in each of the last two games. Plus, Samuel has also claimed a spot in the South Carolina record books with three career kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Near the end of the game, one ESPN broadcaster thought the Inman native should be an early candidate for the Heisman. That’s pretty high praise, but it’s also well-deserved based on the results Samuel has produced over the last two weeks.

So far, Samuel has 352 all-purpose yards, two kickoff returns for touchdowns, two receiving touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown. Basically, Samuel has become a Swiss army knife of sorts for the Gamecocks. And you can certainly expect Samuel to continue to see touches at this rate.

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