COLUMBIA, Mo. _ Deebo Samuel ran for two touchdowns to help South Carolina cruise to a 31-13 victory over Missouri on Saturday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Missouri (1-1, 0-1) led 10-0 early in the second quarter when tight end Jason Reese slipped past linebacker T.J. Brunson, hauled in a Drew Lock pass and outran his pursuers. South Carolina (2-0, 1-0) trailed for only 30 seconds. Samuel returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown _ his second TD return in two weeks. After the Gamecocks’ Jamyest Williams intercepted Lock, Samuel struck again, scoring on a 25-yard jet sweep. Samuel finished with five catches for 45 yards.
Jake Bentley was 18 of 28 for 187 yards passing and threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Hurst to stretch South Carolina’s lead to 21-10 midway through the third quarter. Hurst added a 2-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Lock had 245 yards passing and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice.
By JOE WALLJASPER