COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Backup quarterback Michael Scarnecchia threw for three touchdowns in his first college start and Parker White hit the game-winning 33-yard field goal with two seconds left in South Carolina’s 37-35 victory over Missouri on Saturday.
The Tigers (3-2, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) had gone ahead 35-34 on Tucker McCann’s career-long 57-yard field goal with 1:18 remaining. But the Gamecocks, behind Scarnecchia, drove to the Missouri 16 where White nailed his third go-ahead field goal of the game.
The Gamecocks (3-2, 2-2) rallied from 23-14 at halftime to win their third straight over Missouri in a game that last more than five hours due to rain and lightning delays.
When White’s kick sailed through, only a few thousand soggy fans remained from the announced crowd of 73,393.
Scarnecchia, a senior, started when Jake Bentley was kept out due to a knee injury suffered last week against Kentucky.
And Scarnecchia did not flinch, connecting on touchdown passes of 5 and 17 yards to Bryan Edwards in the first half and 8 yards to Deebo Samuel in the third quarter.
White had a 42-yard field goal to put South Carolina in front 24-23 and linebacker Sharrod Greene stepped in front of Drew Lock’s floater for a 12-yard pick-6 to increase the lead.
Missouri was not done as McCann’s 44-yard field goal after a botched South Carolina punt put the Tigers up 32-31. White answered next time drive with a second 42-yarder to retake the lead 34-32.
Scarnecchia completed 20 of 35 passes for 249 yards.
Missouri’s Lock, the SEC leader at 320 yards passing a game coming in, was held to his lowest total of the season at 204.
Missouri: This was the Tigers game to win as they squandered four chances to score touchdowns when inside South Carolina’s 20, instead settling for field goals. Missouri will have to learn to close these out if it hopes to rise in the SEC East.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks looked like a team without much spirit in the opening half. The third-quarter rains changed all that as the Gamecocks rebounded in difficult circumstances in the come-from-behind victory that should serve them well going forward.
South Carolina starting quarterback Jake Bentley did not play due to a knee injury sustained at Kentucky last week. Bentley, a junior, practiced most of the week, was suited up and went through warmups with his team. But it was Scarnecchia behind center when the game began.
Missouri: Plays at No. 1 Alabama next Saturday night.
South Carolina: Hosts Texas A&M on Saturday.