The scoring in South Carolina’s 34-14 loss to Missouri got off to a weird start.
A series that hasn’t been lost on odd happenings over the years added to its reputation early in Saturday’s game.
The Tigers took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a Cale Garrett fumble recovery in the end zone. At least that’s how it looks in the boxscore.
What really happened: On second-and-7 from the USC 10-yard line, Ryan Hilinski attempted a pass that was deflected by a Mizzou defender back at the Gamecocks quarterback. After review, it was ruled Hilinski caught the deflection and threw a backward pass, leading to Garrett picking up the fumble for a touchdown.
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said he had never seen a play like that.
“They technically ruled that he had caught the ball,” said South Carolina coach Will Muschamp. “We he threw it backwards, they ruled it as a fumble.”
Senior receiver Bryan Edwards was confused as to what the officials were reviewing.
“I ain’t never seen anything like that, honestly,” Edwards said.
Senior running back Rico Dowdle said Hilinski was confident that he simply batted the ball down.
“He thought he did the right thing in his mind,” Dowdle said.
The turnover was the first of two leading to Mizzou scores from Hilinski. The freshman finished 13 of 30 for 166 yards, a touchdown and a third quarter interception that was returned for a 100-yard touchdown.