Missouri coach Gary Pinkel hasn’t made a decision about his starting quarterback for next Saturday’s game against Florida.
Immediately after a 24-10 win against South Carolina, he wasn’t even sure it junior Maty Mauk or backup left tackle Malik Cuellar would return from suspension.
Both were benched Tuesday for a violation of team rules and weren’t allowed to attend the victory against the Gamecocks.
“Anybody that I have to sit out a game, what I do is I meet with them on Sunday and Monday,” Pinkel said. “Disciplinary issues, that’s how I handle them.”
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Mauk was 57 of 110, a 51.8-percent clip, for 654 with six touchdowns and four interceptions before the suspension. He only went 15 of 30 for 180 yards with a touchdown and no picks in a loss last week against Kentucky.
Against South Carolina, Lock was 21 of 28 passing, including two scores and no turnovers, for 136 yards, which is the fewest by a Tigers starting quarterback in a game this season and actually two less than Lock threw for against Southeast Missouri in the season opener.
Asked if he thinks he did enough to start against the Gators, Lock said, “I have no idea.”
Senior linebacker Kentrell Brothers’ streak of games with at least 10 tackles to start the season came to an end against South Carolina.
Of course, it was impressive that he even played after missing the fourth quarter at Kentucky with a sprained left ankle and knee.
Brothers — who finished with seven tackles, the second-most on the team, and had a half-sack as part of 1 1/2 tackles for a loss — officially was listed as questionable, but there really was no question that he was playing.
“We felt pretty good Tuesday,” Pinkel said. “It was really nice seeing him move around, but he just told us from day one, ‘I’m playing.’ … The guy’s attitude has so much to do with it, and that’s just the way he is. He’s a warrior.”
Sophomore running back Ish Witter matched his career high with 17 carries and obliterated his career high with 98 yards rushing.
Witter, who had 17 carries for 54 yards two weeks ago against Connecticut, had established a new career-best with 58 yards on seven carries at halftime. He also scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
“I was looking for the holes and they continued to open up,” Witter said. “They gave real good pushes at the line, and I just followed them.”
The Tigers collectively finished with a season-high 163 yards rushing on 42 carries.
Freshman defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. was ejected for targeting with 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
He appeared to shove South Carolina quarterback Lorenzo Nunez well after the ball was released and Beckner’s helmet made incidental contact in the process.
The call was reviewed and upheld, forcing Beckner to miss the remainder of the game.
“They said it was a good call,” Pinkel said of the feedback from his coaches in the press box. “I didn’t see it at all. If you’re near the neck at all … you can’t do it.”
Beckner can return for the beginning of the Florida game next week.