1979 Hall of Fame Bowl
December 28, 1979 Birmingham, Alabama 62,785 Attendance
It appeared for a while that South Carolina was going to break its postseason losing streak in the third annual Hall of Fame Bowl.
South Carolina took the opening kickoff and thanks to the running of George Rogers and the passing and catching of Garry Harper and Zion McKinney, moved the ball down the field against the Missouri Tigers. On a first-and-10 at the Missouri 20, Harper found McKinney in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown pass.
Neither team was able to score the remainder of the opening quarter but the Tigers started a drive at their own 14-yard line and began an impressive drive directed by All-Big Eight quarterback Phil Bradley. The Tigers' drive stalled and they were forced to kick a 22-yard field goal.
Misfortune attacked South Carolina on the next kickoff. Percey Reeves returned the kickoff 27 yards to the 29-yard line but was hit and fumbled with the Tigers recovering on the 28-yard line. Bradley then hit Newman with a scoring strike eight seconds later and USC was never to lead again.
South Carolina was unable to move on its next possession and Missouri took over once again and moved the ball just 30 yards to score and go up, 17-6 before the half. The Gamecocks cut the deficit to three, 17-14, but Missouri answered with a touchdown for the final points.
Missouri's Bradley was named the game's most valuable player but South Carolina's Rogers was tabbed as the Offensive Player of the Game after rushing for 133 yards on 25 carries.
South Carolina Statistics
Passing: Harper 19-13-1-121.
Rushing: Rogers 15-133; Clark 10-48.
Receiving: McKinney 5-87; Rogers 3-18.