Fresh off a wild and much-needed victory against Missouri, the South Carolina Gamecocks continue their homestand and look to keep momentum rolling when they welcome the Texas A&M Aggies into Williams-Brice tomorrow. As we’re all painfully aware, the Gamecocks have yet to beat the Ags since the latter joined the SEC. Here’s how the GABA gang is feeling about things.
DC3: Y’all already know me to be the resident wet blanket as it pertains to predictions and such, but for some reason I have a weird feeling about this week. Yes, the Aggies are a very talented team full of playmakers and are replete with all of the things that should make Carolina fans more nervous than a recurring dream that features Pennywise as the main character. HOWEVER. This team feels capable of getting out of its is own way for the first time in what feels like a decade. Will Muschamp has a hard time making a grilled cheese with nothing but gourmet ingredients but he somehow has a knack for making a ten course meal with two neck bones, a Phillips screwdriver, half a gallon of ketchup, three turkey legs, and a microwave. This will not be pretty. It never is. The Gamecocks must MUST lead at halftime but heck I’m usually wrong about this stuff anyways. If Ty’Son Williams has more than 15 carries, Carolina wins the football game.
Cole: Well South Carolina has us feeling as if the world isn’t all that bad. After an unforgettable “Columbia Bowl” and a huge win against Mizzou, the Gamecocks are primed to welcome cross division rival Texas A&M. This game hasn’t been friendly to the Garnet and Black the last few years. It always seems to be a close, hard fought game Carolina comes usually falls short in. I see the same thing this week. I think this will be the same grind it out type of game. I expect Willy B to be swaying 3:30 Saturday afternoon. Jake Bentley will be back and I’m interested to see how much he can move around. Bentley is not off to a particularly good start throwing 7 touchdowns to 6 interceptions. If Carolina is to win this game he has to take care of the ball. If South Carolina loses the turnover margin they lose the game. But the Gamecocks finally got some turnovers of their own last week and look to continue in the right direction. Kellen Mond is no slouch and is especially dangerous rushing the football. He has 13 touchdowns and 4 of those are rushing. South Carolina needs more creativity on the offensive side of the ball when it comes to the ground game. If Dowdle or Williams rush for 100 I think the Gamecocks win.
SC 27, TAMU 24
Demetri: I genuinely have no idea. Carolina is a mystery wrapped in an enigma and nestled in a box of riddles. At the same time though, I just don’t think A&M is very good. Their best win is a loss to Clemson. They probably have more talent than Carolina does, but that talent isn’t playing the style of football that best showcases its strength, so honestly, if Carolina can create turnovers like it did against Mizzou, I don’t see how the Cocks don’t win. We know neither team really wants to score so this game could, and probably will turn on a dime.
Kody: Well, I guess I’ll play DC3’s usual role this week, because until South Carolina proves it can actually beat Texas A&M, I just can’t predict that to happen. Don’t get me wrong, this is a winnable game — I just worry about the Aggies’ rushing attack, and what that could do to this very soft run defense. The Gamecocks typically struggle to defend mobile quarterbacks as well, which Kellen Mond very much is — and he’s also a better player than he was a year ago. I could see this playing out similarly to the Missouri game: a close, back-and-forth, hard-fought contest, except with the Gamecocks on the wrong side of the scoreboard this time around. I’ll go with A&M 24-17.
Katie: As you all expected, I’m predicting a win, though I’m not really that confident in this prediction. I admittedly don’t know much about Texas A&M this season, except that they expressly ignored my pleas for them to beat Clemson a few weeks ago. Alas. Since the Aggies have had the Gamecocks’ number pretty much since they started playing each other, I think USC is going to need to bring its A game, or at least its A- game, to come away with a win on Saturday. If I’m being honest, I don’t expect this game to be especially enjoyable overall, but if it ends with a W then I don’t care how pretty it was or wasn’t. I don’t see either team rolling up a runaway win in this one, so it could come down to something like a last-second field goal (shout out to Parker White). That being said, I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Jake and the offense come out firing on all cylinders and the defense doing more of that thing with the scoring on turnovers, so we can all relax a little.