The South Carolina Gamecocks will try to pick themselves up off the mat when they travel to College Station tomorrow for their annual date with the Texas A&M Aggies. Morale is pretty low in Columbia, with hopes at a bowl game essentially lost, but hey -- any given Saturday, right? Here’s how the GABA game sees things.
Kody: Well, I’m not gonna lie to y’all -- I’m Concerned. The Gamecocks haven’t beaten the Aggies since the latter joined the SEC, and I don’t see that changing this season with everything South Carolina has endured over the past month or so (minus, of course, the Georgia game). Speaking of, does USC have another UGA-like performance left in them? It’s hard to say, especially given the injuries that have started to make their presence felt. The last time South Carolina went to College Station, it was actually a pretty competitive game, and last season’s battle against A&M was the closest USC had ever come to knocking them off. But unfortunately, until I see the Gamecocks come away with a W against A&M, I just can’t predict that it will happen. I really miss Arkansas.
DC3- Listen it’s not all doom and gloom but the forecast is not especially clear for Saturday as the Gamecocks take on one of the two most cultish, awkwardly militaristic college football programs in the nation (spoiler: we play the other one in two weeks). The bad news: Carolina has shown no identity on offense outside of it being totally flavorless and predictable. Like Hospital scrambled eggs, the offense has not seen any spice or variety all season, save the odd designed big play that goes right. In order to have any sort of chance against the Aggies, there is going to have to be a ‘burn the lifeboats’ kind of mentality. Do I expect that? Hell no. But we can dream.
The good news: Texas A&M seems to be just as big of an enigma wrapped in a conundrum as South Carolina. They can score points, sometimes, but they have had some inexplicable in-game goof ups of all shapes and sizes. Can the Gamecocks catch A&M as they look ahead to their next two weeks of games in UGA and LSU? God I hope so.
Long story short, two maligned coaches with inordinate buyouts that have a propensity for wearing reading glasses on the sideline face off under the lights at Kyle Field and much like every other thing we’ve ever done, the Gamecocks show promise early but falter in some weird special teams related debacle. The khaki people prevail 38-24.
Adam: Each week it gets harder to be an optimist, but I am going to give it another try. I never thought I would say this, but it may actually be good that this is an away game given how toxic parts of the fandom have become towards this team, this coaching staff, and Ray Tanner. It would be a bad look to have a Williams-Brice crowd boo its own team on national television. Instead, South Carolina is travelling to College Station and has an opportunity to just go out there and play football for each other and their coaches. McClendon will almost certainly be coaching for his job, so maybe we will get to see some creative play calling on offense this week. A bit of a side note that feels worth mentioning: McClendon had to throw out huge chunks of his playbook at the beginning of the season in order to simplify South Carolina’s offense for a true freshman QB. He may choose to add a few pages back in against the Aggies, leaving it up to Hilinski and company go out there an execute. The Cocks will score points. Muschamp’s defense should play with a chip on their shoulders. Gamecocks win 27-24.
Matt: I already predicted a loss in my “Odds” article, but there is this part of me that thinks things may not go according to plan because they never do… In the games the Gamecocks shouldn’t win, they do (or come much closer than they should) and in the games the Gamecocks should win, they don’t. This one feels too easy to predict and that’s why I feel like South Carolina has a chance. Shi smith is back, A&M’s defense leaves a lot to be desired, and the game has ended close in recent years when all of us are pessimistic around this time. The Cocks beat Georgia on the road, so why can’t there be a similar script against a worse A&M team? I might have to be drug tested after saying this, but I’m going to predict a 30-27 Gamecock victory and a breakout game for Hilinski. The bowl game hype will return just for it to be crushed at the hands of Clemson in two weeks.
Katie: Alright look after being proved wrong a lot of times this season I am here to say I predict that the Gamecocks… will win, literally none of you should be surprised by this. The way I see it, the only way for this annoying, weird, frustrating season to end is with unexpected victories over A&M and Clemson to send us to some bottom-dweller bowl. Will it be technically “good” to be bowl-eligible? Sure, I guess. Will it also be a perfect representation of the prolonged misery we force ourselves to endure with our oft-underachieving teams? 100%. Let’s do this.