The South Carolina Gamecocks are back in action this weekend after a much-needed bye week, facing their permanent SEC West opponent Texas A&M in one of the SEC’s most heated rivalries. (Kidding, of course.) South Carolina has yet to beat the Aggies since the latter joined the SEC, but 2020 has been as weird a year in college football as it has with everything else. Here’s how the GABA gang is feeling about things.
Matt: After all this time off, I would be perhaps not shocked but disappointed if the Cocks don’t look strong coming out of the gate. If you have two weeks to pinpoint the holes of a team, you better find some. Anyway, on paper, Texas A&M is the better team here. They have an offense capable of getting in a shootout with anyone, yet they may be guilty of taking their foot off the gas at times. Being unable to put up more than 17 against Vanderbilt with their skillset will continue to confuse me, knowing now how inept the Commodores are at just about everything. The Aggies are a team built to crush the Gamecocks, though, with their strong rush defense and their quarterback Kellen Mond, who USC still can’t figure out. I can’t see South Carolina folding under the lights so I’ll predict a reasonably close game. Texas A&M wins this one 34-27.
Katie: Games against Texas A&M don’t end well for us, and frankly I’m tired of that, so it’s time for the Gamecocks to get a win in this Very Big Rivalry Series. They’ve had a week off since the LSU game we won’t be speaking of again, which hopefully gave everyone an opportunity to figure out what they did wrong against the Tigers and learn to not do it anymore. Even as the Eternal Sports Optimist, this game feels a little like it has blowout potential (and not in our favor), so it would be good if the Gamecocks could get things clicking on all sides of the ball, because if they can’t, it might be a long night. That being said, I’m predicting they’ll win because that’s my role here, and I don’t take it lightly.
Kody: Man, I just don't know. I want to believe, but it's so hard to call for a South Carolina victory against Texas A&M -- much like Auburn, seeing is gonna have to lead to believing for me. Kellen Mond in particular seems to have the Gamecocks' number, and A&M's knack for chunk plays could spell trouble for a defense that has struggled to contain explosive playmakers. Of course, A&M's defense isn't too hot either, so USC might have some chances of its own to put points on the board. I could see it being a shootout early, but the Aggies' leveraging their superior firepower to pull away for a 34-20 type of win in the second half.