The South Carolina Gamecocks mustered no resistance against the No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies despite their bye week, falling 48-3 on Saturday night in Columbia.
The Gamecocks went three-and-out on the game's opening possession, after some nice receptions by Shi Smith and an unfortunately dropped bomb to Jalen Brooks. Thankfully, it was no harm done, as USC forced A&M to go three and out as well.
However, the pass-happy Gamecocks punted once again -- this one shanked -- and it ultimately set up a 7-yard Ainias Smith touchdown run to post the Aggies to an early 7-0 lead. South Carolina continued struggling in the receiving game on its next possession, punting it away for a third time -- although backup quarterback Luke Doty was given some snaps.
After managing another defensive stop, the Gamecocks opened the second quarter with -- you guessed it -- a punt. The Aggies then went on a lengthy and productive drive, aided by a key Isaiah Spiller conversion on third and long, and capped with a 15-yard Jalen Wydermyer scoring reception to put the Aggies up 14-0.
South Carolina's situation went from bad to worse when Hill was immediately picked off on first down when trying to hit Xavier Legette deep in double coverage. (Seriously, did the staff forget that Kevin Harris or even ANY running back was on this team?) Fortunately, USC came up with a fourth down stop to insure the pick wouldn't come back to bite, but a promising drive (which included a 28-yard Harris run!) ended with a 44-yard Parker White field goal attempt that sailed wide left.
Not to be outdone, the Gamecock defense also turned in a horrendous end-of-half performance, yielding a 52-yard run to Spiller and then allowing another Wydermyer score with just 14 seconds left in the first stanza to give A&M a 21-0 halftime lead.
And honestly, look, I don't want to get into it too much, but -- things immediately got ugly for South Carolina in the third quarter. A&M quickly padded its advantage to 34-0, and tacked on another couple scores in the fourth quarter to go up 48-0 as Hill inexplicably continued to quarterback for the Gamecocks. Thankfully (?), South Carolina did avoid the shutout, falling 48-3.
The Gamecocks (2-4) travel to Ole Miss next week.