The South Carolina Gamecocks were a heavy underdog against the #9 Texas A&M Aggies, but several missed opportunities were the story as they fell 24-13 in a game that was more competitive than it was projected to be.
It was a tight first half as the Gamecocks and Aggies went to the locker room tied at 7, thanks to a 75-yard scoring run by A.J. Turner on the game’s opening play from scrimmage and a Trevor Knight four-yard keeper just two and a half minutes into the contest. The Aggies, though, stretched their lead out of the locker room on a big Trayveon Williams 49-yard carry to make it 14-7 with less than four minutes played in the 3rd quarter.
Despite a missed field goal by Elliott Fry, his 43-yarder following an Aggies fumble made it 14-10, but after the Gamecocks failed to convert on a Chris Lammons pick, James White punched it in from two yards out with 11:40 to go to stretch the Aggie lead to 21-10. Another 43-yarder by Fry with 4:23 left made it 21-13, but the Gamecocks would get no closer as a muffed punt return by Jamarcus King with 3:20 left was the nail in the coffin. Daniel LaCamera nailed a 35-yard field goal with 1:41 left to set the game’s final margin.
For what it’s worth, the Gamecocks did a good job of limiting damage by the Aggies on the scoreboard, but their offense, along with some defensive lapses, did them in. Carolina allowed nearly 200 yards on the ground - 98 by Williams and 84 by Trevor Knight, with a TD each - while the Aggies’ defensive front didn’t allow McIlwain to scramble as much as he wanted to. Perry Orth entered midway through the 4th and, to his credit, was able to move the ball down the field a little more crisply despite the final margin.