COLUMBIA, S.C. - Texas A&M will try to stay perfect against South Carolina when the 22th-ranked Aggies visit the Gamecocks on Saturday for an SEC showdown. The Aggies have won all four of the previous meetings in the all-time series, which began in 2014.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: Texas A&M -2
The Aggies are coming off a 20-14 overtime win over Kentucky – their second consecutive narrow victory in SEC play and first triumph over a ranked opponent since 2016. To pick up their third straight win, they’ll have to deal with a South Carolina team that rallied around backup quarterback Michael Scarnecchia in his first career start for a 37-35 win over Missouri last week. The Gamecocks could turn back to Jake Bentley if his knee improves enough by Saturday, but Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher doesn’t expect either quarterback to make a big difference in the gameplan. “They’re not going to change the whole system,” Fisher told reporters. “What the guy did last week was very good and was very similar to what they did before. One guy may have more quarterback runs than the other. I think they’re much more similar than they are different. But both guys are excellent players.”
ABOUT TEXAS A&M (4-2, 2-1 SEC)
The Aggies are one of five FBS teams that rank in the top 25 in the nation in both total offense and total defense. Quarterback Kellen Mond has put up big numbers, passing for 1,447 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions while rushing for 230 yards and four scores, and Trayveon Williams has recorded seven TDs while averaging 120 yards on the ground. The Aggies’ defense has been excellent against the run, holding opponents to an SEC-best 82.5 rushing yards per game, and ranks second nationally in third-down defense as it has allowed conversions just 22.9 percent of the time.
ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (3-2, 2-2)
Whoever starts at quarterback for the Gamecocks will have a couple of dangerous receivers at their disposal in Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards, who have combined for eight touchdown receptions. South Carolina has had a tough time versus the run but has been outstanding against the pass and shut down Missouri’s Drew Lock in the second half last week. Like the Aggies, the Gamecocks have been excellent on third down, holding opponents to a 25 percent conversion rate - fourth-best in the nation.
1. Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger’s five touchdown receptions are tied for the most by an FBS tight end.
2. South Carolina has lost seven straight against ranked opponents since recording a victory over Tennessee in 2016.
3. The Aggies have scored at least 14 points in 33 consecutive games, the longest streak in the SEC and third-longest among Power 5 schools behind Oklahoma (46) and West Virginia (37).
PREDICTION: Texas A&M 31, South Carolina 27
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