The essential details (and more) for South Carolina’s game against Texas A&M on Saturday.
▪ Who: South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) at Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2)
▪ When: Saturday, Noon (11 a.m. local time)
▪ Where: Kyle Field (102,733) in College Station, Texas
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▪ TV: SEC Network, with Tom Hart and Andre Ware in the booth and Laura Rutledge on the sidelines
▪ Radio: 107.5 The Game
▪ Satellite radio: Sirius 83/XM 190
▪ Line: Texas A&M by 16
▪ Series history: Texas A&M leads 1-0
▪ Last week: USC had its open week after defeating Vanderbilt the prior weekend. The Aggies lost 23-3 at Ole Miss while putting up only 192 yards of total offense. Texas A&M has lost its last two games by a total of 38 points.
▪ Weather report: Showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. High near 80. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.
▪ Uniform report: South Carolina will wear all white. Texas A&M will wear all black.
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
South Carolina and Texas A&M are considered “permanent” opponents by the SEC, but this is the Gamecocks’ first trip to College Station. In fact, this will be USC’s first trip into the Lone Star State since 1976. The Gamecocks are 1-3 when playing in Texas, defeating the Longhorns in 1957, while losing twice at Baylor (1949 and 1976) and once at Houston (1973). Carolina is 3-5 all-time against teams from Texas, going 1-2 against Baylor and Houston, 1-0 against Texas and 0-1 against Texas A&M.
13: South Carolina’s rank in the SEC in total offense (353.4 yards per game) and total defense (414.3 yards given up per game).
39: Years since USC played a football game in Texas. The Gamecocks lost to Baylor in 1976.
26-9: Combined record of USC’s final five opponents, with the Aggies at 5-2.
31.7: Points per game from A&M, despite just three at Ole Miss last week.
$5: Price of a commemorative 12th Man towel at A&M, with all proceeds going to South Carolina flood relief. A&M athletic director Eric Hyman, who served seven years at USC, helped with the idea.
1. TWO IN A ROW?
Shawn Elliott’s searching for his second win in his second try and will try to do it on the road, while hoping Texas A&M plays a lousy game for the second week in a row. The Aggies denied reports of a locker-room flare-up but surely didn’t look interested in their last game, a loss to Ole Miss. Will they take it out on USC?
2. IT’S MY SHOW
Perry Orth will start and stay in as long as he’s effective (or perhaps not, since Connor Mitch and Lorenzo Nunez may not be at full health). Elliott has promised shakeups to the formations and that Orth may tuck and run a few times. Orth has been solid as a passer but has yet to really break through as a field general.
Kyle Allen struggled last week while Kyler Murray was benched. If the starting quarterback (Murray) can take advantage of the short underneath routes USC has consistently not defended, struggles will be quickly shaken. Your scheme is calling, Jon Hoke.
4. HI, MOM!
Texan Elliott Fry has been USC’s most consistent source of offense and leads the country in field-goal attempts. He’ll be playing in front of many family and friends and may be often called upon, if USC still can’t solve the red zone. Hey, Kyle Markway got a catch when he went home to Missouri.
5. THINK ABOUT DONATING
The Aggies will sell commemorative towels for flood relief and direct a canned food drive for the game, but fans may also want to contribute to The Zeus Compton Calaway Save the Animals Fund, a branch of A&M’s veterinary school. It was designed to help pay for expensive operations for large dogs, and was created by Mark Calaway, known professionally as “The Undertaker.”
A&M PLAYERS TO WATCH
1. Texas A&M has a talented group of receivers and Christian Kirk leads the way. He is the team leader in catches with 41, yards with 625 and touchdowns with four.
2. Myles Garrett is one of the most dominant defensive ends in the nation. Through seven games he has 13.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He also has seven quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles.
3. Defensive back Armani Watts leads the Aggies in tackles with 69. That’s 23 more than anyone else on the team.
SOUTH CAROLINA DEPTH CHART
WR – NEAL (Belton)
WR – P. COOPER (Heard)
WR – GOOGER OR HURST OR JEFFERY
LT – SHELL (Pellage)
LG – MATULIS (Park)
C – KNOTT (Bailey)
RG – SPORT (Stanley)
RT – ZANDI (Camper)
TE – ADAMS (August, Markway)
QB – ORTH (Mitch, Scarnecchia, Nunez)
FB – BEDENBAUGH
TB – WILDS (Williams, Carson)
DE – D. JOHNSON (Whitlow, English)
DT – SAWYER (Stallworth, Griffin)
NT – DUKES (Dixon Jr., Lamin)
DE – LEWIS (Dixon, C. Cooper)
MLB – HOLLOMAN (Allen-Williams)
WLB – MOORE (Walton)
SLB – BRYANT (Hawkins)
SPUR – GURLEY (Sasser)
LCB – HARRIS (Lammons)
FS – I. JOHNSON (Moody)
SS – DIGGS (D. Smith)
RCB – MCWILLIAMS (Fenton, J. Smith)
KO – ARD (Fry)
PK – FRY (Ard)
P – KELLY (Almond)
KR – FENTON (Talley)
PR – P. COOPER
SN – DR. WILLIAMS (McGriff)
H – KELLY (Ard)