South Carolina and Texas A&M will play a football game Saturday night in College Station, Texas, but that doesn’t tell you with any real certainty which two teams will be competing.
Will the Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1 SEC) who handled N.C. State in the opener and throttled Missouri a week later take the field or will the group that needed all of Jake Bentley’s arm and Bryan Edwards’ talent and Parker White’s grit, plus some luck, to inch by Louisiana Tech come to the game?
What about the Aggies? Will it be the Texas A&M (3-1, 1-0) team that raced by UCLA in the first three quarters of the season to build a 34-point lead or the team that blew that lead in the next quarter? The team that struggled to beat Nichols or the one that scored 50 against Arkansas?
The team that brings its better self to the game Saturday is the team that will leave with a victory. Las Vegas odds makers believe that team will be Texas A&M. The Aggies are a 9.5-point favorite.
That makes sense considering Texas A&M averages 40.8 points per game, more than any team in the SEC other than Alabama. The Gamecocks are eighth in the SEC in scoring defense, allowing 20 points per game.
“There’s no question (the Aggies have the best offense South Carolina has seen this year),” Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp said. “You look at their numbers. They’ve been extremely explosive. They have a lot of explosive playmakers. They do a good job of getting their players who can make plays in space and make you tackle in space. I don’t think there’s any question that this is the most explosive offense we have faced all year.”
When the field is flipped, the teams are basically a statistical dead heat. Texas A&M is next-to-last in the SEC in scoring defense (allowing 30.8 ppg) while South Carolina is 12th in the SEC in scoring offense (24 ppg).
That being equal, the Aggies offense will be the difference.
Prediction: Texas A&M 31, South Carolina 24