David Cloninger

‘Could be’ possibilities unlikely to happen for USC

Texas A&M has two Jadeveon Clowney clones at defensive end: Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall.
Texas A&M has two Jadeveon Clowney clones at defensive end: Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall. AP

The Gamecocks can’t run the ball due to an undersized starting freshman tailback and a line that has performed under half the lofty predictions set for it in preseason. Their freshman quarterback is still learning how to check down and throw the ball downfield, and their receivers don’t know how to help him out.

Texas A&M has two Clowney clones at defensive end, average over 76 plays per game on offense and will have their cadets doing pushups until they’re Mr. Olympia candidates.

USC has to try and slow the game down, keep its defense rested and the Aggies’ offense off the field, and somehow avoid Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall wanting to fix themselves a McIlwain Sandwich. If Brandon McIlwain can avoid them, hit quick passes in the flat and perhaps get one seam of running room up the middle, he can negate the pass-rush and move the offense.

The Gamecocks’ defense has been pretty solid this year but hasn’t faced anything like the Aggies’ receiving corps. And if Trevor Knight can’t hook up downfield, he’ll hand it to Trayveon Williams or run the ball himself. USC can’t stop it, but it can hope to slow it down and be strong in its tackling.

Those are all “could-be” possibilities. It simply doesn’t look like much of it will actually happen. USC is hoping to find some improvements, particularly on offense, and come out ready for Georgia next week.

This week … well . . .

TEXAS A&M 32, SOUTH CAROLINA 10

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