South Carolina’s Saturday game against Texas A&M will be its first trip to Kyle Field in its history and its first game in the state of Texas since 1976.
For fans, that means a chance to take in a new environment – if they are willing to make the 2,200-mile round trip. It is the second-longest road trip in the SEC, just barely bested by the trek Florida and Missouri fans must make.
We’ve put together a fan guide for Gamecocks fans who are wondering what makes the Aggies unique.
The 12th Man
Most of the east side of Kyle Field is filled with 30,000 students. They stand throughout the game as a symbol of readiness. The tradition started in 1922. The Aggies are known as the Home of the 12th Man and have fought in court to protect that distinction. The Seattle Seahawks recently changed most of their 12th Man branding to simply 12 to avoid infringing on the Aggies’ trademark.
Texas A&M students gather at Kyle Field the night before each home game for the “Midnight Yell” tradition. The students will practice their game day cheers and the then kiss their dates when the lights go out at the end. It generally draws more than 30,000 participants. The Aggies also take the tradition on the road. Last year, they did their Midnight Yell on the steps of the State House in Columbia.
Texas A&M does not have cheerleaders, they have “yell leaders”, five students who elected by the student body. The students, dressed in all-white uniforms, use hand signals to indicate which cheer is about to begin.
The ring is the thing for Texas A&M grads. It’s their “War Eagle” – a connection point that helps former students recognize each other. That’s another thing – Texas A&M has no alumni. They are called former students.
If You Go
Texas A&M provides game day information at www.gameday.12thman.com