South Carolina plays Texas A&M on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know about the game.
▪ Who: South Carolina (2-2, 1-2 SEC) vs. Texas A&M (4-0, 2-0 SEC)
▪ When: 4 p.m. Saturday
▪ Where: Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250), Columbia
▪ Series history: Texas A&M leads 2-0
▪ TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal, play-by-play; Matt Stinchcomb, analysis; Olivia Harlan, sideline)
▪ Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Langston Moore, sideline)
▪ Satellite radio: Sirius 126/XM 192
▪ Line: Texas A&M by 18
▪ Weather: Sunny, with a high near 83.
What’s at stake
South Carolina is playing its fourth SEC opponent in five games and the first of five straight at home. Those five games include four SEC games and a fifth contest against Massachusetts. The last time South Carolina had five-straight home games was in 1988 when the Gamecocks opened the season against North Carolina, Western Carolina, East Carolina, Georgia and Appalachian State.
The Gamecocks are looking for their first win in three tries against the Aggies. The two teams were named “permanent” SEC cross-division rivals after A&M and Missouri were added to the league.
Welcome back, lettermen
Will Muschamp and South Carolina are inviting all former football lettermen to participate in the Gamecock Walk on Saturday. Football lettermen who wish to participate are asked to meet Assistant Gamecock Club Director Kendall Belk and former players Moe Brown and Courtney Leavitt behind the Premium South area in Gamecock Park by 1:15 pm. The team buses are scheduled to arrive near that area at approximately 1:40 pm. The lettermen will follow the team to Williams-Brice Stadium as part of the traditional Gamecock Walk.
Curing Kids Cancer game
For the fourth year in a row, the Gamecocks and Curing Kids Cancer will team up to promote that September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Founded in 2005, Curing Kids Cancer has raised more than $8 million to fund new childhood cancer treatments and pediatric cancer research.
Did you know?
South Carolina has two players who are from Texas: senior placekicker Elliott Fry and true freshman walk-on defensive back Morgan Vest. Fry hails from Frisco, Texas, located north of Dallas, about 200 miles from College Station. Vest is from Leander, Texas, and Rouse High School, about 110 miles west of College Station.
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds Rush/Game
Opp. Yds Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds/Game
South Carolina players to watch
1. Freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain makes his third start and second at home. McIlwain, in his first road start at Kentucky, completed 15-of-30 passes for 177 yards. On the season he’s 47-of-91 passing for 533 yards and two touchdowns.
2. Sophomore tight end Hayden Hurst has emerged as one of the Gamecocks’ most reliable targets, leading the team with 19 receptions. He had a career-high 84 yards against Kentucky and has 212 yards on the season.
3. Senior defensive end Darius English is coming off a career high eight tackles and three sacks in a single game in the loss to Kentucky. USC’s defense has had four sacks in two straight games.
4. True freshman running back Rico Dowdle, who has battled a groin injury since the summer, is expected to play in some capacity Saturday. That could mostly happen on special teams. Dowdle posted 2,545 yards and 51 touchdowns as a quarterback his senior season of high school.
Texas A&M players to watch
1. Graduate transfer quarterback Trevor Knight hasn’t been the paradigm of efficiency, but he’s done enough. He’s got 1,055 passing yards, seven scores and two interceptions with a completion percentage of 53.2.
2. Senior wide receiver Josh Reynolds has been the Aggies’ most efficient passing target, catching 17 passes for 370 yards (a team high) and a pair of scores despite ranking third on the team in targets. The team averages 15.4 yards each time it throws the ball to him.
3. The Aggies’ defensive line has several players who can destroy an offense’s world, but junior defensive end Myles Garrett stands above the rest. The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder, who could be the top pick in next year’s draft, is freakishly athletic and boasts three sacks, five tackles for loss and six QB hurries.
4. True freshman tailback Trayveon Williams has 389 yards, more than USC’s McIlwain, A.J. Turner and David Williams combined. The Aggies have three rushers above 200 yards: Knight, Williams and junior transfer Keith Ford.
Projected South Carolina depth chart
Our projection of the South Carolina football depth chart for Saturday.
WR – SAMUEL (Googer)
WR – J. SMITH (Banks)
WR – EDWARDS (Dawkins)
LT – ZANDI (Young)
RG – HELMS (Farrell or Bailey)
C – KNOTT (Knott)
LG – BAILEY (Farrell or Knott)
RT – PARK (Young)
TE – HURST (Crosby)
QB – McILWAIN (Orth)
RB – TURNER (Williams)
DE – LEWIS (Wonnum)
DT – STALLWORTH (Thomas)
DT – JONES (Griffin)
DE – ENGLISH (Sawyer)
SLB – ALLEN-WILLIAMS (Holloman)
MLB – WALTON (Holloman)
WLB – HOLLOMAN (Allen-Williams)
CB – LAMMONS (Fenton)
S – D. SMITH (Montac)
S – ELDER (Moody)
CB – KING (Fenton)
NICK – FENTON (Diggs)
PK – FRY (Charlton)
P – KELLY (Charlton)
LS – DR. WILLIAMS (McGriff)
KR – TURNER (Fenton)
PR – FENTON (Lammons)
H – KELLY