Michael Scarnecchia ready to contribute as needed vs. Texas A&M
South Carolina comes home to Williams-Brice Stadium to take on the Texas A&M Aggies before an off week. Here’s what you need to know about the game:
Who: Texas A&M (4-2, 2-1 SEC) at South Carolina (3-2, 2-2)
When: 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)
Series history: The Aggies lead the series 4-0. The first meeting was in 2014, an upset that knocked USC off a perch as a preseason top-10 team
TV: SEC Network (Taylor Zarzour, play-by-play; Matt Stinchcomb, analysis; Kris Budden, sideline)
Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Langston Moore, sideline) ... See all the radio affiliates around the state here.
Satellite radio: Sirius 105/XM 190
Line: Texas A&M by 2
Weather: Sunny, with a high near 75. Temperature should be around 75 at kickoff, 70 by the time the game ends. Chance of rain will be less than 5 percent.
What’s at stake
With the Missouri win, South Carolina has the inside track to at least making a bowl. A win against the Aggies would give the Gamecocks a great chance at seven wins and a decent one at eight if they take care of business.
The question also looms as to how Jake Bentley looks coming off missing a game with a knee injury. He’ll be facing a well-coached defense with a lot of talent.
The Aggies are looking for more proof of concept in Jimbo Fisher’s first season. They’ve got four wins, and still have Mississippi State, Auburn and LSU on the schedule. Another win would help before that stretch run.
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds Rush/Game
Opp. Yds. Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds/Game
South Carolina players to watch
1. USC quarterback Jake Bentley is on track to start and is once more a question mark after missing the past game with a knee injury. Without him, Michael Scarnecchia threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns, leading USC on a game-winning drive.
2. Top South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel had probably his best game of the season against the Tigers, and he might have a good chance to do more damage. He has 26 catches for 294 yards and a pair of scores, and Texas A&M has been prone to allowing big plays.
3. Junior linebacker T.J. Brunson has had a rough go of things of late, struggling with gap control along with the rest of USC’s defense. He’ll be tested by Trayveon Williams, a 200-pound bull averaging 120 yards a game. Brunson has 30 tackles, 3 1/2 for loss and one pass break-up on the season.
Texas A&M players to watch
1. Junior running back Trayveon Williams leads the SEC in rushing yards and is second in the conference in touchdowns. The 5-foot-9, 200-pound back possess both impressive speed and a tough running style that could spell trouble given how both Missouri and Kentucky were able to impose their will at times along the line of scrimmage against USC.
2. Junior tight end Jace Sternberger has a nose for the end zone — he has five touchdowns in six games for A&M. The 250-pounder also leads the Aggies in receiving yards and will likely be a matchup nightmare for a Gamecocks secondary that has struggled to find stability at the safety position.
3. Senior defensive back Donovan Wilson has already twice been ejected for targeting this season, yet he is still one of the Aggies top tacklers, has one of A&M’s two interceptions on the year and can terrorize teams behind the line of scrimmage and in the open field. Were it not for an injury last season, he would likely be in the NFL right now. As it is, he is a volatile, explosive player who could hurt Carolina, or his own team.
South Carolina depth chart
OR Ty’Son Williams
OR A.J. Turner
Greg Hadley contributed to this report