South Carolina]
South Carolina running back MarShawn Lloyd (1) celebrates with tight end Nate Adkins (44) after Lloyd's touchdown against Kentucky during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)

Bouncing Back from Byes: Texas A&M vs. South Carolina

Texas A&M and South Carolina are preparing for their ninth ever matchup against each other Saturday in Columbia. Both teams enter this SEC game eager to play after a bye week.


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The Gamecocks are coming into Saturday’s contest on a three-game win streak. In week six, the Aggies pulled off an impressive 24-14 upset against then No. 13 Kentucky.

After their performance, the Gamecocks left Lexington with head coach Shane Beamer named the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week, and Jovaughn Gwyn earning the honor of SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week.

The Gamecocks celebrated their first win on the road which improved their record to 4-2. However, it’s a feeling they couldn’t afford to linger on.

Beamer said that the squad had a strong week of practice coming off of the win but had to switch gears to the challenge ahead this weekend.


Before the bye week, the Aggies put up a valiant effort against Alabama although they ultimately fell short. The Aggies fell to the tide 24-20 in Tuscaloosa. They stand at 3-3 on the season but look to shift momentum with a win in Columbia.

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said the team got much-needed rest and time to prepare for South Carolina’s strong offensive line and special teams.


For Beamer, his concern was with the physicality of the Aggies’ defense. He said the Texas A&M defensive backs, including Antonio Johnson and Jaylon Jones, look like linebackers and can cause problems with their size and strength.

This concern is real and corroborated by Texas A&M’s second-ranked SEC pass defense.

While the Aggies’ defense has been solid, they need to put points on the scoreboard to be able to beat the Gamecocks. Offensive plays are something Fisher said was a focus in the bye week as Texas A&M is in last place in SEC points per game.

Changing the Narrative

The annual matchup between the Aggies and Gamecocks is fresh. With the first meeting being in 2014, it’s undoubtedly no Alabama and Tennessee game. It is, however, a game of growing importance.

Texas A&M has had complete domination over the short series history, but the record is a factor Fisher chooses to ignore. To him, the years should have no correlation.

Fisher says that each team is a totally different animal to take on and the record doesn’t impact the work that needs to be done. The Aggies enter Saturday looking to end their two-game losing streak but have yet to win on the road.

For Beamer, a win against South Carolina would not only end the Aggies’ undefeated series record but mark the first time the Gamecocks have won four straight games since 2017.

While the Aggie-Gamecock matchup may be a newly developing rivalry, it’s one that’s guaranteed to garner attention this weekend. Kickoff in Columbia is set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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