It wasn’t pretty at times, but Texas A&M football got an important road win over South Carolina and extended the series winning streak to five.
Texas A&M football needed a win on Saturday to boost their confidence moving forward. They were actually favored to win on the road, but that probably won’t be the case when they take on Mississippi State or Auburn in the coming weeks.
They built a 16-0 lead and everything was looking good until South Carolina made adjustments and came storming back. For a while, it seemed as though the Aggies’ struggles in the red zone were going to come back and bite them in the butt.
Seth Small missed a 42-yard field goal, but then hit from 20, 32 and 39 when Jimbo Fisher’s offense settled rather than punching it in for six. Instead of building possibly a 27-0 lead that would have put the Gamecocks away, they allowed them to tie the game in the third quarter.
A&M went into the game thinking the Gamecocks would sell out to stop their rushing attack. That’s exactly what happened. Will Muschamp was sending blitzes on almost every play and trusting his elite pass defense in man coverage. It worked early, but the Aggies eventually found their footing and were able to move the ball.
The only problem was Texas A&M couldn’t punch it in when they got close. The play-calling when they got inside the 20 was interesting to say the least. Jimbo almost seemed afraid to run the ball in the traditional sense, choosing instead to try to beat South Carolina with outside and designed quarterback runs.
They also were looking to pass early and often, which was frustrating given how bad South Carolina’s run defense has been, but understandable given the Gamecocks’ game plan.
Still, despite the struggles, A&M did enough to win. That has been a theme for their last three games. This team is tough. They have learned how to close games. They won’t back down when they face adversity.
We already knew that much about them, but what else did we learn from the win? Here are four takeaways.