Texas A&M Football vs. South Carolina Statistical Preview
This is a big game out of the bye for Texas A&M football. The Aggies are looking to avenge last year’s disastrous loss to the Gamecocks—a loss that, for my money, truly sent the team into a spiral. This year has shaped up quite differently for both the Aggies and the Gamecocks, and oddsmakers have the Aggies as a solid favorite here. Nevertheless, there is a huge contingent of Aggie fans who have no confidence in the offense for Texas A&M football, and are either predicting a close win or an outright loss. Let’s see what the numbers say about this game.
SP+ has Texas A&M Football Covering
SP+, my usual metric of choice, has the Aggies covering—but just barely. At home, Texas A&M football looks to be about two touchdowns better than the Gamecocks. This adds up, especially when you consider how well the Aggie defense has played at Kyle: of the four opponents Texas A&M football has welcomed into College Station this year, only Alabama has scored more than 10 points. This will also, per this same metric, be the worst Power 5 defense the Aggies have yet faced this year.
FEI Sees Texas A&M Football Winning by Same Margin
Brian Fremeau’s FEI ratings, premised on a net points per drive model, has the Aggies as 13.8 points better than the Gamecocks in this matchup—almost the exact same margin that SP+ has. In fact, it’s only a differential of .3 points between the two models. Fremeau sees the Aggies doing better defensively, though—whereas SP+ had this game at 34-20, FEI has the Ags scoring 32 and allowing 18 (so given the way football is scored, probably somewhere closer to 31-17).
CFB Graphs Highest on Texas A&M Football
Parker Fleming of CFB Graphs runs an EPA-based model that gives pretty in-depth previews of each facet of a team in a given matchup. His numbers have this as about as likely a win for the Aggies as you’ll see in a matchup between two P5 schools where one of them is not named Vanderbilt. From the graph Fleming generated, we can see that his numbers have this at about a 36-17 win for the Aggies; more importantly, though, we can see some of the biggest matchups and edges that the Aggies might have. This generally looks like a team against which the Aggies should have success running the ball (rushing success rate), and the Gamecocks are also very poor at limiting scoring opportunities (Eckel rate), while the Ags are very good at generating said opportunities. Unsurprisingly, it seems as though the best offense for the Gamecocks will be their passing game, though if Legette, Wells, and Brown are all out, Rattler may not have too many people to throw the ball to.