Grading Matchups Between Texas A&M Football and South Carolina
I think most people, coming into this game, consider Texas A&M football the more talented and skilled team between these two—hence why they are favored by so much, with the line only growing as we approach kickoff. That said, sometimes the more talented and skilled team doesn’t dominate in all phases; in other words, the specific matchups can dictate how a game goes. Let’s take a look at the specific matchups for this game.
Texas A&M Football vs. South Carolina: Gamecock Pass Game vs. Aggie Pass Defense
The Aggies have struggled this season with the deep passing game, and Spencer Rattler is skilled at throwing the long ball. On its face, this should be concerning; however, the Gamecocks have suffered several injuries at the receiver position that make this a bit better matchup for the Aggies. Additionally, the Maroon and White didn’t allow very much in the way of explosive passes against the Vols after moving Josh DeBerry to the nickel position. One player to watch here is the extremely talented freshman Nyck Harbor, who has been playing more for Carolina in recent weeks.
Advantage Score: Aggies by 3
Texas A&M Football vs. South Carolina: Gamecock Rush Game vs. Aggie Rush Defense
The Gamecocks have not exactly had a dominant ground attack thus far in the year, averaging less than 3 yards per carry overall. Part of that is because of the poor protection leading to sacks, which in turn counts against rushing totals, but it’s been tough sledding up front for the Gamecocks outside of one or two games. They looked like they may have found something against Tennessee and Florida, but against Missouri, they once again were unable to find purchase. The system that Carolina runs isn’t the kind that normally gives the Aggies issues, so I feel good about Texas A&M football here.
Advantage Score: Aggies by 5
Texas A&M Football vs. South Carolina: Gamecock OL vs. Aggie Pass Rush
I’ve been hammering this matchup all week: the Gamecocks are probably the worst pass-protecting team the Aggies have yet played, and they keep losing offensive linemen. This matchup, especially in the confines of Kyle Field, will be extremely unkind to the Gamecocks. Rattler is decent at evading pressure, but he’s not the most mobile guy; even if he does escape the pocket, though, the Aggies deal well with mobile quarterbacks. It’ll be a long day if the Gamecocks rely too heavily on straight up dropbacks.
Advantage score: Aggies by 5