A physical play on an on-target pass from Johnson to Thomas broke up the attempt, and a second-down carry by Amari gained about three yards, bringing up third and 7. A short pass on a drag route to Evan Stewart resulted in 4th and 5, and the Aggies punted.
Great pressure by Bryce Anderson resulted in an aimless throw by Rattler and an intentional grounding penalty. A short run by Rattler picked up 2, bringing up 3rd and 22. A well-read screen on third down by Edgerrin Cooper was stopped for minimal gain, despite the fact that he was being blocked by three Gamecocks. Texas A&M football took over with their best field position of the day, starting at their own 45.
Rueben Owens picked up 2 on the first carry of the drive. Another short pass to Evan Stewart gained another 3, bringing up a third and five that resulted in the first third down conversion of the day for the Aggies, on a long pass to Stewart. A hands to the face penalty by Jordan Strachan added 15 yards, taking the Aggies down to the 20 yard line. Another short handoff to Owens went nowhere, and a play action rollout garnered about 5 on a pass to Max Wright. A handoff to Owens was well-blocked this time, and 2 ran untouched into the end zone to tie the game.
The Gamecocks began their drive with a sweep handoff to Harbor that was well-played by the Ags. On a second-down rollout, Bryce Anderson very nearly intercepted Spencer Rattler, bringing up 3rd and 10. Huge pressure on third down resulted in another throw away by Rattler that qualified for grounding, and the Aggies had yet another three and out defensively. Texas A&M football took over in their own territory.
Another target to Stewart yielded another completion, picking up 6 on first down. The Gamecocks heavily blitzed the middle on a second down handoff, moving the Ags back by a yard; the ensuing third and five resulted in a pass under pressure to Ainias, who was again just barely short. Yet again, though, the Aggies went for it with a QB sneak and converted. A few short runs garnered nothing, but a long pass to Ainias got the Aggies down within the five. Texas A&M football tried to bully ball a bit, but it didn’t yield anything until third down, when Amari Daniels took it in for a touchdown from 1 yard out.
Rattler delivered under pressure on first down, picking up a first down on a pass to TE Trey Knox. Pressure again on the ensuing play caused an errant throw. Another pass under duress resulted in Rattler’s third grounding penalty of the first half, bringing up third and 22. Rattler held onto it on third down, but Fadil Diggs got home for the Aggies’ fourth sack of the day. A good punt by Carolina was diluted by a kick-catch interference call, moving Texas A&M football into their own territory with about 1:05 to play in the half. It only took 12 seconds, however, as a wide open Ainias Smith caught the ball in the open field, eluded several tacklers, and brought the ball into the end zone.
The Gamecocks pretty much went nowhere on their final three plays, but Jimbo applied pressure by using timeouts—a huge change in philosophy from the previous two weeks. Texas A&M football took the lead into the half, 21-7.