Gamecocks fail to snap losing streak vs. Texas A&M
Just like last week, South Carolina staged a furious third quarter rally. Unlike last week, it fell short as the Gamecocks fell 26-23 to Texas A&M in front of an announced crowd of 76,871 in Williams-Brice Stadium.
South Carolina (3-3 overall, 2-3 SEC) fell to 0-5 all-time against Texas A&M. The No. 22 Aggies improved to 5-2 and 3-1 on the season. The Gamecocks have now lost eight straight to ranked opponents. They are 1-8 alltime under head coach Will Muschamp against ranked opponents.
The Gamecocks returned to starting quarterback Jake Bentley after Bentley missed last week’s 37-35 win over Missouri. Bentley finished 17-of-35 for 223 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He was plagued by dropped passes, two by Shi Smith and one each by Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards and Kiel Pollard. The passes to Samuel and Edwards would have led to big gains in the first half.
Texas A&M appeared to put the game away on a 3-yard touchdown run by Trayveon Williams to go ahead 26-16 with 1:36 remaining, but South Carolina went 75 yards in 48 seconds to pull back within one score on a 6-yard touchdown catch by Deebo Samuel that cut the Aggies lead to 26-23. The Gamecocks ensuing onside kick attempt failed.
Texas A&M outgained South Carolina 477-299.
Star of the game: Texas A&M tight end Jace Sternberger had a career-high seven catches for 145 yards and one touchdown. He converted a third-and-7 late in the fourth quarter with a 23-yard grab.
Play of the game: The Gamecocks tied the game at 16-16 in the third quarter on a 33-yard scoring pass to Chavis Dawkins off a flea flicker. The trick play didn’t fool the Texas A&M defender, but Dawkins made a leaping grab at the goal line for his first catch of the season and first touchdown of his career.
Stat of the game: South Carolina outscored Texas A&M 16-3 in the third quarter. In its last four games, it has outscored opponents 50-3 in the third quarter.
Keep away: Texas A&M dominated time of possesion in the game. The Aggies held the ball for 41:29, compared to South Carolina’s 18:31.
Injury update: South Carolina announced before the game that safety Nick Harvey would miss the game due to a concussion. Safety Steven Montac didn’t play on the decisive drive of the fourth quarter, but it was unclear if Montac was injured or had been replaced for other reasons. Safety Jamyest Williams left the field with an injury with less than two minutes remaining. Defensive tackle Keir Thomas left the game with an injury with 1:36 left.
Rough start: Bentley was booed several times in the first half. He finished the half 6-of-17 for 46 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. However, he responded by leading an 82-yard touchdown drive on South Carolina’s first possession of the second half.
Who: South Carolina vs. Tennessee
When: Saturday, Oct. 27, Time TBA
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC