This year’s matchup between Texas A&M and South Carolina seems to carry more excitement for Gamecock fans than it has in years. Obviously, a win snaps an 8 year drought against A&M. However, a win also pushes South Carolina into the Top 25 for the first time since 2018.
Texas A&M also appears far more vulnerable than they have in years, as they have already suffered three losses this season (one to App State). In the meantime, as fans eagerly await the showdown this saturday night, I have compiled a list of three potential outcomes after the clock hits zero Saturday Night.
South Carolina Wins By 17+
South Carolina finally conquers their early game struggles. They come out on a mission offensively, and Texas A&M isn’t able to slow them down. Carolina’s defense creates several turnonvers that turn into points.
By halftime, Carolina finds itself in excellent shape to win the ballgame. The Aggies score a couple of touchdowns in the second half, but the Gamecocks are able to answer. The Gamecocks come out on top big.
This outcome will occur if South Carolina comes out fired up, and A&M comes out flat. This idea is possible, since Texas A&M is on a two game losing streak, while Carolina is on a three game win streak (including a win against a ranked Kentucky team on the road).
On top of that, Carolina will more than likely be playing in front of a sold out crowd at night. Needless to say, the environment in Williams Brice will be nothing short of intimidating.
Texas A&M Wins By 21+
Texas A&M scores on their opening possession and doesn’t look back. The Aggies score on each possession, while the Gamecocks struggle early offensively. By the time halftime rolls around, A&M holds a commanding lead, while the Gamecocks only have a field goal or two on the board.
The Gamecocks score early to start the second half, but the Aggies answer. Afterward, South Carolina isn’t able to do much else, and starters are taken out midway through the third quarter.
This outcome seems all too familiar, as the Gamecocks have struggled against the Aggies for years now. If Carolina continues to have their annual issues with A&M, then this outcome can certainly happen. This outcome can also occur if the Gamecocks start slow offensively and are unable to make up for their struggles in the second half.
Long story short, the Gamecocks need to start strong or play lights out in the second half. If not, then I would expect a scoreline like this one,
South Carolina Wins By 3
Texas A&M goes up by two touchdowns early. Defensively, South Carolina makes several key stops. However, Carolina’s offense struggles in the first half and turns the ball over more than once. At halftime South Carolina is down by 11 and has not yet broken the plane.
In the second half, Carolina comes to life offensively, and early in the 4th quarter the Gamecocks score to go up by 3 points. The Gamecocks defense again steps up to the plate and prevents the Aggies from scoring. South Carolina ends up winning a close one.
This outcome will more than likely occur if Carolina continues their pattern of poor offensive play in the first half, but steps up in the second half (similar to the way they did against Kentucky). In order for the Gamecocks to win, their defense will really need to step up in this situation. Otherwise, A&M will put up too many points, and the Gamecocks simply will not be able to come back.
If Carolina fails to play a complete game in the first half, but goes balls to the wall in the second half, then they’ll squeak out a win.
Regardless of what the outcome could be, we really need to do our part as fans. I have mentioned this several times and I don’t believe I can stress it enough. Fans need to show up and really become a factor in this matchup, as it is arguably the most important home game so far.
Even if the Aggies go up early, fans need to stay in their seats. This Gamecock team has proven more than once that they can turn up in the second half.