In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, redshirt senior Keir Thomas said the Gamecocks need to stop the run game to beat Texas A&M on Saturday.
“We've got to stop the run, and that's a great opportunity — we've got a great opportunity here Saturday to go out and prove that we can stop the run," Thomas said.
In South Carolina's last game, a 52-24 loss against LSU, the Gamecocks gave up 276 rushing yards.
Thomas said he believes, to improve rush defense, it is straightforward. The team needs to "get the blocks in the front and make some plays."
Junior wide receiver Jalen Brooks, a transfer from Wingate, played his first game as a Gamecock against LSU and is confirmed to play again this Saturday.
"I feel just as confident as I was last week, maybe even a little bit more, but it's just fully knowing the position I'm at now, because I had to change positions, and just knowing the plays a little bit better," Brooks said.
Senior wide receiver Shi Smith has been a standout this season. Brooks said coaches are looking for who is going to be second to him.
"We've just got to build trust in order for the coaches to be able to trust us to call those plays and for us to even make those plays out there on game day," Brooks said.
Texas A&M's offense is expected to be a challenge for South Carolina on Saturday, according to junior defensive back Jaycee Horn. He said aspects of Texas A&M's offensive, such as having two tight ends and being considered a more pro-style than some of the other offensives in college football, is "not something you're really used to seeing in today's game" and that Saturday's game "is definitely going to have be a game [the team plays its] A-game in."
Defensive tackle Zacch Pickens said the team has been working on "snagging off" during the past bye week. Snagging off, in Pickens words, is "when you lock on and make sure nobody is coming through your gap, and you break off the ball."
Horn said defense is all a mindset and there's no special technique. The defense just has to want to get the block and want to make a tackle. He said that mindset wasn't apparent at the LSU game, and the team must come in with that mindset against Texas A&M.
Despite coming off a loss, Horn said the team still feels good and is confident going into Saturday's game.