The South Carolina football team failed to produce offensively, leading to a 44-14 loss against Texas A&M. The high-powered Aggie team took advantage of every opportunity early on to put the game away long before it ended.
The game opened up to a hot start when Texas A&M’s junior wide receiver Ainias Smith took the first Gamecock punt 95 yards for the touchdown.
The first time the Aggies offense trotted out onto the field, Gamecock redshirt senior defensive back Jaylan Foster grabbed his fifth interception of the year. South Carolina entered the game ranked second in the SEC in interceptions and the team added to the total Saturday.
Texas A&M scored touchdowns on its next three drives from Gamecock punts and added a field goal on its final drive of the first half to make it 34-0.
The South Carolina offense struggled in the absence of sophomore quarterback Luke Doty. The Gamecocks punted the ball five times in the first half, seven times total, which gave Texas A&M every opportunity to make big plays early.
The Gamecocks finished the half with 11 total yards of offense and -11 yards on the ground. The team ran 21 plays compared to the Texas A&M 40 in the first half.
The Aggies opened the second half the same way they ended it, with a field goal from senior kicker Seth Small. Small was the hero in Texas A&M’s dethroning of then ranked #1 overall Alabama Crimson Tide two weeks prior.
The Gamecocks showed some fight on the next drive, after a nice third-down stop, redshirt senior defensive lineman M.J. Webb gets in and blocks the A&M field goal. Beamer’s special team's background is once again showing through as a bright spot for his Gamecock team.
Beamer, looking to help his team find some offensive identity, put in redshirt senior quarterback Jason Brown to start the fourth quarter.
The offense showed some life with Brown under center, but the damage on the scoreboard had already been done.
The Gamecocks finally broke through midway in the fourth quarter with a nine-yard rushing touchdown from redshirt freshman Marshawn Lloyd. The touchdown came following two costly Texas A&M penalties that put the Gamecocks inside the 10.
Brown threw an interception on his following drive, but the Gamecocks got the ball back with 1:49 on the clock. Brown led the team down the field to score with 12 seconds remaining to end the game on a positive note.
"Effort is not an issue, if I was in that locker room worried about guys playing hard I'd really be concerned but I'm not," South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer said following the loss.
Beamer's team finished with a mere 185 yards compared to Texas A&M's 477 yards.
"This is the most impressive group personnel-wise that we've played since Georgia," Beamer said of his opponent.
The Aggies were propelled by two 100+ yard performances from their backfield and a two-touchdown performance from their highly touted junior tight end Jalen Wydermyer. The 6-foot-5 junior's first two receptions went for scores as he finished with four receptions for 75 yards to add to the touchdowns.
A&M sophomore running back Devon Achane and junior Isaiah Spiller ran all over the Gamecock defense. Achane carried the ball 20 times for 154 yards and a touchdown and Spiller carried 18 times for 102 yards with a touchdown of his own.
Beamer said he is looking forward to a bye week.
"We've got to utilize this off week to get healthy and to get better. We've certainly got a lot of work to do," Beamer said.
South Carolina has a bye week next week but will host Florida at Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday, Nov. 6.