The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: Gamecock football beats Texas A&M for first time in program history

The South Carolina football team dominated Texas A&M in its most recent game, starting off with a powerful first quarter. South Carolina defeated the Aggies 30-24 in a back-and-forth game on Oct. 22, 2022.  

South Carolina football snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Texas A&M Aggies in front of a sold-out Williams-Brice Stadium in its 30-24 victory Saturday night. 

"We've won four straight for the first time since 2013, we just beat Kentucky on the road two weeks ago up in Lexington for the first time since 2012, we just beat Texas A&M for the first time ever," head coach Shane Beamer said. 

In the game's opening kickoff return, senior wide receiver Xavier Legette scored a 100-yard touchdown, tying the second-longest in kick return in Gamecock football history. 

Just minutes later, an interception by redshirt senior defensive back Darius Rush led to a South Carolina field goal that pushed the lead to 10-0 and increased the team's momentum early on.

"The gameplan, number six is a good running back, slithery guy so containing him was one of the biggest things we needed to do as a defense," junior edge Jordan Burch said. "The secondary that we are, the way we improve each week and we just executed on the back end." 

Gamecock fans brought energy and noise to Williams-Brice Stadium and helped the team play a passionate game. The atmosphere contributed to multiple Texas A&M offensive miscues — the visitors had eight false start penalties in the game.

The Gamecock defense kept the momentum going throughout the first half. A bad Texas A&M snap led to a fumble that was recovered by junior defensive lineman Tonka Hemingway, lighting a fire of emotion under the team.  

Graduate student running back Christian Beal-Smith made his return to the field after missing the Kentucky game due to an injury. He recorded eight carries for 12 yards and scored a touchdown.

Texas A&M, led by sophomore quarterback Haynes King, gained momentum by the half and was closing the lead. In the second half, South Carolina scored 13 points to maintain its advantage. 

King showed his strength and tested South Carolina’s defense with 178 yards passing and one touchdown. 

The defense was the star of the show and a key factor in the game’s success. Rush led the team in tackles with eight followed by Burch with seven. Things got chippy near the end and both teams participated in some pushing and shoving. 

"There was a lot of grit going into that game and that's a game that we took very personal," Burch said. "We haven't beat those guys in a while so its always a first for everything."

The Gamecock defense proved to be a game-changer, earning critical stops throughout the close game and leading the Aggies in tackles 62-54.  

Redshirt sophomore MarShawn Lloyd steered the offense toward victory with two touchdowns and 92 rushing yards. 

"Emotions were high, this is what we came here to do. South Carolina is on the rise and just being able to do it in front of this amazing atmosphere, the emotions were very high," Lloyd said. "We're just blessed to be able to play in front of these fans."

Next up, the Gamecocks 5-2 (2-2 SEC) will host the Missouri Tigers 3-4 (1-3 SEC) on Oct. 29 for South Carolina's homecoming game. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium. 


Trending Now

Send a Tip Get Our Email Editions