South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer and his Gamecock team were in desperate need of a win on the road against the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday as they continued their upward climb toward bowl eligibility.
The Gamecocks came out with a fire on defense that hadn’t been seen all year. Three sacks and five quarterback hits through two drives led to 0 points for Texas A&M, and the Gamecocks scored on a 4th-and-goal carry from DK Joyner.
Some of Carolina’s defensive issues (run fits, unwise man coverage matchups, etc.) came to the forefront in the 2nd quarter as Texas A&M tied things up. The issues continued showing up but only after the Gamecock offense and special teams left the defense with short fields for the rest of the half, resulting in two more scores for the home team.
The second half was a much slower-paced affair due to a high number of injuries and official reviews. The play on the field was close to even after the halftime intermission, but because of the halftime deficit, that was not enough for the Gamecocks.
The defense was much better in the later parts of the game, holding the Aggies to three field goals and no touchdowns in the second half.
Just when it seemed as if the Gamecocks had some hope for a comeback win, a low snap on 4th down led to South Carolina football turning the ball over on downs in Texas A&M territory. The ensuing drive saw A&M kick a field goal, but the Gamecocks dropped back-to-back passes on 3rd and 4th down on their next chance, officially extinguishing their chances of a comeback.
Even though they missed another field goal try, A&M sealed the victory with a drive that brought the clock to three minutes. Carolina gave it right back with a fumble, and the Bonham Trophy stayed in College Station with the Aggies as South Carolina football lost their fourth straight game.
The Gamecocks were outplayed by more than the 13-point margin on the scoreboard, but Shane Beamer’s team will need to take the “momentum” gained from a more competitive 2nd half and try to translate it into November success.
The Gamecocks will play four games at Williams-Brice Stadium in the next month against Jacksonville State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Clemson. They must win them all to reach the 6-win bowl-eligibility threshold.
South Carolina football will take on the “other” Gamecocks of Jacksonville State next week at 12:00 on ESPNU and the ESPN app.