College Football
Preview
Texas A&M at South Carolina
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 1, 2016
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina

Texas A&M has plenty of reasons to believe October will be kinder this time around, beginning with its first opponent of the month. The 10th-ranked Aggies hope to avoid what has become their customary October swoon when they travel to South Carolina to face a struggling Gamecocks team Saturday.



South Carolina is coming off a 17-10 loss at Kentucky — its third straight loss to the Wildcats — and has had difficulty finishing off wins against Vanderbilt and East Carolina. Nonetheless, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin expects two constants with the Gamecocks and coach Will Muschamp — a stingy defense and a raucous crowd. “Defensively, there’s never been a Will Muschamp team that hasn’t been salty,” Sumlin told reporters. “It’s a great place to play. Their fans have a lot of passion and get loud. … Any time you go on the road in this league you better be ready to play.” The Aggies won 52-28 in their only previous trip to South Carolina in 2014 before claiming a 35-28 home win last season to take a 2-0 edge in the all-time series.

TV: 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: Texas A&M -17.5.



ABOUT TEXAS A&M (4-0, 2-0 SEC): The Aggies are the only team in the SEC and one of three in the nation who have passed and rushed for at least 1,000 yards, as they lead the SEC with 269.2 rushing yards per game. Texas A&M rolled up 366 rushing yards in last week’s 45-24 win over Arkansas with freshman running back Trayveon Williams and quarterback Trevor Knight leading the charge with more than 150 yards apiece. The defense was a liability a year ago but has been steady early this season with pass-rush specialist Myles Garrett leading a unit that is much-improved, especially against the run.

ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (2-2, 1-2): The Gamecocks have taken to Muschamp’s defensive philosophy, allowing a respectable 17.3 points per game and forcing six turnovers over the past two games. The offense has not been as effective, as freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain has not thrown an interception but has completed only 51.6 percent of his passes with two touchdowns. The ground game has been even worse, as the Gamecocks have averaged a paltry 2.95 yards per carry.



EXTRA POINTS

1. Texas A&M is seeking its third consecutive 5-0 start, a feat it hasn’t accomplished since 1939-41.

2. The Gamecocks rank second in the SEC and 10th in the nation in red-zone defense, allowing points on just 61 percent of drives inside the 20 while forcing turnovers on four of those occasions.

3. The Aggies have allowed only one touchdown of more than 15 yards while scoring 11 TDs of more than 20 yards.



PREDICTION: Texas A&M 37, South Carolina 16


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Texas A&M 4-0 W4 43.0 16.0 3-0 1-0 3-0 0-0 2-0
South Carolina 2-2 L1 14.2 17.2 1-0 1-2 1-2 0-0 1-2
Last Meeting
Texas A&M South Carolina
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/31/15 SOCAR 28 TAM 35 544 321 223 445 253 192
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Texas A&M K. Murray 71.4 223 1 0
South Carolina P. Orth 62.5 192 0 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Texas A&M K. Murray 20 156 7.8 1
South Carolina B. Wilds 17 128 7.5 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Texas A&M R. Seals-Jones 6 88 14.7 0
South Carolina H. Hurst 1 47 47.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Texas A&M T. Carson 1
South Carolina B. Wilds 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Texas A&M T. Knight 53.2 1055 7 2
South Carolina B. Mcllwain 51.6 533 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Texas A&M T. Williams 40 389 9.7 3
South Carolina A. Turner 47 157 3.3 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Texas A&M J. Reynolds 17 370 21.8 3
South Carolina B. Edwards 17 223 13.1 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Texas A&M T. Knight 5
South Carolina B. Mcllwain 2
Quickchart Matchup
Texas A&M Texas A&M Off vs  South Carolina South Carolina Def
Texas A&M 545.8 yards
South Carolina 399.2 yards
Texas A&M 7 yards/rush
South Carolina 4.7 yards/rush
Texas A&M 7.2 yards/attempt
South Carolina 6.2 yards/attempt
South Carolina South Carolina Off vs  Texas A&M Texas A&M Def
South Carolina 282.8 yards
Texas A&M 390.8 yards
South Carolina 3 yards/rush
Texas A&M 3.2 yards/rush
South Carolina 6 yards/attempt
Texas A&M 6.4 yards/attempt