The Texas A&M Aggies held off the South Carolina Gamecocks to secure their third-straight SEC win, advancing to 5-2 on the season (3-1 in SEC play.) The Aggies led South Carolina 16-0 in the third quarter, however two touchdowns and two successful two-point conversions later, the Gamecocks tied it up. The Aggies responded with a field goal and a touchdown to ultimately win the game 26-23, coming away with another close one. This is a testament to the toughness of this team, something the Aggies will need to maintain moving forward in conference play.
The Takeaways from Saturday’s Game:
Once again, tight end Jace Sternberger led the Aggie offense in receiving with 145 yards on seven receptions (one of which was 53 yards after taking safety Steven Montac on a ride for an additional 25 yards.) Sternberger broke the Texas A&M record for touchdown catches by a tight end in a season with six and was recently named to ESPN’s Midseason All-American Team. Sternberger’s productivity on offense has been huge for the Aggies, however the Aggies need to get their receivers involved to threaten other conference rivals. Quartney Davis answered the call with 127 yards on nine receptions, surpassing his previous season high of 59. Moving forward, the other Aggie receivers must step up as Davis did against South Carolina to create the ultimate offensive threat.
Braden Mann has been a special teams weapon for the Aggies all season and earned the ESPN Midseason All-American Team recognition alongside Sternberger. The punter holds a 54.5-yard average, “which is on an FBS-record pace” according to ESPN.com, and he even forced a fumble against a South Carolina punt return. The Aggies are in good shape for the rest of the season with Mann on track to break the FBS record.
A key to success moving forward is maintaining control offensively, as the Aggies currently lead the SEC in time of possession with an average of 35:46. The Aggies had possession of the ball against South Carolina for 41:29 of the game and must stay in control to limit opposing offensive opportunities as well as keep the defense fresh throughout the rest of the season.
Following the win against South Carolina, the Aggies moved up to No. 17 in the AP Poll and are currently second in the SEC West, behind, you guessed it, Alabama. The Crimson Tide will be tough to catch, but Texas A&M has a legitimate chance at finishing the season in the top ten. The Aggies have a bye this upcoming weekend and two road games at Mississippi State and Auburn to follow. This A&M team has the potential to win both road games, which would put the Aggies at 7-2 with three straight home games to finish the season. The final game of the season against No. 5 LSU will be a test and will certainly be a deciding factor in the final SEC West standings. So far, the Aggies only have two losses to No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson, so picking up two road conference wins would put the Aggies in business for chasing a final ranking of top ten or higher.
The Aggies have two weeks to prepare for the road trip and will take on Mississippi State at 6:00 PM on October 27.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.