Oct. 1, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 9/10 Texas A&M (5-0, 3-0 SEC) picked up a hard-fought 24-13 win on the road at South Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The Aggies posted a touchdown on their first drive of each half, with Trayveon Williams scoring on a 49-yard scamper to start the third quarter and hand Texas A&M a lead it would never relinquish.
Later in the third quarter, senior Darius English forced a fumble on his sack of Aggie quarterback Trevor Knight, and senior Chris Moody returned it 20 yards deep into Texas A&M territory. From there, the Gamecocks cut the lead to 14-10 on senior Elliott Fry's 43-yard field goal.
Texas A&M posted its third touchdown on its first possession of the fourth quarter. James White punctuated the 52-yard drive with his two-yard dive into the end zone, making it 21-10 Aggies. Fry again brought the Gamecocks closer with a 43-yard field goal, bringing the Gamecocks within a score at 21-13. Daniel LaCamera put the game out of reach with a 35-yard field goal to put a cap on the scoring, 24-13.
Both teams got off to a hot start, the Gamecocks striking first on freshman A.J. Turner's 75-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. The Aggies answered just over two minutes later when Knight capped the 75-yard drive with a four-yard run. Knight went 5-for-5 on the drive in the air, including hitting Jeremy Tabuyo for receptions of 33 and 18 yards.
Neither team scored the rest of the half, however. The Gamecocks did control the ball for nearly 17 minutes in the first half.
After the Gamecock defense forced a punt with 3:20 left, the Gamecocks muffed the punt reception, giving the Aggies back the ball that turned into the field goal that put the game out of reach.
The Gamecock defense held Texas A&M to 422 yards and 24 points, both the Aggies' lowest output of the season.
Perry Orth came off the bench and went 11-for-18 in the fourth quarter, throwing for 138 yards.
Turner went for 113 yards on 10 carries, his career-best day, including his longest run of 75 yards that gave the Gamecocks their only lead of the day. He also caught four passes for 22 yards.
Freshman Rico Dowdle ran for 47 yards on nine carries, providing a spark off the bench.
Hurst made five catches for 90 yards, tops on the team.
Junior D.J. Smith led South Carolina with nine tackles, eight of those solo stops, including one tackle for loss.
Quoting Head Coach Will Muschamp
They got a really good football team. I'm really proud of our guys and the way they competed in the game. They continued to fight and battle, and we were just having a hard time with explosive plays offensively to create some vertical balls. Defensively, third downs really hurt us in the game with us not getting off the field. We had to play tighter coverage at times. I was disappointed in that, but our guys fought hard. We're not in this for a consolation prize. We're in this to win, and that's the bottom line. We want to win now, and do what we need to do. I thought we made a lot of improvements from last week, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I give those guys credit, they made plays when they needed to. We came up short, but I'm really proud of our effort and how we competed. I want to thank our crowd because it was a great environment.
The Gamecocks continue the five-game home stand next Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against Georgia. The SEC Network will show the game live.
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