The South Carolina Gamecocks rallied from 16 points down to level things with the Texas A&M Aggies, only to fall short, 26-23, at Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday.
South Carolina’s offense reverted to its inconsistent ways in the first half, managing just 102 yards with listless play from quarterback Jake Bentley and his receiving corps.
Bentley, who returned to the lineup after missing the Missouri game with a knee injury, completed just six passes in the opening 30 minutes. His receivers shared some of the blame, as Deebo Samuel, Bryan Edwards and Shi Smith all cost the Gamecocks sure chunk plays with costly drops.
South Carolina’s defense held tight through the first half and much of the game, but failed to make key plays on wide receiver Quartney Davis (nine catches, 127 yards) and tight end Jace Sternberger (seven catches, 145 yards).
USC gained some offensive momentum with a pair of touchdowns and two-point conversions on its first two drives of the second half, where Bentley completed eight-of-11 passes for two scores to even the ledger.
Texas A&M then converted two scoring drives, holding the ball for all but 2:43 in the final period. Trayveon Williams, held mostly in check by the standard he set last week against Kentucky, punched in the soul-crushing final touchdown from three yards out with 1:36 to play.
South Carolina put together a last-gasp drive to try an pull out a miracle finish, but couldn’t recover an onside kick following Jake Bentley’s touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel with 48 seconds to play.
Gamecocks Head Coach Will Muschamp after the game lamented on a result riddled with all-too-familiar problems on South Carolina’s side:
Head Coach Will Muschamp
QB Jake Bentley
DL Javon Kinlaw
— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) October 14, 2018
South Carolina (3-3, 2-3 SEC) now has an open week before hosting Tennessee on October 27th. The Volunteers earned an upset victory over Auburn Saturday, and host Alabama before coming to Columbia.