South Carolina has backed itself into a corner by dropping three of its last four games since upsetting Georgia. If the Gamecocks are to go bowling for a fourth consecutive season, they’ll need to knock off Texas A&M at the home of the 12th man as double-digit underdogs.
The season outlook was dampened by a season-opening loss to North Carolina before hopes were renewed with an overtime victory in Athens. But the euphoria over beating the previously unbeaten Dawgs was a brief respite from the stark reality that this Gamecocks team is wildly inconsistent. The offense put up 31 first downs and 459 yards against Alabama, but just 14 points the following week at Missouri. The defense limited Georgia to 17 points in four quarters and overtime before surrendering 38 points at home to Florida in a rainstorm. After you mix it all together, you get a team searching for answers and needing wins against two quality opponents to claw back to .500 by seasons end. The players are surprised, as well. Linebacker Ernest Jones said, “If you would have told me before the season that we’d be 4-6, I would have called you crazy.”
The Gamecocks kick off in College Station, Texas, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday. Texas A&M is a 10.5-point favorite.
Wide receiver Bryan Edwards
Linebacker Ernest Jones
Linebacker Sherrod Greene