On the same Kyle Field at Texas A&M, where two weeks ago thousands of fans stormed the field after the Aggies beat Alabama, USC was stormed, trampled and thrashed by the 17th ranked Aggies Saturday night 44-14. USC is now 0-8 all-time against the Aggies.
The game started badly for the Gamecocks, and it never got better.
Ainas Smith returned a punt ninety-five yards for a touchdown on the sixth play of the game, and the Aggies scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions, to build a 28-0 lead by early in the second quarter. They added a field goal at the end of the quarter for a 31-0 halftime lead.
In the first 30 minutes of the game, the Aggies outgained the Gamecocks 268-11. The Gamecocks actually went backwards in the second quarter, to the tune of minus 23 yards.
Much like the early season meeting with Georgia, the Gamecocks were overmatched in every phase of the game. The offensive line could not block the Aggies up front, thus quarterback Zeb Noland had no time to throw, and the backs had nowhere to go.
Defensively for USC, A&M’s offensive line reset the line of scrimmage on practically every running play, and quarterback Zach Calzada had ample time to locate open receivers. And when a Gamecock defender had a chance to make a play, more often than not he came up empty.
Simply put, this was an absolute mismatch from the moment the teams ran out of the tunnels to start the game, further evidence of just how far the Gamecocks must go to be competitive with the elite teams of the SEC.
The Gamecocks are 4-4 going into their off week. They are two wins away from bowl eligibility. They have Florida, Auburn and Clemson at home and a road trip to Missouri left on the schedule. It remains to be seen if Shane Beamer and his staff can rally their guys to find those two wins and reach the postseason, which would be a shining achievement for this bunch.