COACHES CORNER

Gamecocks Lasso Texas A&M in SEC Shootout, 30-24

Dick Cox

October 25, 2022 at 2:00 pm.

The South Carolina State Fair was going on across the street, but the real carnival was going on inside Williams-Brice Stadium in a game that had more ups and downs and twists and turns than a midway roller coaster.

South Carolina scored 17 points in the first six minutes of the game and never trailed on their way to a 30-24 win over Texas A&M before a sell-out crowd of 77,837 fans. This marked the first time in school history that the Gamecocks had defeated the Aggies in football. Carolina came into the game with a 0-8 record all-time against Texas A&M.

The fireworks began early as Carolina’s Xavier Leggette took the opening kickoff and raced 100 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead only 14 seconds into the game. On the next two defensive series, the Gamecock defense forced a fumble and interception deep in Aggies territory and turned them into 10 more points and a 17-0 lead before fans could get settled into their seats.

”A month ago, I was asked if this team quit,” South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer said. “Does this look like this team has quit?”

He went on to say, “So, since that day, we’ve won four straight for the first time since 2013. We just beat Kentucky on the road two weeks ago up in Lexington for the first time since 2012. And we just beat Texas A&M for the first time ever. So no, there’s no quit in this team. We’ve got a bunch of freaking fighters on this team that love each other and play for one another and care about each other and it showed out there tonight. As ugly as it was at times, we never flinched and they just kept coming back. We talked about we’re a second half team and we get better as the game goes on.”

Gamecock fans that left the Georgia game before halftime made the game a huge home field advantage this week and played a big part in the outcome by helping to cause eight Aggies’ false start penalties because they could not hear the snap count.

Carolina running back MarShawn Lloyd ran 18 times for 92 yards and had both of South Carolina’s touchdowns in the second half to keep the Gamecocks on top.

Lloyd talked about the emotion in the game.

“This is what we came here to do,” he said. “South Carolina is on the rise and just being able to do it in front of this amazing atmosphere. You know, emotions were very high and we were just blessed to be able to play in front of these fans and just have fun out there.”

Spencer Rattler was 12-of-25 passing for 168 yards for South Carolina.

”We never quit. We keep fighting. That’s what we are about,” Rattler said. “It was just, it was electric (the atmosphere inside the stadium). My chest was bumping from the sounds of the crowd.”

South Carolina defensive end Jordan Burch also talked about the loud fans helping the team

“That was probably the loudest I’ve heard the crowd since I’ve been here,” he said. “It was exciting, the number of times it came off sides.”

Gamecock punter Kai Kroeger received a game ball for averaging 49 yards per punt on six kicks, helping to give Texas A&M bad field positions to start its drives.

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher felt like the crowd and the bad start to the game made things difficult for the Aggies.

“The guys played a hard game, fought, came back, gave us a chance – but we can’t start off like that on the road” said Fisher. “It was noise. We had a little miscommunication, but you know, guys have to listen. I mean on the road, we play on the road here all the time. We shouldn’t have anything like that.”

The 25th ranked Gamecocks (5-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) host Missouri next Saturday. Texas A&M (3-4, 1-3) host No. 7 Ole Miss next Saturday.

Lindy’s Sports Coaches Corner Post Game Report: South Carolina vs. Texas A&M