Oct. 18—South Carolina football is going west this weekend.
The Gamecocks travel to College Station, Texas on Saturday for their annual meeting with the Texas A&M Aggies out of the Southeastern Conference's West Diivision.
Shane Beamer earned his first SEC win as USC's head coach in a 21-20 nail-biter against Vanderbilt last Saturday. The Gamecocks featured players who hadn't seen the field since the Georgia game, highlighted by the return of running back ZaQuandre White and quarterback Zeb Noland.
Noland paved South Carolina's path to victory in the final two minutes of the game, leading a 75-yard touchdown drive to clinch a victory after being outscored 17-0 in the second, third and majority of the fourth quarter.
Texas A&M didn't met its lofty preseason expectations early in 2021, falling to Arkansas and Mississippi State while adjusting to quarterback Zach Calzada, who stepped in for starter Haynes King after he fell injured early in Week 2. But the Aggies bounced back in their blockbuster 41-38 upset of then-No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 9 and strong 35-14 win over Missouri last week.
Texas A&M possesses an arsenal of offensive talent behind running back tandem Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane and talented receivers Ainias Smith and Jalen Wydermyer. Head coach Jimbo Fisher has this year's Aggies rolling, and South Carolina will face them on an upswing.
The Gamecocks have never defeated Texas A&M, going 0-7 since their first meeting in 2014. South Carolina was throttled by the Aggies last year in Columbia, falling 48-3 to a balanced offensive attack led by former A&M quarterback Kellen Mond.
How to watch South Carolina vs Texas A&M football game
Who: South Carolina Gamecocks (4-3, 1-3 SEC) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (5-2, 2-2 SEC)
Where: Kyle Field in College Station, Texas
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
TV: SEC Network
Stream: via ESPN app
This week's SEC betting odds, TV times
South Carolina opened a 19-point road underdog to Texas A&M, with the line remaining stable across most sportsbooks Sunday. The Gamecocks failed to cover a lofty 18.5-point spread against Vanderbilt last week.
Video: Sports Betting Preview: USC vs. No. 13 Notre Dame (Stadium)
College football open point spreads, according to VegasInsider.com
— Noon: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Arkansas — no line
— 3:30 p.m.: LSU at Ole Miss (-12)
— 4 p.m.: Mississippi State (-23) at Vanderbilt
— 7 p.m.: Tennessee at Alabama (-27)
— 7:30 p.m.: South Carolina at Texas A&M (-19)
The state of the Gamecocks
South Carolina has made a quarterback change. Shane Beamer announced on his Sunday teleconference that Zeb Noland will get the start against Texas A&M as Luke Doty nurses a reinjured foot.
Doty started against Vanderbilt but was inconsistent, going 17 of 26 for 242 yards, two touchdowns and two ill-timed interceptions, while Noland marched in for the final drive and completed 5 of 8 passes for 75 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
Beamer said Doty's foot, which was injured in the preseason, began to bother him late in the Vanderbilt game, so the Gamecocks opted for a fully-healthy Noland, recovered from his hand injury suffered against Georgia. Noland appeared to reinvigorate the offense after things became stale.
The Gamecocks' offense is still working to find consistent success after coming out to a strong start early against the Commodores but struggling after the first 10 minutes of last Saturday's game. South Carolina's offense put up just 165 yards between its first two touchdown drives and final possession under Noland.
Penalties returned to plague South Carolina against Vandy, with the Gamecocks totaling 10 for 78 lost yards. South Carolina also struggled with turnovers last week, giving the ball up four times with two fumbles and two interceptions.
The state of the Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M got to a rough start in conference play but bounced back after toppling Alabama in Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban's first loss to a former assistant, Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher.
The Aggies are starting to click on offense, a primary area of concern in losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State as well as their close win over a struggling Colorado team. A&M found chemistry with quarterback Zach Calzada, who was thrust into action after losing the starting job in the preseason, and have started to gain traction in conference play with wins over the Crimson Tide and Missouri.
Texas A&M's defense is a strength, ranked second in the SEC in points allowed and 14th in the country. The Aggies are giving up an average of 16.4 points per game. When they elect to return kickoffs, the Aggies are formidable and lead the conference with an average of 43.6 yards per return. This mark includes a 96-yard kickoff returned for a touchdown from running back Devon Achane against Alabama.
3 Texas A&M players to watch
Isaiah Spiller, RB: Spiller is the SEC's third-leading rusher of 2021 with 659 yards on 105 carries and four touchdowns. He's totaled another 159 yards and a touchdown on 18 receptions this year. A three-year veteran on the Aggies' offense, Spiller has already put up 2,641 rushing yards in his college career and finished with a season-high 168 yards on 20 touches in last week's win over Missouri.
Zach Calzada, QB: Texas A&M's offense wasn't Calzada's at the start of the season, but he's worked through early struggles to become an impressive newcomer. The sophomore played his best under pressure against Alabama, completing 21 of his 31 passes for 285 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the Aggies' win over the Crimson Tide. He's completed 56% of his passes in 2021 for 1,177 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Demani Richardson, DB: Richardson is another Aggie veteran finding success midway through this season. The junior defensive back has had his best performances of 2021 in A&M's last two games, finishing both the Alabama and Missouri games with seven tackles against each. Richardson also came up with a clutch interception at the Aggies' 1-yard line against Alabama's Bryce Young on Oct. 9.
This story was originally published October 18, 2021 5:00 AM.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/first-look-top-story-lines-betting-odds-for-south-carolina-vs-texas-a-26m-football-game/ar-AAPExFz1252