COLUMBIA, S.C. – While some fans from both Texas A&M and South Carolina object to the ongoing injection of a “cross-division” rivalry in the Southeastern Conference, Aggies should love it.
Five years in, they own it. A&M continued its dominance of South Carolina with a 26-23 victory on Saturday at Williams Brice Stadium. The Aggies have won all five meetings, including with Jimbo Fisher in his first season at A&M.
The Aggies (5-2, 3-1 SEC) led 16-0 in the third quarter before South Carolina (3-3, 2-3) stormed back with two third-quarter touchdowns coupled with successful two-point conversions. After failing to move the ball over the first two-and-a-half quarters, the Gamecocks pieced together the two scoring drives of 82 and 88 yards on a combined 17 plays.
The Aggies responded with an 11-play, 55-yard drive capped by a 39-yard field goal from Seth Small to lift A&M to a 19-16 lead with 9:16 remaining in the game. On the Gamecocks’ following drive, A&M defensive end Landis Durham sacked quarterback Jake Bentley on third-and-10, and the Gamecocks punted with 7:21 left in the contest.
The Aggies put away the game with a 3-yard touchdown run by Trayveon Williams with 1:36 remaining, and while the Gamecocks added a late touchdown, it was too little too late again for coach Will Muschamp against A&M.
Meantime A&M celebrated its third consecutive SEC triumph, with the previous two over Arkansas and Kentucky.
Small drilled a 52-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter to score the game’s first points – snapping a string of three consecutive misses for the freshman from Katy.
Late in the second quarter, A&M quarterback Kellen Mond hooked up with tight end Jace Sternberger over the top for a 4-yard touchdown pass, a reward for Sternberger dragging a Gamecocks defender nearly 25 yards just prior on the 94-yard drive.
While the Aggies running game was bottled up for much of the game (Williams with 19 carries for 78 yards), receivers Quartney Davis and Sternberger each collected more than 100 yards receiving (Sternberger with 145, Davis with 127).
The Aggies are off next weekend before resuming SEC play at Mississippi State on Oct. 27. A&M then plays a final road game at Auburn on Nov. 3 before closing out the regular season with three consecutive games at Kyle Field against Mississippi, Alabama-Birmingham and LSU.
Source : https://www.chron.com/sports/aggies/article/Texas-A-M-defeats-South-Carolina-for-3rd-straight-13305247.php