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Texas A&M

vs.

South Carolina

SEC

College Football Pick

10/1/16

It's been a difficult month for Texas A&M, but the Aggies enter October with an undefeated record and a top-10 AP ranking. Of course, in the SEC West, the competition never ends. But a trip to South Carolina should give them time to breathe, or at least that's the thought. The Aggies are a -17.5 point road favorite.

This season was always going to be tough for South Carolina. Three road SEC matches in the first month was never in their favor. That said, the Gamecocks still haven't faced the toughest teams on their schedule yet, with this game against A&M being the first against a ranked one. Having lost at Kentucky last weekend, there's little hope for South Carolina in this game, considering they have scored just 37 points in three SEC games.

As for the Aggies, they've already done it all this season. They took down UCLA in the opener, traveled to Auburn and won by double digits and then handled Arkansas last weekend in a 45-24 win. We knew the defense was going to be solid before the season with Myles Garrett leading the way, but quarterback Trevor Knight has done enough to give this team some hope in challenging Alabama in the West.

When these teams met last year, it was an interesting game. The Aggies came out on top 35-28, but it was far from easy. Neither team got much passing the ball, but the Gamecocks ran for 253 yards and four touchdowns while A&M rushed for 321 yards and three touchdowns. In the end, the difference was a pick-six late in the third quarter that gave the home team the win.

Maybe the memory of having a successful ground game will boost South Carolina at home this year, but maybe not. The Gamecocks have been terrible in almost every facet. They've had no answers at quarterback, although it looks like Brandon McIlwain has the job won, despite leading the team to 10 points against Kentucky last weekend. To go with that, they can't run the ball all that well either, averaging just 3.0 yards per carry.

A&M has kept some solid offenses in check so far and as long as they can stop SC's ground game, it's going to be another long day for the Gamecocks offensively.

On the other end, things are still a mystery for South Carolina as they haven't faced an elite offense yet. They'll likely have issues dealing with Knight in all phases of the game. With so many targets in the passing game led by Josh Reynolds, but with Knight also a threat on the ground (308 rushing yards) with running back Trayveon Williams, the Gamecocks have their hands full.

At Mississippi State a few weeks ago, they couldn't stop Bulldogs QB Nick Fitzgerald from carving them up, whether it was running or passing. Now against a more potent A&M offense, things could get worse.

Our Pick
- Hard to back one of the worst offenses in all of college football. But equally hard to lay 17.5 points on the road against a proud SEC team. South Carolina +17.5

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