Week 9: Texas A&M

Man, we really needed that bye week. A team in disarray got a much needed win and then a week off to diagnose what went wrong in the first half of the season. I like what I've been hearing about Elliott's  preparations during the past two weeks. I expect that we'll see some changes in personnel along with some different formations and play calls on offense that will hopefully play more to our strengths (if we do indeed have any of those this year).

Unfortunately, the team that we'll be facing with these new personnel and formations is a much more talented Texas A&M squad. They are coming off two straight convincing losses, but these against upper-echelon SEC West teams (Alabama and Ole Miss), and will be hungry for a win at home. The amount of talent they have stockpiled on the offensive side of the ball is insane: the #1 ranked pro-style QB in Kyle Allen, the #1 ranked dual-threat QB in Kyler Murray, freak of nature WR Ricky Seals-Jones, and freshman sensation Christian Kirk. They're not nearly as talented on defense, but they do have current SEC sack leader Myles Garrett at DE. It's hard to find a single position group where Texas A&M doesn't have a distinct advantage (SC might have better LBs and punter).

Texas A&M has not looked very good the past few weeks, and QB play has been so bad that they have benched Allen in favor of Murray. Even so, the weapons they have on offense have our defense outmatched. If the Gamecocks want to have any chance of staying in this game they have to establish the run early against a fairly run-porous A&M defense and control the time of possession. I think the Elliott will have our guys excited to play and performing at their best, but given the talent gap I'm not optimistic that that is enough. I've got a feeling that Texas A&M gets back on track against the Gamecocks at home. Prediction: USC 16 - Texas A&M 35