We made it. We survived the long offseason without college football. The sport that we know and love returns tonight in full force as South Carolina and Texas A&M on the freshly launched SEC Network. There is no more Johnny Football running around for the Aggies and no more Clowney scaring the life out of QBs for South Carolina but this one will still be fun.
An intersting subplot in this game that won’t have much to do with the outcome of the game is Steve Spurrier taking little jabs at Kevin Sumlin all offseason. Remember the troll gawd (Spurrier) had this to say about Sumlin and his new contract:
“Unprompted, Spurrier commented on A&M coach Kevin Sumlin’s new $5 million a year deal (a $2 million annual raise) – after the Aggies started the year in the top 10 but finished 9-4: “Kevin Sumlin has an excellent record as a head coach. He’s a good negotiator, we know that also. He got a good deal.”
The QB position will be interesting to keep track of in this game. There is always a spotlight on the QBs but when you have to replace Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw, things won’t be easy on you. Luckily for South Carolina, they have a 5th year senior in Dylan Thompson who has seen a good amount of game action. There shouldn’t be much drop-off in his play from last year. He is 3-0 in games he has started and gets to start the season off against a mighty suspect defense from Texas A&M. Other the other side of the field, sophomore Kenny Hill beat out true freshman Kyle Allen for the job. Hill only had seven pass attempts last year but the potential is there for him to be effective. The Aggies don’t lack for skill position players around him and will put up points against an inexperienced South Carolina defense. However lack of game experience could prove costly on the road against the #9 team in the country.
This game will ultimately come down to what most A&M games are about under Kevin Sumlin. Can the A&M defense get enough stops to win the game? Unfortunately for Aggies fans, the answer to that in my mind is no. A&M’s defense allowed 236 rushing yards per game last year during SEC play. Combine that with a talented South Carolina OL and Gamecocks RB Mike Davis will run wild in the season opener. There has been some questions about Mike Davis’ health but he looks good to go. Dylan Thompson should do enough to keep the defense from loading too many men in the box and in the end, South Carolina will wear down the Aggies.