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5 takeaways from A&M’s loss to South Carolina

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Ishika Samant

Freshman Fadil Diggs (10) brings down Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs (1) during a game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

After coming out of a bye week, Texas A&M came out lethargic, and it took mistakes from South Carolina for the final score to be close.
False start to the game
It all started with the kickoff return for a touchdown from senior Carolina receiver Xavier Legette. Sophomore quarterback Haynes King proceeded to throw a bad interception. A bit later came the bizarre botched snap from backup freshman center Matthew Wykoff. A&M found itself down 17-0 only six minutes into the game.
It was a really weird start to the game, and A&M was lucky to get within three points of South Carolina at half time. Unfortunately for A&M, they ended up losing the game 30-24 and falling to 3-4 on the season.
It seems A&M’s lack of “execution” led to its slow start.
“We just have to execute better in the beginning,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Do the things we need to do. Pick up some of the self-inflicted wounds. Try to get [ready] for a good Ole Miss team. Try to get better.”
Fadil Diggs is a menace
Sophomore defensive lineman Fadil Diggs was the best player on the field for the maroon and white against the Gamecocks if you don’t count sophomore kicker Randy Bond.
In the game, Diggs finished with a sack and a forced fumble to continue his breakout 2022 campaign. The sophomore now has three sacks for the season, all in his last two games, and is one of the Aggies to watch for the rest of the season.
Diggs has shown himself to be one of the building blocks of A&M’s defense for the next few years. He has truly been one of the few bright spots for A&M this season.
A&M’s offensive line is in shambles
Every passing play seemed to result in a big hit on the quarterback, and that’s if the play happened in the first place. A&M was great at finding new ways to false start.
One of the reasons it’s difficult to gauge the capabilities of the quarterbacks is because they keep getting injured. It’s tough to see any college quarterback succeeding while taking that kind of punishment.
The past two games have shown the playbook for beating A&M: Blitz everybody.
The silver lining of Saturday’s game for the offensive line was junior running back Devon Achane, who ran for 99 yards and a touchdown, but that’s really about it.
A&M’s offense isn’t working
It’s tough to win in college football without manufacturing easy throws for the quarterback, and Fisher’s offense does the opposite. The only time Fisher’s offense has worked in the last 10 seasons was when it was led by Jameis Winston, and he ended up being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
This season has shown that the Fisher offense doesn’t work with the current personnel. The unit is at the bottom of most statistical categories and hasn’t shown a lot of improvement over the course of the season.
With the struggles of the offensive line, Fisher hasn’t made the necessary changes to make life easier for the quarterback.
Fisher has shown he is a great recruiter, maybe he should focus on that and hand play calling duties to someone else who will run more of a spread offense.
A&M is a flawed team
In spurts, A&M looked alright, but they were few and far between. Despite a terrible start, A&M still had opportunities to beat South Carolina and just couldn’t do it.
A&M has routinely struggled to beat any of the teams they’ve played this season. Beating Sam Houston State 31-0 seems like a good win against a team that won an FCS National Championship in 2020. This is the worst Sam Houston team in years.
A&M’s next win came against the formerly ranked Miami Hurricanes. Since losing to A&M, Miami has lost three out of its last four games, one of which was to Middle Tennessee State.
A&M’s next win was against Arkansas, formerly ranked inside the top 10. Arkansas outplayed A&M for the majority of the game and lost the game by hitting the top of the upright on a last second field goal attempt. Who knows if the game is even close in the first place if senior defensive back Demani Richardson doesn’t steal a touchdown for A&M.
Every single one of A&M’s victories either has caveats or looks weak in hindsight. It seems like A&M is closer to the likes of Auburn and Vanderbilt than Alabama and Tennessee.

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About the Contributor
Ishika Samant
Ishika Samant, Former Photo Chief
Ishika Samant served multiple roles at The Battalion as photo chief, managing editor, multimedia editor and social media editor through her tenure from 2021 to 2024.
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