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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
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5 things to watch for during A&M-South Carolina

Junior+running+back+Trayveon+Williams%26%23160%3Bran+for+138+yards+and+a+touchdown+in+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+overtime+victory+over+Kentucky.
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Junior running back Trayveon Williams ran for 138 yards and a touchdown in Texas A&M’s overtime victory over Kentucky.

1.) Consistency from Trayveon Williams
It’s clear that Williams has been the deciding factor in A&M’s past two wins. During the Kentucky game, he had the most all-purpose yards since his performance against Northwestern State and surpassed Kentucky’s Benny Snell Jr. for most rushing yards in the SEC. This week, Williams should continue to put up similar numbers. South Carolina’s rushing defense ranks 99th in Division I and struggled to fill in gaps against Missouri last week. As a team, they gave up 286 rushing yards to Mizzou. As long as the offensive line creates holes and stops the South Carolina front, Williams will run for significant yardage this week.
2.) SC’s one-track offense
It’s an unusual time for South Carolina’s offense. Starting quarterback Jake Bentley is coming off a knee injury against Kentucky two weeks ago, while redshirt senior Michael Scarnecchia replaced Bentley in his first career start against Missouri. Bentley threw three intereptions against Kentucky. The Gamecocks are not a well-rounded offense, but they do have a trio of wide receivers that can create a problem for any secondary. Look out for standout senior Deebo Samuel to make a big catch in this weekend’s matchup.
3.) A&M’s dynamic defensive front
There’s something to be said for the Aggies’ front seven. They are responsible for making A&M fourth in the nation in least rushing yards allowed, and they come through with the big defensive stops on third downs to force punts. Look for the same thing this week. A&M will challenge Bentley to make difficult throws and quick decisions that will put him to the test. Although South Carolina is not run-heavy, they will still run the ball to provide relief to their inexperienced quarterback. Missouri put on 10 tackles for loss and only allowed 128 yards rushing as a unit, so it’s safe to expect similar numbers from the A&M defense in Columbia.
4.) Kellen Mond’s improvement
It all comes down to decision-making. Mond has made some questionable throws and choices that put A&M in a tough position against Kentucky, but these issues are easy to fix. This past week, Mond did not make nearly as many mistakes as he did during the Alabama and Arkansas games. Mond made big plays through the air to expose the Kentucky defense. South Carolina is dynamic in the secondary and will prompt Mond to take a harder look before making a pass. Turnovers will be key in this contest, and whoever makes the fewest mistakes will take the win.
5.) How A&M plays on the road
Welcome to the start of A&M’s annual gauntlet. This is the first of three straight game weeks of playing away from Kyle Field, and it will not be easy. South Carolina can produce big plays when they need them, and they proved it against a tough Missouri team. What the Aggies need is a big win on the road going into their bye week to prepare for Auburn. Momentum is everything in the SEC, and A&M will need all they can get to be ready for the Tigers in two weeks. The Aggies have not played very well on the road so far, but they can definitely turn it around starting with the Gamecocks.

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