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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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A&M and South Carolina tied 21-21 at the half

Kyler+Murray+scrambles+for+a+first+down+against+South+Carolina.
Photo by Photo by Lawrence Smelser

Kyler Murray scrambles for a first down against South Carolina.

Texas A&M’s newest starting quarterback, Kyler Murray showed the Aggie faithful why he won the reopened competition this week with the first half he put together on Halloween.  
Following one half of play, the Aggies and Gamecocks were all tied up at 21 apiece and the A&M offense seemed to have found the rhythm it was looking for. 
Murray finished the half with 153 yards passing and another 116 yards coming on the ground. A&M’s first drive, although it ended with a missed field goal attempt, showed promise that the Aggies had regained their confidence. The fact that the Aggies were able to string along a few first downs and establish the run game was something that had been absent in their past couple outings. 
At the conclusion of the first quarter, Texas A&M amassed 113 yards rushing. For perspective, A&M had just 90 yards rushing in its last two games – combined. 
Despite an empty opening drive, the Aggies were able to hold South Carolina to a 3-and-out and regain possession to strike first. To cap off a nine-play, 74-yard drive, Murray found Josh Reynolds on a crossing route for a ten yard touchdown, giving A&M the early 7-0 lead. The touchdown reception was Reynolds’ 17th, which tied him for 5th all-time in the A&M history books – even with Mike Evans. Prior to the Murray-Reynolds connection, the Aggies had gone 21 consecutive possessions without an offensive touchdown. 
The Gamecocks quarterback Perry Orth answered with a score on the ensuing drive. South Carolina interim head coach, Shawn Elliot, has done his best to spice things up in his two games as head ball coach and that meant implementing some trickeration into the game in the first half. On the 11th play of the drive the freshman backup quarterback, Lorenzo Nunez, took a reverse around the edge for a seven-yard score, knotting the game up at seven apiece. 
The Aggies were unable to gain any ground on their next possession due to an unsportsmanlike penalty by Ricky Seals-Jones. It can be noted, however, that on the drive Murray was forced to leave the game due to his helmet being ripped off and in his relief was Jake Hubenak rather than Kyle Allen. 
The A&M defense had done a great job of containing explosive plays as of late, however, in the second quarter it let up a pair that led to two South Carolina scores. First was a 66-yard rush by Orth that set up a rushing touchdown from the quarterback. Then, with approximately 3:00 remaining in the half, Orth hit Hayden Hurst for a 47-yard reception, leading to a three-yard rushing touchdown from Brandon Wilds. 
Fortunately for A&M, Murray was able to manufacture a scoring drive in between the USC scores, making the count 21-14 as the Aggies began their second-to-last of the half.  
With just a minute left in the first half, James White found the end zone for the first time on the season, evening the game back up at 21. Although the Aggies were able to regain possession once again with under 20 seconds remaining, they were unable to put any more points on the board. 
South Carolina will return the kickoff following halftime. 

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