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

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

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
76th Speaker of the Senate Marcus Glass, left, poses with incoming 77th Speaker of the Senate Ava Blackburn.
Student leaders reflect on years of service in final Student Senate meeting
Justice Jenson, Senior News Reporter • April 18, 2024

The Student Government Association wrapped up its 76th session by giving out awards such as the Senator, Committee and Statesman of the Year...

Freshman Tiago Pires reaches to return the ball during Texas A&M’s match against Arkansas on Sunday, April 7, 2024 at Mitchell Tennis Center. (Lana Cheatham/The Battalion)
No. 14 Aggies receive early exit from SEC Tournament
Matthew Seaver, Sports Writer • April 19, 2024

The No. 14 Texas A&M men’s tennis team fell to the No. 44 LSU Tigers 4-3 in a down-to-the-wire duel on Thursday, April 18. Facing off at...

Julia Cottrill (42) celebrating a double during Texas A&Ms game against Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Muffled the Mean Green
April 17, 2024
Members of the 2023-2024 Aggie Muster Committee pose outside the Jack K. Williams Administration Building. (Photo courtesy of Aggie Muster Committee)
Orchestrating a century-old tradition
Sydnei Miles, Head Life & Arts Editor • April 18, 2024

As Muster approaches, the Aggie Muster Committee works to organize a now century-old tradition. These students “coordinate every facet” of...

(Graphic by Ethan Mattson/The Battalion)
Opinion: ‘Fake Money,’ real change
Eddie Phillips, Opinion Writer • April 19, 2024

Us Aggies live privileged existences: companies beg us to take on tens of thousands in loans.  I know this may sound contradictory, but the...

Players to watch: A&M vs. South Carolina

Photo by Ishika Samant

Sophomore WR Noah Thomas (3) runs after a catch during the Southwest Classic against Arkansas on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

Texas A&M football finds itself in the same boat as South Carolina as both teams navigate the rocky waters of SEC play. When they meet on Saturday, Oct. 28, the two programs will look to get back in the win column for the first time since September following consecutive losses.
The Aggies lost two close games in a row before a bye week while the Gamecocks have lost their last three games. The two programs have met each year since 2014, with A&M winning the first eight matchups before falling 30-24 last season. Here are some players to keep an eye on at Kyle Field this weekend.
Xavier Legette, South Carolina wide receiver
With a 2-5 record and a 1-4 mark in conference action, South Carolina hasn’t done much right this season. Legette may serve as a bright spot, though, with the ninth-most receiving yards in the nation at 736. The fifth year has been redshirt senior quarterback Spencer Rattler’s favorite target this season with 38 receptions, yet only has three touchdowns to show for them.
With a rushing attack that averages less than 100 yards per contest, the Gamecocks will rely heavily on their passing game. Rattler brings experience with 37 starts dating back to his time at Oklahoma, while Legette has started 27 games. The duo has displayed its big-play ability this season, as Legette averages 19.4 yards per catch.
A&M may boast college football’s No. 13 passing defense, but that’s not to say the secondary hasn’t shown its flaws this season. That hasn’t been more apparent than in losses to Miami and Alabama, when the Aggies allowed 374 and 321 yards through the air, respectively. Shutting down Legette is the first step towards an A&M victory.
Noah Thomas, A&M wide receiver
Remember two weeks ago when I mentioned how A&M fans are still waiting for the encore of junior wide receiver Moose Muhammad III’s performance versus LSU in 2022? The same can be said of Noah Thomas this year. The sophomore lived up to the offseason hype with four touchdowns over his first two games of the season, but minor injuries have kept his impact to a minimum since then.
However, Thomas turned a corner against the Volunteers two weeks ago, reeling in three catches for a season-high 75 yards. If the Pearland native has turned a corner, we’ll find out this weekend. The Aggies may have the 13th-best pass defense, but the Gamecocks have the fourth-worst.
Opponents have passed for 305 yards per game on South Carolina, representing a major opportunity for A&M’s receivers to have a big day. For Thomas to prove that his hat trick of touchdowns in the season opener wasn’t a one-time thing, he’ll need to put up similar numbers against the Gamecocks.
TJ Sanders, South Carolina defensive tackle
A&M had a bye week to put losses to Alabama and Tennessee behind it, but that doesn’t mean the Maroon and White should forget what went wrong in those games. The most glaring issue fell on the offensive line, as the unit failed to give sophomore quarterback Max Johnson adequate time to find his receivers and make plays. Johnson took a beating over the two games, being sacked seven times and pressured plenty more.
Simply put, the Aggies must improve in this regard to finish the second half of the SEC slate strong. That mission starts against the Gamecocks, although redshirt sophomore TJ Sanders won’t make it easy. He’s only seventh on the team in tackles with 25, but paces the team in tackles for loss and sacks, with 7.5 and 4.5, respectively.
Sanders is the leader on an otherwise average defensive line, which ought to provide some respite to A&M in the trenches. With that being said, the Aggies won’t be able to take their eyes off of the six-foot-five, 298-pound lineman.
Josh DeBerry, A&M defensive back
Following four seasons at Boston College, graduate Josh DeBerry has established himself at the cornerback position in his first year in Aggieland. The Michigan native has tallied 31 tackles for fourth on the team, 3.5 of which were for a loss of yardage. DeBerry has broken up seven passes while picking off a pair as well, including one in the red zone versus Tennessee.
DeBerry is a reliable option in the secondary, although he showed his weaknesses against Alabama when tasked with guarding senior wide receiver Jermaine Burton. The Crimson Tide’s top receiver couldn’t be stopped by DeBerry, catching nine passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Most of the time, it felt as if DeBerry didn’t have the size to contain Burton’s six-foot, 194-pound frame.
DeBerry will face a similar challenge should he be matched up with the six-foot-three, 227-pound Legette. Burton succeeded by out-muscling DeBerry and asserting his physicality, which may be the blueprint for Legette as well.

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