Aggies QB Hill dismantles Gamecocks in season debut

uscfoot-Dylan-Thompson-e1408622683971ForgetĀ  Johnny Football; Texas A&M has Kenny Backup, and he won’t be soon forgotten by the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Texas A&M sophomore Kenny Hill showed solid command of the Texas A&M juggernaut offensive attack and then some in the season opener Thursday night. Hill threw for a school-record 511 yards and directed the offense efficiently in the No. 21 Aggies’ 52-28 dismantling of No. 9 South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Hill, who made his first career start, didn’t seem fazed by the Gamecocks’ 18-game home winning streak or the 82,847 fans in attendance. His final passing numbers (44-for-60, three touchdowns, no interceptions) were greater than those former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel accomplished in his two years as a starter.

The Aggies amassed 680 yards of total offense, which ranks 11th most all-time in school history. The 511 yards were the most ever against the Gamecocks.

Texas A&M’s point total was the highest allowed by South Carolina since a 56-17 loss to Auburn in the 2010 SEC championship game.

The Aggies scored on five of their first six possessions. The drives covered 67, 75, 85, 75 and 80 yards, and none lasted more than 4:40 as Texas A&M opened a 31-14 halftime lead.

Hill finished the first half 27-for-35 for 299 yards and two touchdowns — 3 yards to wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones and 14 yards to wide receiver Edward Pope.

Running back Tra Carson added touchdown runs of 1 yard and 2 yards for the Aggies, and kicker Josh Lambo connected on a 33-yard field goal.

Texas A&M finished the half with 393 yards of total offense.

Carson finished with seven carries for 30 yards and three touchdowns. Aggies receiver Malcome Kennedy caught 14 passes for 137 yards.

South Carolina countered with the big play. Senior quarterback Dylan Thompson had first-half touchdown passes of 69 yards to wide receiver Nick Jones and 46 yards to Damiere Byrd.

Thompson wound up throwing four touchdown passes, but he never seemed to find his rhythm. He completed 20 of 40 passes for 366 yards with one interception.

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