Gamecocks fight hard but fall short at Texas A&M

uscfoot-22South Carolina (3-5, 1-5 SEC) totaled a season-high 445 total yards of offense with Brandon Wilds rushing 17 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns, but Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC) freshman quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 223 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 156 yards and a score as well as the Aggies defeated the Gamecocks 35-28 on Saturday afternoon.

Wilds’ 128 yards were a season-high for the senior tailback as well as his first two rushing touchdowns of the season. Junior quarterback Perry Orth was 15-for-24 for 192 yards in the air with 64 yards rushing on 11 carries.

After a missed field goal on the opening drive, A&M went nine plays and 74 yards on their next possession capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kyler Murray to Josh Reynolds.

South Carolina answered with an 11-play 75-yard drive to tie it up 7-7 with Lorenzo Nunez scoring on a 7-yard reverse. Orth was solid on the drive as he went 5-for-5 for 57 yards in the air including a key 19-yard pass to David Williams that moved the Gamecocks into A&M territory. Pharoh Cooper had a pair of receptions on the drive with Shamier Jeffery and D.J. Neal also coming up with catches. Nunez, seeing his first action since the Missouri game on Oct. 3, took the reverse handoff and initially looked to throw before keeping it himself and beating the A&M defenders to the goal line for the score.

After forcing a Texas A&M punt, the Gamecocks scored on the ensuing possession to take a 14-7 lead. The drive featured a 66-yard run from scrimmage by Perry Orth on a 3rd and 8 down to the A&M 20. It was the longest run by a Gamecocks player this season. Three plays later, Orth kept the ball on the option and scored from 6 yards out to put the Gamecocks ahead.

The Aggies tied it at 14-14 with 6:17 to go in the second quarter as senior tailback Tra Carson scored on 3rd & Goal with a 1-yard touchdown run.

The Gamecocks responded again to regain the lead on the next possession with Wilds scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run. The score was set up by the Gamecocks earlier in the drive as Orth completed a 47-yard pass to Hayden Hurst on 3rd & 10 to move the Gamecocks down to Texas A&M’s 14-yardline. Wilds would take the pitch from Orth into the corner of the end zone to give the Gamecocks a 7-point lead. Texas A&M would score right before the end of the first half with one minute to go as James White carried for a 2-yard score.

The Aggies would go ahead 28-21 on their first possession of the second half. The 11-play 81-yard drive was capped by a 1-yard score by Murray on 4th and Goal. A&M then built a 14-point lead as Donovan Wilson stepped in front of a pass from Orth and went 60 yards for an interception return for a touchdown.

South Carolina fought back and crept to within seven just before the end of the third quarter as Wilds went 33 yards for his second touchdown of the game.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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