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By The Numbers: Texas A&M 30, South Carolina 6

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Or, How A Statistically Excellent Game Can Look So Pedestrian

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

1457 DAYS

That’s how long it’s been since Texas A&M held an SEC opponent without a touchdown. Last night’s 6 points allowed was also the lowest to a conference foe since that 25-0 shutout of Vanderbilt in 2015. It was a sound and fundamental defensive performance all around, and we certainly needed it in order to allow our offense three full quarters to get nice and warmed up.

Jimbo Fisher suffocated Will Muschamp’s team with monotony. Sheer, dogged repetitiveness: the equivalent of throwing a bowling ball at a brick wall several dozens of times until the wall finally breaks. He did to Will Muschamp what Will Muschamp wishes he could do to opponents. It ain’t sexy, but it worked.

TOTAL OFFENSE

Texas A&M: 540

South Carolina: 260

TIME OF POSSESSION

Texas A&M: 41:39

South Carolina: 18:21

THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY

Texas A&M: 43% (6/14)

South Carolina: 13% (2/15)

It wasn’t all perfect: the Aggies were penalized twice as many times as the Gamecocks, did not force any turnovers (while giving away a fumble in the game’s waning moments), and allowed twice as many sacks as South Carolina. But it was still enough. The dominance came early in the fourth quarter, when the Aggie rushing attack, which had been pounding the Gamecock front seven all night, finally shattered any semblance of resistance.

South Carolina turned the ball over on downs after gaining 27 yards on 10 plays on the following drive, and Cordarrian Richardson took it 75 yards to the house on the second play of the drive.

A very tenuous 16-3 lead turned into a 30-3 rout in roughly three minutes of game time. That was the payoff for the monotony of the first half, the steady chipping away at the Gamecock D. It’s not flashy. People won’t be talking about it where you work Monday. But it got the job done. A 24-point SEC win against a team that beat Georgia in Athens is pretty sexy in its own right, if you really think about it.

MISC. GOOD STATS:

  • The Aggies had a pair of 100-yard rushers: Isaiah Spiller and Cordarrian Richardson. I’m beginning to love the formations with both of these guys in the backfield.
  • Jalen Wydermyer continues to have an outstanding true freshman season: he had 5 receptions for 79 yards.
  • Senior Charles Oliver had an impressive SIX pass breakups last night. He now has 11 on the season. No other Aggie has more than four.

Texas A&M is off to a 2-0 start in November for the first time since 2014. Something tells me this one’s going to end a little better than that one.