It’s year 1 for Jimbo Fisher and there are many things new for Fisher in the SEC. One thing that’s not new: Will Muschamp. Fisher played Muschamp for 4 years as opposite head coaches to the Florida-Florida State rivalry. Now the two are opposite a different rivalry.
How to Watch
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
The Texas A&M Aggies are 4-2 on the season, while the South Carolina Gamecocks are 3-2 after a game against Marshall was cancelled due to weather. While both teams have two losses, their seasons have been very different. Texas A&M has lost to two top-5 teams, and almost beat Clemson. South Carolina has gotten blown out in there two losses to Kentucky and Georgia, and has looked lost at times.
Both teams are coming off big wins, as the Gamecocks outlasted Missouri in a deluge and Texas A&M defeated Kentucky in overtime. South Carolina had to win with their backup quarterback as well, but Jake Bentley is slated to return from his injury. If Bentley struggles however, Muschamp knows he can win with backup Michael Scarnecchia. Kellen Mond meanwhile, has been a revelation for the Aggies and has blossomed under Jimbo’s tutelage.
South Carolina’s offense has weapons, but has been inconsistent all season. It’s especially shaky on the offensive line, often giving the quarterback little time to throw. That doesn’t match up well with a Texas A&M defense that has been playing lights out, led by defensive coordinator Mike Elko. Bentley in particular will need to play well and cut down on the turnovers that have plagued his season. He needs to bring his A-game to have a chance to move the ball at Kyle Field.
Texas A&M’s offense has also been very good this season, although it has struggled against teams like Kentucky and even Arkansas. South Carolina’s defense isn’t the most talented, but it is very well-coached and prepares well. The Gamecocks defense will likely keep them in this game for a while, before Jimbo and that offense find a way to lean on them.
Jimbo Fisher isn’t off to the fastest start this season, but his track record in rivalry games is nothing to sneeze at. Fisher was 7-1 against chief rival Florida while he was at FSU, and that includes a 3-1 record against Will Muschamp. Texas A&M has also never lost to South Carolina since joining the SEC. Muschamp has a tall task trying to down Fisher, and rivalry games have not typically been his best performing space.
Prediction: Texas A&M 34, South Carolina 16