TEXAS A&M VS SOUTH CAROLINA...WHAT TO WATCH FOR
August 25, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
WHAT TO WATCH FOR ...
*It will be the first live CFB game on the SEC Network, as well as the 2014 season-opener for both teams.
*It will be the first ever meeting between the Gamecocks and the Aggies.
*Texas A&M will be opening a season vs. a conference opponent on the road
for the first time ever.
*It will be the first Thursday night game of the Kevin Sumlin era at Texas A&M.
*The last Thursday night game for the Aggies came in 2011.
*The Aggies will be seeking victory in their conference opener for the first time since joining the SEC in 2012.
*The Aggies are 10-2 in games away from Kyle Field under Kevin Sumlin.
SETTING THE SCENE ...
KICKOFF: 5 p.m. CT
SITE: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, S.C.
Texas A&M (No. 21 - AP / No. 20 HC)
South Carolina (No. 9 - AP / No. 9 HC)
TELEVISION: SEC Network (Brent Musburger/PxP,
Jesse Palmer/CC; Kaylee Hartung and Maria Taylor/SL)
RADIO: National: Westwood One (John Sadak/
PxP, Chris Doering/CC); School: Texas A&M Radio
Network (Dave South/PxP, Dave Elmendorf, CC, Will
Johnson/sideline); Spanish Network (Pedro Vela
Almaguer/PxP, Alberto Rodriguez, CC)
SIRIUS XM: Texas A&M Spanish Network on
channel 551; South Carolina game call located on
SEASON OPENER SNIPPETS
*When the Aggies face South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium on Thursday, it will mark the first time A&M has opened a season away from Kyle Field since 2005. In that game, which was also contested in the state of South Carolina, the Aggies dropped a 25-24 decision to Clemson on a walk-off field goal.
*Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin has been successful in season lid-lifters with a 5-1 record at Houston (4-0) and Texas A&M (1-1). Since joining the Texas A&M staff as an assistant head coach/WR coach in 2001, Sumlin’s teams have compiled an 11-2 record in season openers at Texas A&M (2-0 in 2001-02, 1-1 in 2012-13),
Oklahoma (5-1 in 2003-07) and Houston (4-0 in 2008-11).
*The last time Texas A&M beat a Power 5 conference team on the road in a season-opener was 1994 when the Aggies beat LSU 18-13 on the way to an undefeated season.
*The Aggies are 4-6 since 1970 in season-opening road games against Power 5 conference teams.
*Thursday’s game will be just the fourth time Texas A&M has opened a season against a conference opponent (second time in three SEC seasons).
*It will be the first time in program history that the Aggies have opened a season with a road conference contest.
ABOUT THAT OFFENSE
*Texas A&M has ranked in the top 25 nationally in passing and total offense in each of the past five seasons since shifting to fast-paced no-huddle offnese in 2009.
*Under Sumlin, Texas A&M has led the SEC in passing, scoring and total offense the past two seasons. Before 2012, the last time A&M led the conference in any of those three statistical categories was 1991 when the Aggies led the now-defunct Southwest Conference with a 36.5 scoring average.
*In six seasons as a head coach, Kevin Sumlin’s offense have averaged less than 500 total yards per game just once (480.5 in 2010), and have ranked in the top five nationally in total yards/game five of six seasons (UH ranked No. 11 in 2010).
*Texas A&M has broken and re-broken its passing record four times in five seasons (both average and cumulative passing yards). Under Sumlin, the Aggies have averaged 300-plus passing yards in each of the past two seasons. Prior to his arrival, A&M’s program best was 281.6 passing yards per game.
*Texas A&M has scored 500-plus points in three straight seasons, including the top two 13-game scoring efforts in SEC history (578, 2012/575, 2013). Prior to 2011, A&M’s top cumulative scoring season was 427 in 2009.
*The Aggies set the SEC record for total yards in a season with 7,261 in 2012 and fell just a yard short of back-to-back 7,000-yard season with 6,999 in 2013.
*After two seasons in the SEC, the Aggies hold team conference records for season passing yards (4,593 in 2013), season total offense (7,261 in 2012), season yards/game (558.5 in 2012), season passing first downs (204 in 2013) and season total first downs (357 in 2012).
*One of the opening periods of head coach Kevin Sumlin’s practices is called “fast start.” Occurring just after warmups, “fast start” features several live-action 11-on-11 series just like a game situation. He started implementing the period when his teams at the University of Houston were getting off to slow starts.
*In 26 games under Sumlin, the Aggies have scored at least 14 first-quarter points 14 times.
*Texas A&M has scored first in 23 of 26 games under Kevin Sumlin.
*On opening offensive series under Sumlin, the Aggies have scored 18 of 26 times with an impressive 17 touchdowns.
*In first quarters under Sumlin (26 games), the Aggies have outscored their opponents 301- 127 or an average of 11.6-4.9.
*Mark Snyder’s Aggie defense has forced a punt, turnover or turnover on downs on 18 of 26 opening series.
OFFENSE UNDER SUMLIN
*The Aggies have gained 400 or more yards in 23 of 26 games under Sumlin.
*The Aggies have hit 500 total yards in 18 of 26 games under Sumlin.
*During the Sumlin era, Texas A&M has scored 70 points once, 60 or more points three times, 50 or more 11 times, 40 or more points 19 times and 30 or more 21 times in 26 games..