After losing Johnny Football to the NFL and backup Matt Joeckel to TCU, there was a big question posted to head coach Kevin Sumlin and his offense. Now with sophomore Kenny Hill leading the team, the roster is set for South Carolina.
Hill is the only quarterback on the A&M roster with a collegiate pass attempt prior to 2014. Last year, he completed 16-of-22 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown in four games.
Under Sumlin, Texas A&M has led the SEC in passing, scoring and total offense the past two seasons. The Aggies have ranked in the top five nationally in total yards/game five of six seasons and set the SEC record for total yards in a season with 7,261 in 2012.
Manziel was A&M’s top rusher the past two seasons and this year, the Aggies travel to Columbia with a loaded roster.
Running back :Trey Williams is the leading returning rusher with 407 yards, while Tra Carson brought in 329 yards. Junior veteran running backs Williams, Carson, and Brandon Williams averaged over 5.0 yards per carry in 2013 and will be a deep part of this Aggie offense.
Wide Receivers: Texas A&M was the only team to have four receivers with more than 50 catches for 600 or more yards. Senior Malcome Kennedy returns for the 2014 season, notching 60 catches for 658 yards and seven touchdowns.
Tight Ends: Memphis, Tenn.-native and senior Cameron Clear will be looked to to contribute a great deal to this Aggie team in 2014. Making his debut last year as a transfer from Arizona Western Community College, he played in all 13 games notching four receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown. You may also recognize Clear from his first SEC-choice, Tennessee,the then freshman played in 12 games with the Vols in 2011.
Offensive Line: Four out of five starters from the 2013 season will be heading back to the turf for the Aggies return to the 2014 season. Seniors OT Cedric Ogbuehi and OG Jarvis Harrison, junior C Mike Matthews and sophomore OT German Ifedi will all be major contributors and each have 13 or more career starts.
What does this mean for Carolina?
Senior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt will be leading this ‘d-line’ and is the only returning starter along the front four. Carolina has had to replace Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton.
Combined, the entire current roster has just 12.0 sacks, half of Clowney’s career total.
The Gamecocks are returning all of their linebackers and Spurs. Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward has noted he feels comfortable rotating as many as nine players at those positions. The defense has really impressed the Gamecock coaching staff at practice and is slated to do very well.
All in all, head coach Steve Spurrier noted it best in Sunday’s press conference. Talkin’ season is over, and it’s all up to what happens on the field now.
“We are preparing the best we can one game at a time, and I’m sure that’s what Texas A&M is doing also,” said Spurrier
GamecockPride.com will keep you updated on the Gamecocks during the game on Thursday evening.