By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Ainias Smith spoke to his Texas A&M teammates in regards to the significance of beginning quick earlier than Saturday night time’s game towards South Carolina.
Then he made certain the Aggies did simply that.
Smith had a 95-yard punt return for a landing and Jalen Wydermyer added two TD catches as No. 17 Texas A&M constructed an enormous first-half lead and coasted to a 44-14 rout of South Carolina.
The Aggies pressured a punt on South Carolina’s first drive and Smith returned it for the rating. It was the longest punt return for a landing within the FBS this season and the longest for the Aggies since Dustin Harris had a 96-yard return for a TD in 2012 towards South Carolina State.
“My message to the crew was… let’s begin sturdy and exit right here and get an edge on them actual fast,” Smith mentioned. “And it simply so occurred that my alternative got here and I used to be truly going to be that man.”
The star dashing duo of Isaiah Spiller and Devone Achane continued to do injury for the Aggies. They mixed for 256 yards and two touchdowns every week after dashing for 292 yards and three touchdowns.
Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC) raced to a 31-0 lead by halftime, and Achane’s 35-yard landing run made it 41-0 late within the third as the Aggies improved to 8-0 all-time towards South Carolina.
“That’s what a dominant SEC soccer crew seems like and so they performed prefer it,” South Carolina coach Shane Beamer mentioned.
It was the third straight victory for Texas A&M, which knocked off top-ranked Alabama two weeks in the past earlier than beating Missouri final week.
The successful streak comes after A&M dropped the earlier two games.
“To lose two games like that and are available again towards the stretch we had, I’m very pleased with them,” coach Jimbo Fisher mentioned.
Zach Calzada had 187 yards passing with two touchdowns for the Aggies.
South Carolina graduate assistant-turned-quarterback Zeb Noland had a troublesome night time earlier than he was benched for Jason Brown early within the fourth quarter. Noland managed simply 30 yards passing and had a snap fly over his head that the Aggies recovered and become a landing within the second quarter.
“I believe he had a bloody every part in that game,” Beamer mentioned. “He’s powerful, he’s a fighter and he bought hit just a few occasions tonight, however he stored sitting in there and battling.”
Noland began the primary three games however was harm Sept. 18 towards Georgia and didn’t play once more till main a game-winning drive within the final minute towards Vanderbilt final Saturday. Luke Doty was injured towards the Commodores and is out for the season after having foot surgical procedure this week.
Brown led the Gamecocks (4-4, 1-4) on two landing drives after changing Noland, but in addition threw an interception ultimately zone.
Jaylan Foster grabbed his NCAA-leading fifth interception with about eight minutes left within the first, however the Gamecocks couldn’t transfer the ball after the turnover and needed to punt.
The Aggies prolonged the result in 14-0 when Wydermyer grabbed a 25-yard landing reception on their subsequent possession.
Wydermyer made it 21-0 when he grabbed a brief go and barreled by means of a number of defenders for a 28-yard rating with about 10 ½ minutes left within the first half.
“I’d prefer to see us put up extra factors and I really feel like we did a extremely good job of doing that at present,” Wydermyer mentioned.
He had 75 yards receiving to provide him 1,306 in his profession, passing Martellus Bennett (1,246) for many by a good finish in class historical past.
“He’s actually attending to enjoying like he’s able to enjoying,” Fisher mentioned. “He’s a weapon.”
It appeared like Noland had his teaching hat again on three performs after Wydermyer’s second TD when he was so preoccupied yelling and gesturing at his teammates to get set that he didn’t understand the ball had been snapped and it sailed over his head.
The ball rolled all the best way to the South Carolina 6 — a lack of 19 yards — earlier than Aaron Hansford pounced on it to provide A&M the ball. The Aggies cashed in on the error three performs in a while a 1-yard TD run by Spiller that made it 28-0.
Texas A&M was dominant from starting to finish on this one, persevering with its sturdy latest play. The Gamecocks bought their first SEC win final week and could have loads to repair throughout their upcoming week off in the event that they hope to get one other one this season.
The Aggies ought to maintain their spot or might presumably transfer up a few slots after a number of groups forward of them misplaced Saturday.
(*17*) brother Tyrese Wydermyer, who’s within the Navy, shocked the tight finish on the game. His dad and mom stored it a secret that he was coming after the brothers hadn’t seen one another in eight months with Tyrese stationed in Illinois.
“That was the happiest I’ve been shortly,” Jalen mentioned.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks are off subsequent Saturday earlier than they host Florida Nov. 6
Texas A&M: The Aggies are also off subsequent Saturday earlier than internet hosting No. 19 Auburn Nov. 6.
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