Recap: So Carolina vs. Texas A&M
Columbia, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - Sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill made Texas A&M fans forget all about former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel on Thursday night and introduced them to college football's newest star.
Hill broke Manziel's school record with 511 yards passing and threw for three touchdowns to lead the 21st-ranked Aggies to a stunning 52-28 win over No. 9 South Carolina in the season and SEC opener for both teams.
Many felt that the early departure of Manziel, a first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, as well as top-10 picks in offensive tackle Jake Matthews and wide receiver Mike Evans, would mean a down year for Texas A&M (1-0, 1-0 SEC).
No one told the Aggies' new QB.
Hill completed 44-of-60 passes and looked every bit the part in his first collegiate start. His 60 pass attempts were four more than Manziel's career- high 56, set as a freshman against LSU, and four off the school record set by Ryan Tannehill.
"I was more excited then nervous," said Hill. "I just came out here and I was ready to go. I've been ready for this my whole life. Everybody was doubting us and I was just ready to show people wrong."
Tra Carson added three rushing touchdowns for the Aggies, who put an end to South Carolina's 18-game home win streak. Malcome Kennedy had a game-high 14 receptions for 137 yards.
Dylan Thompson put up big numbers for South Carolina (0-1, 0-1) in defeat, throwing for 366 yards and four touchdowns with an interception. Nick Jones was his primary target, making five catches for 113 yards and two scores.
"It was obvious the odds makers don't know what they're talking about," said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier. "That team was so much better than us it wasn't funny. They out-coached us, out-played us, they were better prepared and they knew what they were doing."
The Aggies scored first, as Hill led a nine-play scoring drive on the game's opening possession. A 22-yard pass to Ricky Seals-Jones was initially ruled a touchdown, but a video review placed the ball at the 1-yard line. Carson easily took it in from there.
Josh Lambo added a 33-yard field goal at 5:02 of the first to make it 10-0.
Hill's first touchdown pass of the season came to Seals-Jones on a slant from three yards out three minutes into the second quarter.
Thompson sandwiched Hill's TD with two of his own, heaves of 69 and 46 yards to Jones and Damiere Byrd. On both plays, the receivers got behind the defense and caught touchdown passes in stride before marching into the end zone.
Edward Pope reeled in a 14-yard touchdown catch midway through the second quarter to make it 24-14, and Carson added a 2-yard TD plunge late in the half to send the Aggies into the break leading by 17 points.
Texas A&M scored on both of its third-quarter drives, with Josh Reynolds catching a 5-yard touchdown pass from Hill in the back right corner of the end zone and Carson again taking it in from the goal line. Pharoh Cooper caught a short TD pass from Thompson and Jones had his second TD grab late in the third, but the Gamecocks still trailed 45-28 through three.
With the game already well out of hand, Trey Williams had a 2-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring.Game Notes
Hill completed 16 of his first 20 passes. Manziel also went 16-for-20 to open
his first career start. Manziel set the old passing record of 464 yards
against Alabama last season ... Hill's 511 passing yards were the most the
Gamecocks have allowed to a single quarterback ... Aggies linebacker A.J.
Hilliard, who sacked Thompson early on, was carted off the field with a leg
injury ... Texas A&M improved to 11-2 on the road under Kevin Sumlin ... South
Carolina running back Mike Davis, who was questionable to play before the
game, carried six times for 15 yards in the first half but did not play in the
second with a rib injury ... The Gamecocks hadn't lost at home since Auburn
beat them on Oct. 1, 2011.