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Texas A&M Aggies at South Carolina Gamecocks NCAAF Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/28/14

Texas A&M Aggies (9-4) at South Carolina Gamecocks (11-2)

College Football: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm (Williams-Brice Stadium)

The Line: South Carolina Gamecocks -10 -- Over/Under: 57 See the Latest Odds

TV: SEC Network

The Texas A&M Aggies and South Carolina Gamecocks kick off the 2014 season Thursday night on the SEC Network.

The Texas A&M Aggies will figure out what life is like without quarterback Johnny Manziel, as the keys have now been given to Kenny Hill. Hill has experienced very little playing time, as he threw just 22 passes last season for 183 yards and a touchdown, but he’s a very athletic player who should hold his own this season for the Aggies. Texas A&M does return four starters along the offensive line, which should help, along with playmakers such as Trey Williams, Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals-Jones. Defensively is where Texas A&M has issues, as the Aggies had the worst defense in the SEC last season with an average 475 yards allowed. The Aggies do return nine starters on the defensive side of the ball, but I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. If Texas A&M doesn’t improve drastically on defense, this is sure to be a long season.

Texas A&M Aggies at South Carolina Gamecocks NCAAF Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/28/14

USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina Gamecocks move on without defensive star Jadeveon Clowney. The Gamecocks return 14 starters from a team that won 11 games last season. The South Carolina offense will continue to rely heavily on 1,000-yard rusher Mike Davis, while Dylan Thompson takes over the full-time starting quarterback job for the first time in his career. Thompson has 1,827 career passing yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. With a lot of the same players back in play, the Gamecocks should once again have a balanced offense considering they averaged 34.1 points last season. Defensively, South Carolina returns six starters but lost a lot of leadership. Replacing Clowney is impossible but guys such as Skai Moore, Kaiwan Lewis and Marcquis Roberts give the South Carolina Gamecocks a young defensive core to lean on this season.

The Aggies are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 conference games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Gamecocks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games. 

I think this line is a little overreaction given the fact Manziel is no longer playing for the Aggies. Texas A&M is still a solid team that should be respected, especially on the offensive side of the ball with so much young talent.

You’re going to get a hard fought game given the fact it is a conference matchup, and I expect the Aggies to keep it close.

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Texas A&M Aggies +10

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