COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin knows his Aggies have more to accomplish. Still, he couldn’t help but take pride in the team’s dominating show at Southeastern Conference power South Carolina.
"We’re not where we want to be, but I’ll put it this way: We’re not going anywhere anytime soon," Sumlin said after the 21st-ranked Aggies beat No. 9 South Carolina 52-28 Thursday night.
Few expected Texas A&M to click so fast or so well against the Gamecocks, practically unbeatable at home the past three seasons. But the Aggies and sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill showed they would keep moving forward in their third SEC season.
Hill, a sophomore as quiet and unassuming as his predecessor Johnny Manziel was brash and glitzy, threw for a school record 511 yards passing — the most ever allowed by the Gamecocks in program history.
Texas A&M’s 680 yards of total offense was also the most ever allowed by South Carolina, the preseason pick to win SEC Eastern Division. The Aggies’ performance was a big ice bucket of water thrown on the Gamecocks’ defense, one of the country’s best in leading them to three straight 11-2 seasons.
Texas A&M scored seven touchdowns in their first 11 possessions as Hill connected with 12 receivers.
Hill was 44 of 60 with three touchdowns. Tailback Tra Carson scored three times and receiver Malcome Kennedy had 14 catches for 137 yards.
"I thought the kids went out there and had some fun," A&M offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said. "And they’re a fun group of kids to watch."
Steve Spurrier didn’t have much fun watching this one. The Gamecocks’ 10th-year coach is more accustomed to handing out such beatings than receiving them.
"I think our players are better than what they showed, but I don’t know," Spurrier said. "We have no pass rush, coverage was so-so and (the Aggies) knew what they were doing."