South Carolina came away with its best offensive showing of the season Saturday in a 35-28 loss to Texas A&M, but interim coach Shawn Elliott said it doesn’t soften the blow of a fifth conference loss.
“Tough loss to a good a team,” Elliott told reporters after the game. “I think our team made improvements. They played with great effort. I don’t question any of the effort, but unfortunately it didn’t workout for us. A loss is a loss and we’re very, very disappointed in what we didn’t accomplish.”
The Gamecocks’ 445 yards of total offense was nearly enough to pull the upset. But junior quarterback Perry Orth, who went back and forth from poised to frazzled in throwing for 192 yards on 15-of-24 passing, threw two interceptions, the most costly coming on Carolina’s potential game-winning drive.
Down by 7 with 1:22 left in the game, Orth succumbed to the relentless Aggie pass rush, taking consecutive sacks on first and second down before throwing the pick that sealed the win for A&M with 46 seconds left on the clock.
Elliott said he was planning to go for a two-point conversion and the win, had the Gamecocks scored on that final drive.
“We were gonna go for two points and the win had we scored,” Elliot said. “I told the defense right before that to get [the ball] back and we’re gonna go down and go for the win.”