Isaiah Spiller

Sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller pushes into the end zone for a touchdown.

Off to its best start since 2017, No. 7 Texas A&M is looking to remain undefeated against South Carolina.

This weekend, the 4-1 Aggies will look to build on their success as they face a 2-2 South Carolina team that is coming off a loss to LSU.

Fisher said the team has become an SEC target due to its recent success.

“When you become a target and have success, teams lay it out there,” Fisher said. “Our goal is to get A&M to that point. If you do it for a long time, you become a target, but you have to worry about how you play.”

A strength for the A&M offense is its offensive line, which has only allowed senior quarterback Kellen Mond to be sacked twice. Since the season opener against Vanderbilt, the signal caller has not been sacked. Mond also set the record for A&M’s all-time offensive yards last game.

The quarterback is not the offensive line’s only priority, as senior offensive tackle Carson Green said the offensive line also puts an emphasis on protecting running backs like sophomore Isaiah Spiller.

“We have to be physical and move people at least a yard off the ball,” Green said. “Do that and Isaiah won’t have contact with a defender.”

In its last game against LSU, South Carolina allowed the Tigers to put up 265 passing yards and 276 rushing yards.

Spiller and sophomore running back Ainias Smith have been instrumental for A&M’s offense, with Spiller putting up a total of 512 rushing yards so far this season and Smith with 186. They were each also responsible for one rushing touchdown during A&M’s last game against Arkansas.

A&M junior wide receiver Hezekiah Jones made his 2020 season debut for the Aggies during their last game on Saturday, Oct. 31, where he recorded five receptions for 47 yards. In addition to missing the first four games of the season, Jones also missed all of 2019 due to an achilles injury he sustained in fall camp last year.

Jones said he helps the younger receivers embrace the fun in football.

“I bring experience and a lot of these [wide receivers] haven’t played at this level,” Jones said. “I’m a big energy guy and bring positive energy. I try to have fun and remind the [younger] guys that the reason we play is to have fun.”

A South Carolina player to watch for is junior linebacker Ernest Jones, who leads the way for the Gamecocks’ defense with one sack and 55 total tackles, 29 of which were solo. Mond will have to look out for junior defensive tackle Kingsley Enagbare, who has sacked opposing quarterbacks four times this season.

Fisher said the team is focused on meeting their own standards.

“You have to live up to your own expectations. It’s about handling our business one day at a time to get ready to play on Saturday,” Fisher said. “There are no favorites and there are no under dogs, you just have to show up and be the best team you can be [on] that day.”

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