There's plenty of uncertainty surrounding Saturday's Southeastern Conference football game at Kyle Field between Texas A&M and South Carolina.
Except the weather.
Forecasts seem certain that rain will be involved when the Aggies and Gamecocks kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Kyle Field.
Call it anybody's guess.
A&M, which won its first five games to climb to No. 9 in the national rankings, is coming off back-to-back losses to Alabama and Ole Miss. The now unranked Aggies, who lost three straight games a year ago after a 5-0 start, took several steps during the week to make sure they don't repeat last year's three-game slide.
A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin re-opened the starting quarterback job after the Aggies threw for only 134 yards in last week's 23-3 loss at Ole Miss. A&M also spent the week re-examining its running game, which averaged less than 2 yards a carry over the last two games.
"We haven't played well across the board [offensively]," Sumlin said. "Without going into it, we made some changes in how we'll do some things offensively and approach the game plan."
Who the quarterback is could have a lot to do with the play-calling of offensive coordinator Jake Spavital.
Sophomore Kyle Allen climbed to No. 1 in the SEC in pass efficiency after five games, but he's struggled for the last 10 quarters, which coincides with the offense scoring just one touchdown during that time. Since halftime of the Mississippi State game, Allen is 38-of-88 passing for 447 yards and one touchdown with four interceptions, plummeting to seventh in the SEC in pass efficiency among quarterbacks. He also was sacked seven times over that stretch.
True freshman Kyler Murray would give the position more mobility, a plus with protection an issue. Sophomore transfer Jake Hubenak has the experience of walking on at Oklahoma State, and after failing to be in the mix there, putting together a banner season at Blinn. His play in Brenham earned him several scholarship offers, including from Florida, but he picked A&M.
"He knows the highs and lows of what goes on," Spavital said. "All three quarterbacks bring something to the game. We've got to play to their strengths when they're in."
Running the ball effectively and getting production from receivers other than freshman Christian Kirk or junior Josh Reynolds would help. Ole Miss often double-teamed Kirk and Reynolds and held them to a combined five catches for 35 yards. Four other Aggies combined for 13 catches for 99 yards.
"We have to do a better job finding easier completions for the quarterbacks," Spavital said. "Overall, it's been an up-and-down ride with this offense. We know we'll get this fixed."
The defense, which took much of the blame for last year's midseason collapse and cost former defensive coordinator Mark Snyder his job, has played well under John Chavis. A&M ranks 64th in total defense, 17th in third-down defense and fourth in tackles for loss.
"They have a good front seven that will get after you," South Carolina interim head coach Shawn Elliott said. "I don't care what kind of offensive tackles you have got. We have to mix protections."
South Carolina (3-4, 1-4) has its own uncertainty under Elliott, who replaced Steve Spurrier two weeks ago. The Gamecocks responded with a 19-10 victory over Vanderbilt.
"Coach Elliott has done a great job," said Sumlin, a good friend of Spurrier. "There are a lot of guys on this staff obviously that I know."
South Carolina is coming off a bye week, allowing Elliott to put his stamp on the program as the Gamecocks play the Aggies, their permanent crossover opponent from the Western Division that started the series with a 52-28 victory a year ago.
"[South Carolina] will come in here 1-0 from [Elliott's] standpoint," Sumlin said. "It's an opportunity for us to right the ship with another SEC opponent coming in here Saturday and get back on the winning side. For us it's a big game because it's the next game. But it's also a chance for us to get rolling again. One interesting thing we talked about [Monday], we're not 2-5. We're 5-2 and have an opportunity to close this season out with some opponents to get some big wins and still have a great season and still be in the thick of this thing at the end."