Gamecocks Fall at Arkansas, 44-28
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — No.
10 South Carolina pulled to within two points of No. 8 Arkansas early
in the fourth quarter, but the Razorbacks responded with 14 unanswered
points to claim a 44-28 victory on Saturday night at Donald W. Reynolds
With the loss, the Gamecocks fall to 7-2 on
the season and 5-2 in the SEC. The loss also snaps Carolina’s six-game
“true” road winning streak.
South Carolina led twice early in
the contest but trailed 24-14 at halftime. Sophomore quarterback Connor
Shaw produced two second-half touchdown runs, including a 1-yard run at
the 10:30 mark of the fourth quarter, to trim Arkansas’ lead to 30-28.
the Razorbacks (8-1, 4-1) put together an eight-play, 63-yard scoring
drive on the ensuing possession to push their lead to 37-28 and added
another touchdown on a 1-yard run by Broderick Green with 4:07
remaining to put the game out of reach.
The Gamecocks finished
the night with 207 yards of total offense, while Arkansas produced 435
yards in the win. Shaw completed 16-of-25 passes for 128 yards and
added 24 yards and two scores on the ground to lead Carolina.
receiver Alshon Jeffery recorded three receptions to move ahead of
Sterling Sharpe (1983-87) for second in all-time receptions at South
Carolina with 170. His 19 receiving yards on the night leaves him 14
yards shy of Kenny McKinley’s school record of 2,781.
defensive end Devin Taylor had a big night for the Carolina defense
with three tackles, a sack and an interception return for a touchdown.
Razorbacks got off to a strong start as they took the opening kickoff
and drove down to the South Carolina 26, where they settled for a
44-yard field goal by Zach Hocker to take a 3-0 lead.
struggling on their first drive, the Gamecocks found a rhythm on their
second possession, driving 72 yards in nine plays to take the lead.
Freshman running back Brandon Wilds took a pitch around the end and
darted into the end zone from 4 yards out for his first career
touchdown to cap the drive and give South Carolina a 7-3 lead with 2:28
left in the first quarter.
But Carolina’s lead didn’t last long,
as Arkansas’ Dennis Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards to
put the Razorbacks back in front, 10-7.
The Gamecocks turned to
their defense to regain the lead. Senior defensive back C.C. Whitlock
had Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson wrapped up for a sack, but Wilson
tried to get rid of the ball and Taylor picked off the pass and
returned it 48 yards for a touchdown to give South Carolina a 14-10
lead with 13:04 remaining in the half.
Arkansas answered with
another quick strike, as Wilson connected with Jarius Wright for a
68-yard touchdown pass on the Razorbacks’ first play on the ensuing
possession to take a 17-14 lead. The touchdown was the longest play
from scrimmage given up by the Carolina defense this season, with the
previous long being 33 yards.
The Razorbacks added another score
before the half, as Wilson found Wright for a 16-yard touchdown strike
to give Arkansas a 24-14 lead heading into the locker room.
55-yard kickoff return by Victor Hampton to open the second half gave
the Gamecocks excellent field position at the Arkansas 45, and Carolina
took advantage with a 9-play, 45-yard scoring drive. Shaw capped the
drive with a 9-yard touchdown run to trim the Razorbacks’ lead to 24-21
at the 10:50 mark of the third quarter.
After two Hocker field
goals gave Arkansas a 30-21 lead, Shaw produced his second touchdown
run of the game from a yard out to cut the Razorbacks’ lead to 30-28
with 10:30 left in the fourth quarter.
But Arkansas scored the
next 14 points to seal the win, including Green’s 1-yard touchdown run
after the Gamecocks turned the ball over at their own 1-yard line.
connected on 20-of-37 pass attempts for 299 yards and two scores to
lead the Razorbacks, while Johnson added 86 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Gamecocks return to action against Florida on Saturday, Nov. 12 in the
first of three straight home games to close out the season.