The quarter got off to a wild start with two touchdowns within the first three minutes. The first came by way of the USC defense as Devin Taylor picked off a Tyler Wilson pass and returned it 48 yards for his second career touchdown. That was Wilson’s first interception in 185 passes and it came as he was in the arms of CC Whitlock. USC led 14-10 with 13:04 left in the half.
The Gamecocks were double fortunate on that possession because a few plays before the pick, Ronnie Wingo Jr. dropped a touchdown pass at the Gamecock 22 as he was ten yards behind the Gamecock secondary.
Arkansas responded quickly. On the first play of the next drive, Wilson connected with Jarius Wright on a 68 yard scoring pass. Wright was wide open in the middle of the Gamecock secondary. It was the longest play allowed by the Gamecock defense this season. With 12:19 left in the half, Arkansas led 17-14.
The Razorbacks benefited from a USC special teams mistake and shoddy secondary coverage to go 75 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown on its next possession. The Gamecocks had forced a three and out but ran into the punter giving Arkansas a first down. The Hogs moved down the field from that point and Wilson hit Jarius Wright for a 16 yard touchdown between DeVonte Holloman and Victor Hampton. With 4:11 left in the half, Arkansas leads 24-14.
Arkansas had the chance to perhaps deliver a knockout punch right before the half driving deep into Gamecock territory. Wilson found Codi Hamilton open in the end zone on a third down play but Hamilton dropped the sure touchdown. And then Zack Hocker missed a 29 yard field goal.
At halftime, Arkansas leads 24-14.