Will Muschamp loves a great defensive effort. He got that and more from his defenders Saturday afternoon in Columbia in a 48-22 win over Arkansas, the most lopsided win in Muschamp’s brief tenure with the Gamecocks. The defense scored second half touchdowns on two interception returns and a fumble return, plus another fumble recovery led to an early field goal. So, the 24 points off turnovers were a big reason the Gamecocks scored their most points in 19 games under Muschamp.
The defense, however, was more than just ball hawkish. The group was stout against the run limiting the Razorbacks to just 106 rushing yards, well off their 205 yards per game average. They also held starting quarterback Austin Allen to 84 passing yards and only 12 completions in 24 attempts.
The offense from the defense was a nice unexpected bonus on a day USC starting quarterback Jake Bentley was off target early. He started 5-15 thru the air but finished by hitting 11 of his final 17 passes with three for touchdowns.
The ground game also came back to life, to some degree. After a net of 26 rushing yards at Texas A&M (remember, a bunch of yards were lost on sacks), the Gamecocks carved out 159 rushing yards, well above their per game average.
So, the Gamecocks hit the halfway mark of the season at 4-2, 2-2 in the SEC. At this same point last season, they were 2-4 and 1-4. It’s the kind of turnaround Muschamp was hoping for entering his second season. The Gamecocks will go for win #5 next week at Tennessee.
Will Muschamp talks about win over Arkansas
Jake Bentley & Bryan Edwards on the play of the offense
Skai Moore & Hayden Hurst talk about their big plays in the win
Alan Knott on running game & TJ Brunson his scoop and score and defensive performance
Here’s my postgame Periscope recap from Williams-Brice Stadium:
USC postgame recap https://t.co/lqtmUApBWC
— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) October 8, 2017