It was Homecoming at Williams-Brice Stadium, a night that would include a Bob Fulton tribute and a halftime ceremony to celebrate the baseball team’s national title. But, unfortunately for the 75,000 in attendance, the Gamecock football could not live up to the moment.
USC could not get anything going on offense and showed even less ability on the defensive side of the ball. Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett threw for over 300 yards and a score as the Razorbacks cruised to a 41-20 victory.
The fans began to file out of the stadium early in the second half as it became apparent the Hogs were in control of this game. Three quarterbacks would play for USC as QB Stephen Garcia would be benched with USC trailing by 31 points in the 4th quarter. Freshman RB Marcus Lattimore could not find a rhythm in this game rushing for just 29 yards on 11 carries. Garcia would lead the team on the ground with 54 yards on seven carries.
It was a one-sided affair in favor of Arkansas throughout the second half as USC ran just 20 plays from scrimmage. On defense, the Gamecocks secondary continued their poor play as Arkansas receivers appeared to run free all night. In the end, Arkansas would have 443 yards in total offense to USC’s 295.
This loss snaps the Gamecocks’ eight game home winning streak.
USC will now look ahead to Florida next week at The Swamp. The winner of that game will represent the SEC East in Atlanta. Carolina drops to 6-3 overall and 4-3 in league play. Arkansas improves to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the SEC. They host UTEP next week.
1st Quarter Recap:
- USC goes three and out on its first possession and Arkansas comes right down the field for a score, a 4 yard pass from Ryan Mallett to Cobi Hamilton. Mallett was 3-4 on the drive for 50 yards. With 10:19 to play in the quarter, Arkansas leads 7-0.
- The Gamecocks answer with their own scoring drive capped by a four yard pass from Stephen Garcia to Tori Gurley. Garcia was 4-4 on the drive for 70 yards and moved into 5th place on the USC all time passing list ahead of Phil Petty. With 5:13 to play in the quarter, USC 7-Arkansas 7.
- The two teams exchanged punts and the quarter ends with the game tied at 7. Arkansas begins the second quarter with the ball on their own 37.
2nd Quarter Recap:
- The Razorbacks were able to move the ball but stalled on the Gamecock 29 when Akeem Auguste sacked Ryan Mallett for a six yard loss on third down. Scoring drive was 12 plays, 53 yards taking 5:07. A 46-yard field goal at made it, Arkansas 10-USC 7.
- A big kickoff returnd by Bryce Sherman gave the Gamecocks starting field position in Razorback territory. The Gamecocks got to the Arkansas six, but would miss a 29 yard field goal. Arkansas 10-USC 7.
- Arkansas took over at their own 20 following the missed field goal, and in 1:15 went 80 yards in just 4 plays for the score. A 57 yard completion and a pass interference in the end zone by Akeem Auguste aided in the drive. Arkansas 17-USC 7.
- A fake punt attempt was snuffed out by Arkansas as they stopped USC wll short of the first down. They took over inside Gamecock territory wasting no time getting to pay dirt. In just plays and a 1:13, the Razorbacks made it Arkansas 24-USC 7.
- With just under two minutes remaining in the half, the Gamecocks began their drive on their own 42. A big 3rd and 10 conversion by Stephen Garcia helped USC get into the red zone, but an offensive pass interference on Alshon Jeffery, pushed them out of scoring position. Spencer Lanning converted a 29 yard field goal. Arkansas 24-USC 10.
Some halftime stats:
Passing: USC-Stephen Garcia 11-22-0, 142 yards-1 TD Arkansas-Ryan Mallett 14-20-0, 213 yards-1 TD
Rushing:USC-Stephen Garcia 6-45, Marcus Lattimore 9-27 Arkansas-Knile Davis 9-48
Receiving: USC-Alshon Jeffery 6-88, Tori Gurley 2-20, 1 TD Arkansas-D.J. Williams 5-67, Cobi Hamilton 5-64, 1 TD, Jarius Wright 1-57
3rd Quarter Recap:
- On the Razorbacks opening drive of the half, once again, they were able to move the ball at will. A touchdown on this drive would have given Arkansas a 21-point lead. A deflected ball by Stephon Gilmore inside the 10 caused an interception by DeVonte Holloman. Holloman returned the ball to the Gamecock 15.
- Stephen Garcia returned the favor and The Razorbacks marched in for an easy score. This time, they did on the ground. Five consecutive runs by Knile Davis made the score Arkansas 31-USC 10.
- Arkansas added a 51-yard field goal. Arkansas 34-10.
4th Quarter Recap:
- As this game got further and further out of reach, the Razorbacks were content just running the ball. USC could not stop their ground attack either and Arkansas waltzed into the end zone for another score when Ryan Mallett scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Arkansas 41-USC 10.
- With the game long out of hand, backup quarterback Connor Shaw came into the game and moved the team well. A late hit on Shaw ended his night early as he was injured on the play. Enter 3rd string qb Seth Strickland. This drive stalled and Spencer Lanning hit his second field goal of the night from 31. Arkansas 41-USC 13.
- The Gamecocks decided to make this game a little more respectful down the stretch as Stephon Gilmore sacked backup qb Tyler Wilson jarring the bar loose. Byron McNight picked it up and took it one yard for a touchdown. Arkansas 41-USC 20
Final Score: Arkansas 41 USC 20