Originally posted on Leftover Hot Dog  |  Last updated 11/6/11

South Carolina completed their road trip at Arkansas and fell to the 7th ranked Razorbacks 44-28.

Breaking it Down...1st Quarter...South Carolina won the toss and elected to kick the ball.  Arkansas received the kick and moved into South Carolina territory.  The Hogs bogged down and had to settle for a 44 yard field goal.  The South Carolina offense then went three and out, and Arkansas again moved the ball into field goal range, but the 45 yard attempt missed wide left.  South Carolina's offense then got on track.  The Gamecocks moved 72 yards on 9 plays to take the lead 7-3.  Brandon Wilds ran the ball in on a sweep to the left side from 4 yards out.  A quieted home crowd quickly came back to life when Dennis Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and a 10-7 Hog lead.  The Gamecock offense responded by going three and out.

2nd Quarter...Arkansas moved the ball across midfield on their next drive.  Quarterback Tyler Wilson was trying to convert a third and two when the threw the ball as he was being pressured.  Devin Taylor snatched the ball from the air and raced 48 yards for the touchdown.  An extra point later the Gamecocks led 14-10.  The Gamecocks kicked the ball short to avoid another touchdown return.  The Hogs took over at their own 32 and threw a 68 yard touchdown pass on first down to lead 17-14.  The Gamecocks made a first down on their next drive before punting.  Arkansas's next drive covered 75 yards on 12 plays resulting in a touchdown making it 24-14.  The defense had stopped the Razorbacks after three plays, but USC attempted to block the kick and ran into the punter.  The offense went three and out again, and a 28 yard punt set the Razorbacks up at the South Carolina 40 yard line.  They moved the ball down to the 10 yard line, but they stalled and missed their field goal attempt.

3rd Quarter...Victor Hampton returned the opening kick of the second half 55 yards into Arkansas territory.  Connor Shaw and the offense took advantage of the field position, and they got back in the game when he ran in  the ball in from 9 yards out.  Leading 24-21 Arkansas drove down to the Carolina 4 yard line but had to settle for a field goal and a 27-21 lead.  The Gamecock offense came out looking to take the lead.  They made a first down, and then fumbled at their own 38.  Arkansas moved to the Gamecock 8, but they had to settle for another field goal to make the score 30-21.

4th Quarter...The Gamecocks got the ball back and put together another long drive.  They moved the ball 80 yards in 13 plays, and Connor Shaw got his second rushing touchdown of the game to make the score 30-28.  Arkansas responded with a quick drive and scored to take a 37-28 lead.  The Razorbacks brought heavy pressure on the first play of the next Gamecock drive, and Connor Shaw's pass was intercepted at the 20 and returned to the USC 9 yard line.  The Hogs tried to put the game on ice, but the defense held and took over on downs.  The Gamecocks move the ball out of the shadow of their end zone, but a holding penalty brought them back.  Shaw then fumbled as he was being sacked, and Arkansas recovered at the 1.  The Hogs punched the ball in for the 44-28 lead.  On the ensuing kick return the Gamecocks fumbled, and Arkansas recovered.  Arkansas couldn't make a first down and turned the ball over on downs.  Dylan Thompson came in for the injured Shaw and ran out the clock.

1 2 3 4 F South Carolina 7 7 7 7 28 Arkansas 10 14 6 14 44

Stars of the Game...Devin Taylor...INT return for TD, 1.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU, 3 tackles...Rodney Paulk...6 tackles, 1.5 TFL, hurries...Connor Shaw...16-25, 128, INT...14 rushes, 24 yards, 2 TD...

What to Take Away From the Game...This was projected to be the hardest game on the schedule.  After Saturday night, there's no reason to think differently.  If this game was played again could South Carolina win?  Yes, I think so, but I don't think the Gamecocks would win more than 2 or 3 out of 10.

Arkansas is a good team and beat USC.  That's not to say that Carolina isn't good, but in Fayetteville at night without Antonio Allen, Kyle Nunn and Marcus Lattimore winning was going to be a tall order.

Despite the loss, there are several positive areas that should be mentioned.  The defense showed some serious backbone in the fourth quarter.  They had multiple opportunities to mail it in and give up, but to their credit, they never did.  The offense also found itself down several times, including a couple of times by two scores.  Some previous Carolina teams would not have responded as well, but the offense was resilient.  That kind of persistence on both sides of the ball will pay dividends in games to come.

This and that...South Carolina falls to 7-2, 5-2....They are now ranked 15 in both the AP and Coaches' polls...They have given up the first score in 12 straight games...The Gamecocks were out rushed 136 to 79 and out passed 8 to 299....Amazingly USC converted 8 of 12 third downs as compared to only 5 of 15 for Arkansas...Carolina's three offensive scoring drives were long: 9pl/72yd, 9pl/45yd and 13pl/80yds...

Up next...The Gamecocks return home for the rest of the season.  They close out their SEC slate against Florida at noon.

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