South Carolina vs. Arkansas Football Preview

University of Arkansas

Students: 24,595 (undergrad 20,433)

2012 Record: 4-5 overall, 2-3 SEC

Head Coach: John L Smith, 4-5 in his first season at Arkansas

All Time Record vs. USC: Arkansas leads the series 13-7, winning the last three in a row.

Read below for more in site on Saturday's game: 

After a week off, the Gamecocks should be healthy minus running back Marcus Lattimore.  South Carolina will have Kenny Miles and Mike Davis trying to fill in as Lattimore's replacement. Just like last year, USC will need to find a way to get it done with Mr. Lattimore.  As for Arkansas, this season has not gone there way but that doesn't mean Tyler Wilson and company won't be ready for the Gamecocks on Saturday. 

3 Things you need to know about Arkansas's offense: 

  • Arkasnas can throw the ball.  The Hogs are averaging 305 pass yards per game, which is third best in the SEC.  The offense is scoring 26 points a game and averaging 429 totals yards. 
  • Senior QB Tyler Wilson is the real deal.  Leading the SEC with passing yards per game with 315, and completing 60.6% of his passes. 
  • Senior WR Codi Hamilton is a game changer, and will carry the Hogs on Saturday against the Gamecocks.  On the season, Hamilton has 69 receptions for 1077 yards and four touchdowns.  Three of his four touchdowns came against Rutgers earlier in the season.  Hamilton also leads the SEC with 7.7 receptions per game.  

If USC's secondary is sleeping on Arkansas, Hamilton could have a career day, running up and down the field. 

3 Things you should know about Arkansas' Defense: 

  • The Hogs are lead by DE Chris Smith and Safety Ross Rasner on Defense.  Smith leads the team in sacks with 5.5 on the season.  Rasner has 57 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and 2 sacks on the season.
  • Arkansas will be without linebackers Alonzo Highsmith and Tenarius Wright due to season ending injuries and will be without Terrell Williams after his arrest this past weekend.  This should help Kenny Miles and the USC run game out greatly.
  • Five members of the UA secondary have made the first start of their collegiate careers this season.  The question is, can Connor Shaw take advantage of an inexperienced secondary. 

What might happen on Saturday: Just like Tennessee two weeks ago, Arkansas will try to exploit USC's secondary.  Coach Ward has already made a couple moves like moving DJ to corner and Holloman back to safety for this game.  I have a feeling Tyler Wilson will have some success on Saturday, but he will spend plenty of his time on his back.  Look for Clowney and Taylor to pin their ears back and rush Wilson a lot.  The Gamecocks will have to be ready for the screen pass, as the pass rush get into the backfield, there is plenty of room for the screen play.  

Without Lattimore, look for Kenny Miles to fill in nicely.  The fifth year senior should be ready.  I don't think USC wants to get into a shoot out with Arkansas, as this plan has not worked out well for the Gamecocks in the past.  The game will come down to USC's defense line vs. Arkansas O-Line.  Just like Tyler Bray, if you give Wilson time, he is going to pick you apart.   

I think Shaw passes for over 250 yards, and Miles rushes for 100 yards.  Clowney has 1.5 sacks and Hampton & DJ both have interceptions. 

Prediction Time:  USC 35  Hogs (WPS) 24