South Carolina vs. Arkansas: Quick Postgame Impressions

The South Carolina Gamecocks lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks by the score of 44-28.  The loss was one that was tough to watch for so many reasons.  Must regroup going forward as there is plenty of football to be played as goals for the team are still reachable.

Here are some quick impressions:

—Devin Taylor’s “pick 6” INT was the play of the year.  Loved it.
—USC’s offensive line could not hold water in the first half.  Led to poor offense as a whole.
—Connor Shaw needs to get the run first out of his system.  I know it is due to poor line play but he needs to keep his eyes down field when flushed from the pocket.
—USC must use slants, screens, swing passes and crossing routes more to get the passing game going.  Saw it in the second half but it has to be a staple going forward as the line is too weak for long developing plays.
—USC’s pass defense must work on defending crossing patterns as Arky did it too well.  And credit the Hogs for going to where the Gamecocks blitz or zone allowed space.
—South Carolina had more yards in the third quarter (67) than in the first half (49).
—The Gamecocks had 4 turnovers inside its territory.  That does not help.
—Connor Shaw’s late INT sucked the life out of ya, didn’t it?
—Great goal-line stand late but it did not change things really.  Still good to see the fight.
—Shaw took a nasty blindside hit late.  Hope he yells for the whole ride home at his offensive line.
—USC had 206 total yards on offense versus the Hogs 435.
—Arky had 299 yards passing versus the Gamecocks having 128.
—Special Teams.  I’m looking at you.
—Alshon had 3 grabs for 19 yards.
—2 of 3 leading receivers were running backs.  That is a issue.
—South Carolina had 79 total yards rushing on 33 attempts, an average of 2.4 yards per carry.
—Gamecocks punter averaged 37 yards.  That is bad.  Real bad.
—USC time of possession was 29:05, but that was offset by the two big scoring plays of 98 and 68 yards for Arkansas. 
—The Gamecocks were eight of 12 on third down conversions. 
—USC averaged 3.6 yards per play to 6.0 yards per play for Arkansas.
—The Gamecocks’ offense was held to a season low 207 yards, one of their lowest totals of the Spurrier era. 
—Shaw was 16-25 for 128 yards with one interception.
—Shaw was sacked five times, the most for a Gamecock quarterback this season, and that resulted in 35 yards in losses.
—The Gamecocks played without starting Spur Antonio Allen who had a neck injury.
—The Gamecocks lost starting strong safety DeVonte Holloman during the game to a concussion. 
—Quarterback Connor Shaw also suffered a concussion late in the game.
—USC has now lost three straight games to Arkansas and trails in the series 13-7.  
—The  loss is also the first for Shaw as the Gamecocks’ starting quarterback.
—South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is now 5-5 all-time against the Razorbacks.
—The Gamecocks fall to 2-8 all-time at Arkansas.
—For the 12th straight game, the Gamecocks fell behind after giving up the opening score.

So in summary, it is hard to win when you dig yourself in a hole, special teams hurts you more than helps, the offensive line bends too much and the defense gives up the long ball.  Arkansas gave USC chances but they could not muster enough to overcome the hurdles.

Happy to be 7-2 overall and 5-2 in conference.  Got work to do.  Need Georgia to lose.  Hope Connor and the boys get healthy quick.
Next up for the Gamecocks is Florida on November 12.

Here are the highlights of the game:


About flounder

Two-time grad of THE University of South Carolina.