FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas jumped out to an early 7-0 lead against No. 14 South Carolina with a touchdown on the opening drive of the game.
Then it was the Gamecocks turn. And again. And again.
South Carolina 10
Arkansas fans may remember the name Kane Whitehurst, who caught the fourth-quarter TD pass Saturday for No. 14 South Carolina that put his team up 45-7. Whitehurst, a redshirt freshman at the time, was kicked off the team at Arkansas after being arrested for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. He was arrested the same day as former coach Bobby Petrino’s infamous motorcycle accident that led to his dismissal in 2012. Then-coach John L. Smith dismissed Whitehurst, who transferred to South Carolina. Whitehurst, now a sophomore back-up at wide receiver, has two receptions this season, both for touchdowns. The other one was against North Carolina.
CONNOR SHAW: The senior quarterback, who spent his first couple of years at South Carolina in and out of coach Steve Spurrier’s doghouse, was a difference-maker Saturday against Arkansas, passing for 219 yards, rushing for 37 more and leading the powerful South Carolina offense in a 52-7 rout of the Razorbacks. Shaw threw 28 times, completing 19 with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Shaw was one of three quarterbacks who played for the Gamecocks.
MIKE DAVIS: The South Carolina running back led all rushers with 128 yards and a touchdown. At 5-foot-9 and 215 pounds, Davis punished would-be tacklers most of the day, averaged 6.7 yards per carry. His longest trip was a 19-yard gain. Davis and back-up Shon Carson shared the load for the Gamecocks; Carson carried 15 times for 56 yards.
95 — Arkansas’ total offense in the first half.
69 — Yards gained by Arkansas wide receiver Keon Hatcher, tying the rushing yardage by running back Alex Collins.
KEYS TO TODAY’S GAME
1. Win Turnover Battle
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. didn’t realize he would have a role in the end of an era today.
It’s an understandable oversight. The final leg of the annual cross-division battle between Arkansas and South Carolina hasn’t garnered national news. There won’t be any ceremonies or celebrations to mark the occasion this afternoon, either.
1. Dual-Threat Shaw
South Carolina’s Connor Shaw hasn’t received the same type of attention as other Southeastern Conference star quarterbacks Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray or AJ McCarron. But Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash said it doesn’t take star power for the Razorbacks to realize the quarterback will be challenging Saturday.
FAYETTEVILLE — The losses don’t sit well with Arkansas coach Bret Bielema.
They don’t feel good to his coaches and players, either.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas offensive tackle David Hurd knew his exact mistake as soon as the play ended last Saturday.
The senior said the Florida linebacker was his responsibility. But he didn’t get it done. So quarterback Brandon Allen hit the turf with a thud.
1. Starting Spot Open
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said the Razorbacks are going to miss sophomore Will Hines, who will be sidelined for the next several weeks after fracturing his right arm in the 30-10 loss at Florida last Saturday.
1. Turnover Trouble
Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen has been responsible for four turnovers in the past two games (three interceptions, fumble). To make matters worse, two of the interceptions were returned for touchdowns by Texas A&M and Florida.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney doesn’t know if South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is playing Saturday.
That won’t stop Chaney and the Razorbacks from planning for him for obvious reasons. The 6-foot-6, 274-pound All-American entered the 2013 season regarded as the best defensive player in the country.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema was impressed with Florida’s defensive stand in the closing minutes last Saturday.
The Gators held a comfortable 20-point lead and had secured their third straight Southeastern Conference win. But it didn’t matter. Bielema said nothing stopped Florida from going all out, digging in to keep the Razorbacks out of the end zone.
1. Swanson, Hines Updates
Arkansas had to finish its 30-10 loss with center Travis Swanson watching from the sideline because of a knee injury. But Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is optimistic Swanson won’t be without the senior again when the Razorbacks (3-3, 0-2 in Southeastern Conference) play No. 14 South Carolina (4-1, 2-1) on Saturday.
Five Keys Review
1. Third-Down Success — Not Accomplished
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Arkansas wanted to make a statement in The Swamp, confident its hard-nosed philosophy under coach Bret Bielema was ready for a big test.
Its ground-and-pound philosophy was successful early, helping the Razorbacks take a surprising lead against Florida. But there was one problem: It was only the first quarter.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — It wasn’t the way Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen wanted to perform in his first start on the road.
His white uniform was covered in grass stains by halftime. He was harassed, battered and bruised in a 30-10 loss to No. 18 Florida. Allen finished 17-of-41 for 164 yards with an interception. That’s a 70.2 quarterback rating, well below his season rating coming into the game of 149.6.
SOLOMON PATTON: The senior wide receiver for Florida had a career night against Arkansas with six catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Patton, with six of the Gators’ 16 receptions, had more yards than the rest of the receiving corps combined. The Gators had 240 yards passing.
ALEX COLLINS: The freshman for the Razorbacks made a mark in his return to his home state, rushing for 54 yards on 13 carries and catching five passes for another 45 yards. Collins, out of Plantation High School in Fort Lauderdale, was recruited by both Florida and Arkansas, among others.