FAYETTEVILLE, AR (WIS) - The 14th ranked South Carolina Gamecocks spoiled Arkansas' homecoming Saturday, winning 52-7 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. It was the fourth straight win for South Carolina since losing to Georgia.
South Carolina improves to 5-1, 3-1 in the SEC. Arkansas is 3-4 and yet to win a conference game, 0-3 for the first time since 2007. It was their fourth straight loss.
The Razorbacks capped an 8-play opening drive with 12:42 in the first quarter with a 2-yard run to go on the board first, 7-0. But the Gamecocks answered with 52 straight points.
"We made a lot of good plays," said Head Coach Steve Spurrier. "Scored touchdowns, kicked that one field goal early in the game. Guys played well. The question is can the team play well on down the stretch?"
When it was the Gamecocks's turn on offense, they ended the drive kicking 33-yard field goal with 7:14 in the first quarter to trail Arkansas 7-3. It didn't take long for USC to get the ball back on the next Arkansas drive, as Victor Hampton's interception of Brandon Allen set up a 7-yard touchdown run for Mike Davis on a first and goal for the Gamecocks to take the 10-7 lead with 5:12 to go in the first quarter.
It was the 5th 100-yard rushing game for Davis. He finished with 128 yards on 19 carries.
At the end of the first quarter, South Carolina led 10-7.
13:40 into the second quarter, South Carolina scored again on a Connor Shaw pass to Bruce Ellington to extend the lead 17-7.
With :13 until halftime, Shaw found Ellington again for a 4-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-7 South Carolina.
South Carolina opened second half scoring with a 44-yard touchdown pass from Connor Shaw to Damiere Byrd to put the Gamecocks up 31-7 with 11:43 in the third quarter. Shaw ran one in 10 yards himself while scrambling on third down with 1:29 in the third quarter, giving South Carolina the 38-7 lead.
Shaw threw for 219 yards and scored 4 touchdowns. South Carolina out gained the Razorbacks 537-248. The South Carolina offense dominated the time on the field, 43:25. The defense spent 16:35 on the turf.
Spurrier said he was pleased with the defensive performance.
"We challenged our defensive team especially this week, that they've played better in practice than they have in games," he said. "And I sort of challenged them a little bit to take it to the ballpark. And I think they did. I think our players on defense played well."
Dylan Thompson relieved Shaw in the fourth quarter. He ended his first drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kane Whitehurst at 9:18, making it 45-7.
With the healthy lead, Coach Steve Spurrier gave his reserves some playing time. With 1:07 to go in the game, third-string redshirt freshman quarterback Brendan Nossovitch ran in a touchdown for a 52-7 score.
All-American defensive end Jadaveon Clowney returned after missing last week's game against Kentucky. He had one tackle.
"I got back and told the guys, I said 'We ain't letting everybody talk about us right now -- me,'" Clowney said. "I'm just going to turn it up, man. Just keep having fun out there, so I told them, 'Let's all get together and have fun today and play them and let them pass the ball and play D.'"
Arkansas travels to Alabama next week.
The game in Fayetteville starts a three-game road run for the Gamecocks. Next Saturday the Gamecocks travel to Knoxville to take on Tennessee. The game starts at noon on ESPN.
Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.