ED: Many thanks to Chicken Hoops for the assist on this piece.
Last Saturday, Gamecock fans witnessed one of the most lopsided victories of the Steve Spurrier era. In a venue that historically hasn't been kind to South Carolina, the Gamecocks scored at will, defended capably, and benefited from the sort of breaks that usually befall them en route to a 52-7 shellacking of the Razorbacks.
In the aftermath of the blowout, we were inspired to parse through the rubble and pull some figures that were telling, intriguing, striking and/or humorous. Read on!
Despite Arkansas' meager point total, they still rushed for 218 yards and averaged 9.1 YPC. Let's break that figure down:
82: Percentage of Arkansas' rushing total that resulted from a.) the opening drive (~20%) b.) Keon Hatcher's 50 yard run that ended in a fumble (~22%) and c.) the Hogs' final two possessions, during which Carolina played defensive reserves (~40%).
31: Percentage of Arkansas' time of possession that elapsed while the above criteria took place.
8.6: Percentage of total game time that elapsed while the above criteria took place.
6.8: Average YPC for Arkansas against first team defense, which for our purposes was all but the final two drives. Still not great, but far less piercing a number than the 9.1 you'll see in the box score.
4.5: Average YPC for Arkansas against first team defense when excluding Keon Hatcher's 50 yard run that ended with a fumble. Yeah, this isn't healthy logic-"we looked a lot better when we weren't surrendering enormous gains!"-but it shows what a statistical boon a lone big play can provide when set against relative futility. And when it comes to Arkansas gaining the yards it needed, they really didn't—their success rate was only 48% for the game on rushing plays, which isn't much higher than the national average of 41%.
Additionally, I am willing to live with our defense sacrificing big plays as long as they always end with a crippling turnover or with three-and-outs because teams can't sustain drives. Clearly I am a tolerant and understanding fan.
What about us?
1: Number of Mike Davis carries against Arkansas that resulted in negative yardage. Also the number of 2013 games in which Mike's had more than one carry go for a loss. His 4 rushes for loss against UCF exceed the number he's lost in all other games combined (3).
2.6: Lowest individual average YPC against Arkansas. The owner of that paltry mark? Some bum named Connor Shaw.
5: Shaw's YPC, adjusted for sacks. Sorry, Shon Carson. Now you're the low man. But on the other hand...
15: Number of Shon Carson touches, which yielded 56 yards (3.7 yds./carry) and no fumbles. It was a nice afternoon for the oft-maligned Carson, who performed serviceably in relief of Mike Davis. Shon also caught a screen pass for 14 yards.
100: Pharaoh Cooper's career completion percentage.
67: Percentage of Brandon Allen pass yards accumulated in one completion during the game's opening drive.
96: Receiving yards for Bruce Ellington in the first half.
96: Total receiving yards for Bruce Ellington. Would it have killed us to hit Bruce on a quick slant for four yards in the second half to get him over the century mark?
0: Number of interceptions Connor Shaw has thrown this season.
6: Number of other FBS quarterbacks with no interceptions. Only three have more than 100 pass attempts: Shaw, Oregon's Marcus Mariota, and Nevada's Cody Fajardo.
36: Yards amassed by Pharoh Cooper on a 4th quarter punt return.
40: Yards amassed by South Carolina on all other punt returns this season.
10: Number of points scored by Elliott Fry, a statistic of which he was acutely aware.
Some Arkansas fans were talking trash to me on the bench... I reminded them that I had more points than their whole team😂 #imthekicker— Elliott fry (@elliott_fry22) October 13, 2013
79: Length of a 2nd quarter punt by Arkansas P Sam Irwin-Hill. After a touchback and Gamecock penalty, the net was 69, which is still insane.
1: Number of kickoffs booted out of bounds by Landon Ard, resulting in a penalty. Also the number of times Landon Ard was obliterated by a roving Arkansas special teamer, resulting in a penalty. The universe has a way of balancing things out.
12: Total number of Arkansas possessions.
11: Combined number of offensive plays in Arkansas first two possessions (7 and 4, respectively.)
9: Out of Arkansas' final 10 possessions that went for 3 plays or less.
5: Active streak of Gamecock possessions ending in a touchdown.
2: Number of Gamecock drives of <10 yards.
1: Number of Gamecock drives of <10 yards that did not result in a touchdown.
9:12: Length of 3rd quarter Gamecock scoring drive.
7:23: Length of 4th quarter Gamecock scoring drive.
5:28: Total TOP for Arkansas in the 2nd half.
9: Number of South Carolina players with at least one reception.
8: Number of South Carolina players to score via pass, reception, rush, or kick.
6: Number of South Carolina players with at least one rush.
5: Jersey number of Brendan "Freak Nosty" Nosovitch, who banged his way into the end zone on a zone read keeper for his first career touchdown.
4: Number of South Carolina players to take at least one snap at quarterback.
3: Number of South Carolina players to complete at least one pass.
2: Number of consecutive victories over Arkansas. Our cross-divisional rivals might have dominated the series on the whole, but in the final two matchups, Carolina outscored Arkansas 90-27.
1: Rank of Alabama, against whom Arkansas will play next week. Godspeed.