An inspired defense effort turned a close game into a blowout as South Carolina hammered Arkansas 48-22 at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday. It was easily the best defensive performance in a while for the Gamecocks, certainly in the Will Muschamp era, and comes at a time where the team could ill afford to drop yet another conference matchup.
Both offenses didn’t look good to start. Jake Bentley couldn’t really get much going and Parker White missed a pair of field goals, while Austin Allen was inefficient for his part. But the game tied at 3, Hayden Hurst turned a strike into a 62-yard score to put the Gamecocks up 10-3 early in the 2nd quarter. Later, just before the half, Bryan Edwards made a jumping catch in the end zone on Bentley’s 18-yard pass to make it a 17-10 game.
After Parker White’s 29-yarder made it 20-10 with 9:28 left in the third, the Gamecocks defense hit another level. Skai Moore’s 34-yard pick-six put them in front 27-10 with eight and a half to go in the frame, followed by a 73-yard scoop and score fumble recovery for a touchdown by T.J. Brunson moments later to get it to 34-10. The offense got it going in the fourth as they marched down the field and ended an 11-play, 60-yard drive with a short pass to Ty’Son Williams to make it 41-10. After former Gamecock David Williams ran it in from four yards out to make it 41-16 before a failed two-point conversion, Keisean Nixon sealed the deal with his own interception return for a touchdown - a 45-yarder - with 3:33 left to increase the lead to 48-16. The Razorbacks tacked on a late touchdown but missed the ensuing conversion to set the game’s final margin.
South Carolina improves to 4-2 (2-2 SEC) and travels to Tennessee next Saturday for a high noon kickoff at Neyland Stadium.