The Razorbacks Lose to the Gamecocks – What They’re Saying


The Razorbacks Lose to the Gamecocks

The University of Arkansas homecoming football game in Fayetteville is in the books and the Razorbacks lose to the Gamecocks, big time – 52-7. It wasn’t pretty after the first drive if you’re a Hog fan. Here is a wrap up of what sportswriters and analysts had to say about the game.

From David Ching at ESPN:

Rumors of their demise … :There has been a seemingly endless array of drama at South Carolina since the season started, much of which centered around star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Entering Saturday’s game at Arkansas, Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks had won three straight since their Week 2 loss at Georgia, but each game saw the Gamecocks barely holding on for narrow wins. Then came Saturday’s 52-7 win against the Razorbacks, which represents the biggest loss in Arkansas coach Bret Bielema’s career and perhaps a corner turned by the Gamecocks.


Greg Ostendorf at ESPN gave helmet stickers:

Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina: The Gamecocks had struggled in recent weeks, not putting teams away, but that wasn’t the case Saturday against Arkansas. They thrashed the Razorbacks to the tune of 52-7, and Shaw played his best game of the season. The South Carolina quarterback finished 19-of-28 for 219 yards and three touchdowns through the air and tallied his fourth score on a 10-yard run in the third quarter. Shaw has been lights out since returning from a recent shoulder injury. He now has 10 touchdown passes on the season, but more importantly, he has yet to throw an interception after throwing seven a year ago.


Jeremy Crabtree with ESPN wrote:

“Right now we’re in good shape, but can we continue?” Steve Spurrier said. “We’re back with a chance, and we’ll see how we’ll go from here. But it was the most complete game of the year, certainly.”

South Carolina dominated on both sides of the ball, possessing the ball for more than 43 minutes, racking up 537 yards of offense and limiting Arkansas to 37 plays. Quarterback Connor Shaw managed the Gamecocks offense with precision, passing for 219 yards, rushing for 37 yards and having a hand in four scores. Running back Mike Davis also helped provide great balance for South Carolina, rushing for 128 yards and a touchdown.

“We knew, going through this stretch, it was going to be tough,” Shaw said. “Any time you go three straight weeks on the road in the SEC, it’s tough. We had to start off strong with Arkansas. We knew we had to have that mentality coming in to play well on the road. We wanted to come out here and make a statement, and I think we did.”


WISTV reports:

“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?”

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.”


On Steve Spurrier’s decisions to go for it on fourth downs (five times, all successful), the State newspaper in South Carolina reports:

“We felt like another field goal wouldn’t look as good as another touchdown,” Spurrier said. “If we had missed, you’d have said I was stupid. But that’s OK. We made it, so that makes me smart, I guess, or us smart.

“I’m still a big believer, if you go for it once and miss twice, you’re one point ahead. Seven is better than two threes.”

It was indeed. The Razorbacks allowed 52 straight points in a drubbing that quickly had a Homecoming crowd streaming to the exits. The Gamecocks exorcised several demons on a field where they had suffered their own crushing defeats, started a three-game road swing with a huge win and, as an added bonus, got back into the SEC East championship race after Missouri topped Georgia.

Josh Kendal with the State newspaper writes:

South Carolina’s week of preparation for Arkansas proved more stressful than the Razorbacks themselves.

“I do feel badly for Arkansas,” Spurrier said. “It’s no fun getting your butt beat like this at home, homecoming and all that. They are probably not as strong a team as they were when they were kicking our tails the last three times I have been in here.”

“We wanted to come out here and make a statement, and I think we did,” said quarterback Connor Shaw, who threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 37 and another score.

It was such a good day that things kept going South Carolina’s way after the final whistle. Moments after the Gamecocks finished, Missouri finished a 41-26 upset of Georgia that opened the SEC East race for South Carolina.

“We’re back with a chance,” Spurrier said. “We will see where we can go from here. Now, can we play like this or even close to this when we go to Knoxville next week? That’s the question.”

South Carolina notched its biggest win against Arkansas, its biggest margin of victory on the road since 1912 and its fifth 50-plus point game in Spurrier’s nine seasons.


From the Washington Post:

The Razorbacks also had two big runs, by Keon Hatcher and Alex Collins, that ended in fumbles — leaving Bielema looking for ways to teach Arkansas how to overcome difficult moments before games like Saturday quickly spiral are out of reach.

“We have a negative play, and then it just cartwheels into everything and is around us in every way,” Bielema said. “It’s a very difficult thing.”

Even Spurrier chimed in on Arkansas’ woes after Saturday’s game, saying he did “feel badly” for the Razorbacks.

The season doesn’t get any easier this week for Arkansas, which will play for the eighth straight week when it travels to No. 1 Alabama.

“I just hope the team can come together and get ready for the No. 1 team in the country,” Arkansas defensive end Chris Smith said. “We still have five games left in the season to bounce back.”

“… We can’t have nobody feeling sorry for us at all.”


A weekly column from Dan Wolken with USA Today called the Misery Index, lists Arkansas this week. We will post what he had to say about the Razorbacks’ season so far first, then his disclaimer about what the “Misery Index” is:

7. Arkansas: Ever since Jen Bielema taunted Wisconsin fans with a Tweet that simply read “#karma,” not much has gone right for her husband Bret Bielema and the Arkansas program. At that point the Razorbacks were 3-0, and though those wins were compiled against a weak schedule, it seemed like the overall vibe around Arkansas was positive. The Bielemas didn’t enter the SEC as the world’s most humble couple in the first place, but many felt the “#karma” Tweet in reference to Wisconsin’s heartbreaking loss at Arizona State was over the line. Since then, however, Arkansas is 0-4 and has been out-scored 155-74. Isn’t that itself the definition of karma? Bielema’s confrontational demeanor and willingness to mix it up is a good fit for a place like Arkansas, where it’s easy to get lost in the SEC West shuffle. But this season is a disappointment by any measure, and it will be interesting to see if Bielema dials it back this offseason. It’s hard to act like a bully when you’re coming off 5-7, which on paper looks like the best Arkansas can do with its remaining schedule.

The disclaimer:

(Disclaimer: This isn’t a ranking of worst teams, worst losses or coaches whose jobs are in the most jeopardy. This is simply a measurement of a fan base’s knee-jerk reaction to what they last saw. The way in which a team won or lost, expectations vis-a -vis program trajectory and traditional inferiority complex of fan base all factor into this ranking)

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