Thursday, 19 July, 2018

S Carolina's defense scores 3 TDs in 48-22 win over Arkansas

S Carolina's defense scores 3 TDs in 48-22 win over Arkansas S Carolina's defense scores 3 TDs in 48-22 win over Arkansas
Melissa Porter | 08 October, 2017, 10:57

Those plays included an Austin Allen interception Skai Moore returned 34 yards for a TD and an Allen fumble that T.J. Brunson returned 74 yards for a score. The Gamecocks scored their first touchdown a play later and were off to the races.

Kelley took over as Arkansas' quarterback in the fourth quarter with SC ahead 41-10 and led the Razorbacks on two touchdown drives.

"That was fun. I hope to get to do it again, " Brunson said.

If you don't want to count an Auburn game that went to four overtimes in 2015 with him as a defensive coordinator, you have to go all the way back to 2012 when Muschamp's Florida team inexplicably hung 44 points on SC. That's 48 points that the Gamecocks hung on Arkansas in a whoopin.

SC won by a final score of 48-22.

"It's something that's been around in my ear", said Moore.

Three touchdowns from the defense isn't likely to be a formula the Gamecocks can duplicate in the coming weeks, but Saturday it was exactly what they needed.

Williams' reception initially was ruled a 23-yard touchdown play, but video review overturned the score and ruled he had stepped out at the SC 7.

Rico Dowdle had his best game of the year, running hard on 11 carries for 61 yards and looking like the weapon he was down the stretch last season.

"We wanted to get the first down before we went fast", head coach Will Muschamp explained. A few garbage-time drives padded Razorback totals; the third quarter ended with the Gamecocks ahead 34-10 and Arkansas with only 153 yards of offense.

Williams, a former four-star recruit, never seemed to find his fit in the offense under Muschamp, and was mostly a non-factor in the second half of 2016. But this was a great team effort with the chips down, key players out and the upper decks at Williams-Brice Stadium half full.

The Gamecock team that left College Station in a shroud of doubt is back on track to win seven or eight regular-season games. Leading up to the game, Razorbacks defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads had alluded to Williams providing insight into the scheme and personnel of South Carolina's attack.

The Razorbacks joined the club when sophomore walk-on Connor Limpert hit a 48-yard attempt to tie the game 3-3 in the first quarter. The Razorbacks averaged just around three yards per carry.

Bowl-bound people making progress win games like this, backsliders don't.

Certainly no need to adjust the added swagger the SC defense gained Saturday.