Ugly doesn’t even come close to what Arkansas did in Columbia. After a gross but close first half, Arkansas got the doors blown off by South Carolina 48-22. Arkansas is now 2-3 on the year and running head first in to a buzzsaw with Alabama and Auburn coming up next.
The first quarter ended at 3-3, two teams who have been down right horrible kicking the ball had field goals split the uprights. Connor Limpert hit a 48-yarder after South Carolina opened the scoring with a 33-yarder. It was an ugly quarter for both sides, the two combined to go 0-for-9 on third downs.
The defense’s tendency to play well for a while and give up a big play happened again early in the second quarter. The first touchdown of the game was a 62 yard completion to tight end Hayden Hurst. Arkansas responded with a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a slant route from Austin Allen to Jordan Jones for the TD. A few plays before that David Williams got into the end zone thanks in part to a vicious block from Deon Stewart, but was rightly called out of bounds at the seven after review.
South Carolina took a 17-10 lead into the halftime break thanks to a two minute drive that was capped off by an outstanding catch by Bryan Edwards. For the first time since the TCU game, Arkansas was having a hard time moving the ball in the first half. The biggest plays on offense were from Williams and TJ Hammonds.
Arkansas came out and had the ball to start the third quarter. This is where I would like to say Arkansas fought and made plays in the second half and overcame the stigma of falling apart in the second half. That did not happen. Arkansas instead decided to lay down and let the oncoming traffic run their ass over. It wasn’t even the high speed mack truck that is Alabama. No sir, that’s next week. They let a mid-sized sedan with reasonable gas efficiency kill them.
Allen threw a pick six. Then a sack and fumble happened and all of a sudden South Carolina had 24 unanswered points and a 34-10 lead in the third quarter. The bad football became laughable, then turned downright unwatchable. A few more garbage time scores made the final what it was. The last Arkansas touchdown came from the arm of Cole Kelley. The last South Carolina touchdown also came from the arm of Cole Kelley.
A look up and down the box score shows that absolutely no one had a good game. Well, no one on Arkansas’ sideline. Jake Bentley finished 16/31 with 199 yards and 3 TDs. The defense swarmed all over the field. Basically everything Arkansas wants to do to teams was done to them. But don’t worry. Alabama and Auburn are coming up next.