Thumbs up, thumbs down: USC-Arkansas

October 12, 2013 

Gamecocks wide receiver Kane Whitehurst catches a pass in front of Arkansas cornerback Carroll Washington for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

THUMBS UP

Victor Hampton

After not starting the game, the junior made an interception in his first series and returned it 21 yards to set up the Gamecocks’ first touchdown.

The big three

Connor Shaw, Mike Davis and Bruce Ellington again paced the Gamecocks’ offense. Shaw was 19-of-28 passing for 219 yards and three scores — two of them to Ellington. Shaw also added a rushing touchdown. Davis ran for 128 yards and a score, his fifth time in six games over 100 yards.

Shon Carson

The sophomore tailback saw the most action of his career and did well, carrying the ball 15 times for 56 yards, including a fourth-down conversion run.

Convert this

South Carolina was 5-for-5 on fourth-down conversions, highlighted by a 7-yard run by Davis on fourth-and-1 from USC’s 38-yard line in the second quarter. That kept a drive alive and led to the Gamecocks’ second score.

Making breaks

Arkansas fumbled the ball away on two of the Razorbacks’ biggest gains of the day. In the third quarter, Keon Hatcher ran 50 yards to the USC 21, when Jimmy Legree forced a fumble that Chaz Elder recovered. Alex Collins in the fourth quarter ran 29 yards to the USC 1, fumbling into the end zone and forcing a touchback.

Defense

South Carolina’s defense held Arkansas to 248 yards of offense. Razorbacks quarterback Brandon Allen was 4-of-12 passing for 30 yards and an interception. Arkansas was held to 37 offensive plays, compared with USC’s 89.

Everybody plays

Plenty of USC backups saw action by the end of the game. Fourth-quarter scores were on a reception by former Razorback Kane Whitehurst from Dylan Thompson and a run by third-string quarterback Brendan Nosovitch.

THUMBS DOWN

Another one rides the bus

ESPN “made something out of nothing,” GameDay host Chris Fowler said, when he reported that Jadeveon Clowney did not ride the team bus to Arkansas’ stadium. Clowney did ride the team bus, and Fowler later corrected himself and apologized.

Fumble

Shaw lost a fumble at the Arkansas 12, one of the few blemishes on the day for the offense.

Staying home

The announced crowd of 66,302 was well short of Reynolds Razorback Stadium’s 72,000-seat capacity. Most fans were gone by the end of the third quarter.

Injuries

Senior offensive guard Ronald Patrick left the game with a high ankle sprain in the fourth quarter, while freshman linebacker Skai Moore suffered a concussion on the final play.

Dwayne McLemore

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