KEYS TO TODAY’S GAME

KEYS TO TODAY’S GAME


1. Win Turnover Battle


Arkansas QB Brandon Allen has thrown a pick six in consecutive games and has four total turnovers. The defense, meanwhile, has not forced a turnover in SEC play. The Razorbacks must flip the turnover tables to beat the Gamecocks this afternoon.


2. Keep Allen Clean


Allen picked himself off the grass plenty of times at Florida, taking a beating in the loss. Arkansas knows the pounding can’t continue against another physical defense. Communication and pass protection have been emphasized in practice all week.


3. Tackle Well


Defensive coordinator Chris Ash was proud of his group’s effort vs. the run at UF. He wasn’t happy with the open-field tackling, which resulted in two big-play scores. The Hogs must be sound or QB Connor Shaw and RB Mike Davis will have big games.


4. Fourth Quarter Success


Remember when Arkansas dominated the fourth quarter? The Razorbacks have been outscored 27-0 during its three-game losing streak. Arkansas and South Carolina have been in plenty of close games, so fourth quarter success is key today.


5. Stop The Run


South Carolina’s Mike Davis leads the SEC in rushing yards a game. QB Connor Shaw is a willing runner who moves the chains. Arkansas must continue to play the run well or else the duo is capable of carrying the Gamecocks to a big road win.


TODAY’S KEY MATCHUP


Arkansas DE Chris Smith (6-3, 268, Sr.)


Key Statistics: 6 sacks, 8 tackles for losses


Arkansas’ best pass rusher remembers how much success Jake Bequette had against the Gamecocks two years ago, watching the former Hog collect a career-high three sacks. The senior would love to duplicate the feat against a better South Carolina line. But Smith also must be aware of the read-option, which could take advantage of his eagerness for sacks. Smith’s success in applying pressure on passing plays and holding his assignment against the run will be critical to Arkansas’ success.


South Carolina QB Connor Shaw (6-1, 209, Sr.)


Key Statistics: 927 yards, 7 touchdowns, 0 interceptions


Shaw — who was knocked out the last time he played in Fayetteville — doesn’t get the notoriety of other big-name quarterbacks in the SEC, but is having a strong season. The senior is completing 68.8 percent of his passes and has not thrown an interception in 96 attempts. Shaw also has been successful with his feet, rushing for 282 yards and a touchdown. The dual-threat QB has been key to the Gamecocks’ balanced offense and will be critical to their hopes of grabbing a big road win.


EDGE: South Carolina QB Connor Shaw


THE NUMBERS


Arkansas Individual Stats


Passing C-A-I Pct.Yds. TD Yds./G


Brandon Allen 60-121-4 49.6 834 8 166.8


Rushing Att. Yds Avg. TD Yds./G


Alex Collins 113 651 5.8 3 108.5


Jonathan Williams 81 503 6.2 4 83.8


Kiero Small 22 80 3.6 0 13.3


Keon Hatcher 4 37 9.2 0 9.2


Receiving Rec. Yds. Avg. TD Yds./G


Javontee Herndon 17 268 15.8 4 44.7


Hunter Henry 14 276 19.7 1 46.0


Keon Hatcher 11 125 11.4 1 31.2


Kiero Small 10 83 8.3 1 31.2


Punt Returns No. Yds. Avg. TD


Javontee Herndon 6 35 5.8 0


Kick Returns No. Yds. Avg. TD


Korliss Marshall 6 95 15.8 0


Field Goals M-A Pct. 40+ Long


Zach Hocker 8-8 100.0 3-3 53


Tackles Solo Assist Total TFL


Jarrett Lake 11 31 42 1.0


Braylon Mitchell 16 21 37 1.0


Alan Turner 18 19 37 0.0


Eric Bennett 19 16 35 0.0


Interceptions No. Yds. Avg. TD


Tevin Mitchel 1 26 26.0 1


South Carolina Individual Stats


Passing C-A-I Pct.Yds. TD Yds./G


Connor Shaw 66-96-0 68.8 927 7 185.4


Rushing Att. Yds Avg. TD Yds./G


Mike Davis 92 614 6.7 8 122.8


Connor Shaw 60 282 4.7 1 56.4


Brandon Wilds 30 140 4.7 1 35.0


Pharoh Cooper 2 26 13.0 0 8.7


Receiving Rec. Yds. Avg. TD Yds./G


Bruce Ellington 15 236 15.7 1 47.2


Nick Jones 14 157 11.2 3 31.4


Damiere Byrd 13 206 15.8 1 41.2


Mike Davis 12 181 15.1 0 36.2


Punt Returns No. Yds. Avg. TD


Victor Hampton 7 18 2.6 0


Kick Returns No. Yds. Avg. TD


Shon Carson 8 142 17.8 0


Field Goals M-A Pct. 40+ Long


Elliott Fry 5-5 100.0 2-2 41


Tackles Solo Assist Total TFL


Marcquis Roberts 16 10 26 2.5


Kaiwan Lewis 13 12 25 1.0


Jimmy Legree 18 5 23 4.0


T.J. Gurley 15 6 21 0.0


Interceptions No. Yds. Avg. TD


Jimmy Legree 2 22 11.0 0


OFFENSE


Passing Yds (NCAA Rank)


Arkansas 175.3 (109th)


South Carolina 261.0 (44th)


Rushing


Arkansas 216.0 (24th)


South Carolina 215.4 (26th)


Total


Arkansas 391.3(83rd)


South Carolina 476.4 (30th)


DEFENSE


Passing Yds (NCAA Rank)


Arkansas 215.0 (46th)


South Carolina 237.2 (72nd)


Rushing


Arkansas 124.5 (30th)


South Carolina 127.8 (T-34th)


Total


Arkansas 339.5 (27th)


South Carolina 365.0 (42nd)


POSITION MATCHUPS


Quarterbacks


UA’s Brandon Allen had an interception returned for a touchdown for the second straight week and is completing 49.6 percent; USC’s Connor Shaw is completing 68.8 percent. The senior has 7 touchdown passes without and interception.


Edge: South Carolina


Running Backs


UA’s Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams were held to a season-low 86 yards at Florida, but rank 1st and 5th in SEC in rushing yards; USC’s Mike Davis has been a one-man show. He leads the SEC in rushing yards a game (122.8) and has 8 TDs.


Edge: Arkansas


Receivers


UA’s Javontee Herndon, Keon Hatcher and crew had issues with drops at Florida. Herndon leads group with 17 catches and 4 TDs; USC’s Shaq Roland is serving 3-game suspension. Bruce Ellington leads Gamecocks with 15 catches, 236 yards


Edge: Even


O-Line


UA’s Brey Cook is scheduled to make his 2nd straight start at RT. C Travis Swanson is expected to start after leaving last week with a knee injury; USC returned four starters from its 2012 line. LG A.J. McCann is the most experienced with 30 starts.


Edge: South Carolina


D-Line


UA’s Trey Flowers had another big game at Florida with 3 ½ TFLs and 1 sack. He and Chris Smith have 16 ½ TFLs and 10 sacks; USC DE Jadeveon Clowney can wreck a game plan. But is the junior – who has struggled this season – healthy today?


Edge: Even


Linebackers


UA believes it has finally found a starting trio in Jarrett Lake, Martrell Spaight and Braylon Mitchell. Lake, Mitchell rank 1st, 2nd on team in tackles; USC is counting on a young group that includes Kaiwan Lewis, Marcquis Roberts and Sharrod Golightly.


Edge: Even


Secondary


UA’s Carroll Washington will earn his first start in place of CB Will Hines (broken arm). CB Tevin Mitchel had a "feast or famine" week at UF; USC has three starters back this season, but the group has underperformed so far (215 yards a game).


Edge: South Carolina


OVERALL: South Carolina 27, Arkansas 24


— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau