Arkansas beats Carolina 44-28 in Fayetteville

Published: Nov. 5, 2011 at 3:25 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 16, 2011 at 1:01 AM EST
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FAYETTEVILLE, AR (WIS) - On the back of one of the SEC's most dominate defenses, the No. 10 Gamecocks couldn't overcome the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks and their effective offense Saturday night in Fayetteville.

The loss could end USC's chances of repeating as SEC East champions and heading back to Atlanta in December.

Arkansas opened the game with a 44-yard field goal by Zach Hocker, which went unanswered until the Gamecocks' Brandon Wilds ran in a four-yard touchdown to put the score at 7-3 USC.

The Gamecocks' lead lasted exactly one play, however, as the Razorbacks' Dennis Johnson returned USC's kickoff for a touchdown to maintain Arkansas' lead at 10-7.

In the second quarter, USC's Devin Taylor intercepted a pass by Tyler Wilson and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown. Jay Wooten's extra point gave the Gamecocks the lead again with 14.

Again, however, USC's lead lasted one play until Wilson threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Jarius Wright to bring the score to 17-14. Eight minutes later the Razorbacks scored again off of a 16-yard pass from Wilson to Wright, extending Arkansas' lead to 10.

The Gamecocks were unable to retaliate until the fourth quarter, when Connor Shaw rushed nine yards for a touchdown. Wooten's extra point narrowed the score to 24-21.

Arkansas responded with a pair of field goals from Hocker, putting the score at 30-21 Arkansas to close out the third quarter.

With the Gamecocks' final chance at one last road win before making their way back to Columbia ticking off the clock, Connor Shaw ran in a one-yard touchdown to again put the Gamecocks in striking distance at 30-28.

Arkansas quickly responded, as Ronnie Wingo Jr. rushed four yards for a touchdown that bought the Razorbacks' lead to 9. Minutes later, Broderick Green scored Arkansas' last touchdown with a one-yard run that put the final score at 44-28.

This is the second game the Gamecocks have played without stud RB Marcus Lattimore, who was lost for the season following a knee injury at Mississippi State. The Heisman Trophy candidate is expected to have knee surgery next week.

In Lattimore's stead, freshman RB Brandon Wilds made a statement last week against the Tennessee Volunteers, gaining 137 yards of offense and SEC Freshman of the Week honors in the 14-3 victory.

In other injury news, defensive player Antonio Allen did not play. He's been battling a sprained neck all week suffered during practice.

The game itself was in the rather giant shadow of another SEC game: the showdown between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama.

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