NCAA Football – Week 11
Arkansas expected to be in the national title picture this year, but everything went wrong in the offseason and that has continued right through the season. John L. Smith has become one of the least popular men in Arkansas, and the team is now 4-5. South Carolina has fallen on some hard times of late, but they are still 7-2 and ranked eighth in the nation. Steve Spurrier’s team looks to pick up another win this Saturday.
As soon as Bobby Petrino wrecked that motorcycle, it’s almost as if the Razorbacks season was wrecked as well. Petrino was fired and Smith was brought in to lead the team. This ultra-talented team has fallen flat on its face this year. Tyler Wilson has had some injury problems, and his numbers are nothing like they were a year ago. Knile Davis doesn’t look completely healthy, and Dennis Johnson has been the more effective running back of late for the team. Cobi Hamilton has 69 catches on the outside, and he has been the star of the offense thus far this year. Arkansas is only averaging 26.1 points per game this season.
The Razorbacks defense has been very good against the run and terrible against the pass. Arkansas is allowing opponents to air it out for 292 yards so far this year. The defense has picked up their performance over the last few weeks. Three of Arkansas’ last four opponents have scored 15 points or less. They’ll be tested by a solid South Carolina team this week.
South Carolina is 7-2 on the year, but losing Marcus Lattimore was a huge loss for this team. Lattimore is arguably the best running back in the country when he is healthy. I certainly hope Lattimore can heal and play football again at some point. Kenny Miles should get quite a few more carries, and Miles should do a pretty good job for the team. Connor Shaw has improved a great deal as the team’s starting quarterback. Shaw is a dual-threat quarterback who has become much more comfortable throwing the football. He has completed 66.3 percent of his passes this season. South Carolina is averaging 32 points per game this year.
The real reason the Gamecocks are 7-2 is the leadership of their tremendous defense. No team in the nation has better defensive ends than South Carolina. Clowney and Irvin form a ridiculously talented duo of pass rushers on the outside. Kelcy Quarles is terrific at clogging the run in the middle of the defensive front. Quarles is listed as questionable for this contest. South Carolina ranks as the 12th best defense in the nation so far this year. The Gamecocks are allowing only 18.3 points per game.
Arkansas has been extremely inconsistent this year. I don’t like laying this many points, but I think the Gamecocks are the much better team. Look for the Gamecocks to cover here.
South Carolina 31 Arkansas 13