It’s basically too late for Arkansas to make a push for an SEC division title, but it sure wasn’t too late for them to put a big crimp in South Carolina’s. Arkansas only had to mess with the Gamecocks for a quarter before going on a 17-0 run in the second period, and Carolina never seriously threatened after that. Ryan Mallett was an efficient 21-of-30 for 303 yards, a TD and a pick; Stephen Garcia was decidedly less efficient, finishing 14-of-29 for 161 yards, one TD and two interceptions, and because this is a Steve Spurrier QB we’re talking about, giving way to backup Conor Shaw late in the game.
In other words, it was a thumping that felt distressingly familiar to Carolina’s three-score loss to the Razorbacks last year — which came at the height of a 2-4 late-season slump, the kind of collapse that has become as regular a tradition for Gamecock fans as entering the stadium to the strains of “Thus Spake Zarathustra.” Not that the Gamecocks can ever afford a collapse like that, but it’d be particularly disastrous this time around, given that next week the ’Cocks head down to Gainesville to face the Gators in what amounts to the SEC East title game. Spurrier will need to give his troops a hell of a pep talk this week.