This is the 2013 season and John L. Smith is no longer head coach of Arkansas, right?
Well, by the looks of the effort and final score of the game yesterday, you would think that it was the same team and coaching staff that was a part of the dumpster-fire season of last year.
The Arkansas football team (3-4) lost its fourth straight game yesterday after giving up 52 unanswered points to the #14 South Carolina Gamecocks (5-1).
The only bright spot of the entire game for the Hogs came on the first drive in which the Razorback offense drove down the field on a 7 play, 64-yard drive capped off by a 6-yard touchdown run by Alex Collins.
With 12:02 left to play in the first quarter, that would be the only scoring that Arkansas would do for the rest of the game.
South Carolina answered with a field goal to cut the lead to 7-3, but right on que, quarterback Brandon Allen made another costly mistake.
At their own 19 yard line, Allen threw another interception as South Carolina’s Victor Hampton returned the pick down to the Arkansas 6.
Mike Davis would rush it in for the score on the next play, and the rout was on for South Carolina. Davis finished the contest rushing for 128 yards on 19 carries and a score.
Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw would finish the game 19-of-28 for 219 yards and four touchdowns-one rushing, in his short day of work. Shaw would throw for two touchdowns before the end of the half to put South Carolina up 24-7 at halftime.
Shaw and the Gamecock offense would completely control the game clock having 43 minutes and 25 seconds of time of possession compared to Arkansas’ 16 minutes and 35 seconds.
The Razorback offense would continue to struggle, with multiple three-and-outs and a 50-yard run by Keon Hatcher in which he fumbled at the end of the play, to give it right back to the Gamecocks.
The stands were almost completely cleared out when Connor Shaw rushed in a 10-yard score to make it 38-7 heading into the fourth, and the Gamecocks weren’t done.
Dylan Thomspon came in and threw a touchdown pass to former Arkansas player Kane Whitehurst who was released from the team after an arrest this past spring.
After a fumble by Alex Collins that hit the pylon as he was diving for the endzone resulted in touchback, the Gamecocks scored on a Brendon Nosovitch 7-yard run to put the final score at 52-7.
Allen was a miserable 4-of-13 for 30 yards passing in the game, 20 of those coming off a play to Hatcher on the first drive.
Arkansas had a total of seven first down for the game, three of which came on their first drive as well.
This was undoubtedly the worst effort by the Razorbacks, and most embarrassing game so far in the Bret Bielema era.
South Carolina dominated in every phase of the game and aside from the first drive, there is absolutely nothing that was positive for the Razorbacks.
Darius Philon did however, to impress again on the defensive line, but it’s going to take much more than a redshirt freshman making plays to help this Arkansas football team. It’s one thing to lose, but it’s another thing to get completely blown out and embarrassed on your own field and on homecoming.
The problems are not on one specific coach, player, or position group either. It’s the entire team and some adjustments are going to have to be made or the Hogs will be lucky to stay competitive in any remaining game for the rest of the year.
It’s back to the drawing board for the coaches and players as they face their largest test to date this upcoming weekend as they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the #1 Crimson Tide of Alabama.