It went something like this: Illegal procedure, not enough men on the line of scrimmage. Or, perhaps Williamson just said illegal formation.
Well, it would have been better had he said the first part because it could have fit the season-long problem for this Arkansas offense -- literally or figuratively – that doomed them again in a 38-20 loss to Carolina.
Arkansas didn't get enough of a push on the line of scrimmage to get the running game going against South Carolina. There was just 83 yards on 27 rushing plays, counting 29 yards in losses from Tyler Wilson's four sacks.
That penalty erased the big play of the day, a 39-yard pass and run from Wilson to wide receiver Cobi Hamilton that looked to convert a third-and-17 for a first down at the USC 22-yard line. That was before the flag. It was another gut wrencher, so similar to the penalty that wiped out the potential tying touchdown against Ole Miss two weeks ago.
Hamilton was shaking his head in disbelief after the game as he addressed the media, pointing to his chest as the reason for the penalty. Now the UA's leader in catches and yards for a season with 72 for 1,117, Hamilton blamed himself for the illegal formation.
"It was familiar and completely my fault," Hamilton said. "I didn't listen to the play call well enough and I wasn't on the line. The tight end was off on that play."
Hamilton took the blame for other issues in the game, one of Wilson's two interceptions.
"That was probably my fault, too," he said. "That interception was on me."
Wilson didn't want to hear any of that. He said the pick six he gave up to South Carolina safety D. J. Swearinger was on him. It was returned 69 yards for a 31-10 lead at 10:41 of the third quarter.
"It was an option route," Wilson said. "I thought Cobi was going out and he went in. I anticipated and I should have held the ball a little longer to make sure. That's my fault."
No one in the interview room pointed to anyone but himself for the penalties, mistakes and missed assignments that let Carolina slide to the easy victory.
"The illegal formation penalties, they are on me," Wilson said. "I know I'm not the guy out there on the line. But the great ones at the next level, they catch those mistakes. They see it at the line. I've got to do that, too.
"Cobi may have said it was on him, but I know when I put on the headsets after that play, it's on me. I've got to catch it.
"It cost us a game against Ole Miss. When you look at the tape, you see the guy they called, it's probably in the grey area. But you have to catch it. You have to get the details right. You have to catch those mistakes, the little things."
Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said almost the same thing. The procedure penalty, Dennis Johnson's fumble as he tried to reach for the first down marker at the USC 5-yard line and Wilson's pick six were crushing blows.
"It's the little things, the details," he said. "It forces us to settle for field goals instead of getting seven points when we get down (to the goal line). If you do all the little things right, it's a win.
"Obviously, we are not scoring touchdowns in the red zone so we have to get touchdowns from further out. We have to get big plays and we aren't getting those."
Defensive coordinator Paul Haynes saw the same type of "little" mistakes on the other side of the ball, but they weren't committed by record setting seniors like Wilson, Hamilton and Johnson. And, those mistakes were giving the Gamecocks touchdowns.
"We gave up some big plays and most of the time it was because we had our eyes in the wrong place," Haynes said. "Some of those plays happened when we had five freshmen on the field. I'm sure (South Carolina) went after those freshmen at times. There were times they made the plays, but there were also times that they had their eyes in the wrong place and they didn't fit the right gap or they were reading the play wrong with their eyes.
"You sit down at halftime and tell them they were playing hard, but it was the little things that were getting them. It's all things that are fixable. It's things they aren't going to keep making as a sophomore. They are going to get them right after they see them a few times, but it's tough right now."
Arkansas started true freshmen A. J. Turner and Otha Peters at inside linebacker and Will Hines at cornerback. Redshirt sophomore Rohan Gaines went the distance at safety and Davyon McKinney, a redshirt sophomore, spelled Hines at times.
Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw found those weak links time after time. He found his running backs and tight end for four pass plays in Carolina's opening drive, all against Turner and Peters.
"They went right after them," Haynes said. "It was good things schematically, but a lot of it was just on us. We've got to make those plays."
For example, Shaw converted a fourth-and-5 with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Ellington with 1:30 left in the first half. Ellington slipped behind Hines as Shaw stepped up with a fake of an outside scramble, just eluding Trey Flowers and Peters. Haynes said the coverage bust was by Gaines at safety, not Hines.
"The safety has to get over the top," Haynes said. "That happened a couple of times where our safeties or our linebackers let them get over the top. But we were still not in panic mode at halftime when that happened. I think we kept playing and fighting."
Shaw lobbed the ball down the middle for a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jerell Adams – behind both freshmen inside linebackers – for the first Carlolina touchdown. Then, he converted third-and-6 with a 10-yard keeper for the second USC touchdown.
"One of our young linebackers just didn't have the right fit," Haynes said. "We had a defensive lineman out on that play, but we had enough people for the formation and the play. We just have to make the play."
There were questions afterwards about Wilson playing until the end. Head coach John L. Smith was clear that he never thought about pulling the captain.
"He's a senior and he's going to get every snap he cares to take," Smith said. "He deserves that with what he's given to the program."
Petrino said Wilson gives the offense the best chance to score points.
"He's going to be out there, as long as he can go out there," Petrino said. "He's our guy."
Hamilton said it's "hard to watch Tyler take a beating like he does sometimes, but he's such a tough kid and he wants to be there for us. I hate to say it, but that's his role. I hate to see him hit like that, but he wouldn't have it any other way."
Wilson bristled a little when someone suggested that it was time for him to go to the bench in the fourth quarter to give redshirt freshman Brandon Allen some playing time.
"That was talked about after the Texas A&M game," Wilson said. "I'm going to stay in if there is any chance for us to still score points. As long as they look at me to get the team in the end zone and I have a chance to do that, I'll be out there.
"I'm not going to be sitting over there on the sidelines when our starters are still out there on the field."
Wilson thinks he owes that to everyone, including some of the first-year wide receivers who have battled their way into the lineup.
"We had some of those guys make plays today," Wilson said, noting touchdown catches by Keon Hatcher and Demetrius Wilson. "Keon Hatcher made some plays, too. You can tell those guys understand what it's like to keep competing all the way to the end and they are learning fast."
Cobi Hamilton stiff arms USC's DeVonte Holloman after a catch in the first quarter. The play was called back on an Arkansas penalty.
South Carolina's D.J. Swearinger intercepts a Tyler Wilson pass intended for Cobi Hamilton in the third quarter. Swearinger returned the pick for a touchdown.