Gamecocks Offense Stands Alone

FAYETTEVILLE -- Steve Spurrier walked onto the field for the second half, knowing it was all on his offense.

The South Carolina coach tried nearly every trick he had to keep the ball away from Arkansas, even going as far as to attempt an onside kick immediately after the Gamecocks opened with a field goal to start the half.

However, no amount of offense -- including 364 yards passing from quarterback Blake Mitchell -- was enough for the Gamecocks in a 48-36 loss to the Razorbacks on Saturday night.

"Obviously, it was a mismatch tonight," Spurrier said. "It looked like a Division-III team trying to play a (Southeastern Conference) team.

"Maybe a Divison-III team could have slowed them down a little bit better than we could."

Mitchell, the on-again, off-again starter for the Gamecocks, entered the game fresh off a 31-of-45 performance last week in a 27-24 loss to Tennessee. The senior threw for 290 yards in relief in that game, leading South Carolina back from a 21-0 deficit before falling in overtime.

On Saturday, the Gamecocks once again fell behind early, trailing 21-3 in the first quarter after a 72-yard touchdown run by Arkansas' Felix Jones. Mitchell, who got the start after his performance against the Volunteers, wasn't the problem -- finishing 27-of-51 with a pair of touchdowns.

"It doesn't matter," Mitchell said of his performance. "You can throw for 100 yards or 300, we still fell short. We didn't put everything together."

South Carolina gained 489 yards in the game, but it was the Gamecock's defense that had no answer for Arkansas. South Carolina, which entered the game 10th in the Southeastern Conference in rushing yards allowed, surrendered 650 total yards, including 541 yards rushing.

"We stopped them some, just not very much," Spurrier said.

Despite the early deficit, the Gamecocks stayed within two scores throughout much of the second half. Following the onside kick recovery, they closed the Arkansas lead to 28-20 after Mitchell hit sophomore Jared Cook, who raced 21 yards for a touchdown.

South Carolina closed to within six points at 42-36 early in the fourth quarter when Cory Boyd ran in a one-yard touchdown. However, as was the case for much of the game, the Gamecocks' defense broke down on Arkansas' first play following the touchdown when Darren McFadden ran 80 yards for a touchdown to put the Razorbacks up 48-36.

"We made some plays here and there," Spurrier said. "But in the end, it wasn't enough."

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