Series history - Arkansas

In this series, GamecockAnthem takes a look at the series history of each of the opponents in the 2012 season. Today we take a look at Arkansas

Series history – Arkansas leads 13-7; in Columbia series tied 5-5
Last 10 meetings – Arkansas leads 7-3
Under Spurrier – Arkansas leads 5-2
Largest margin of victory – Arkansas 48-14 in 1999
Closest margin of victory – Arkansas 18-17 in 1993
Last game – Arkansas 44-28

Many of the Gamecock faithful will be happy to see the day when Arkansas moves off the schedule as the permanent SEC West opponent for South Carolina. The two teams had never met prior to joining the SEC and became permanent opponents in 1992 when they both joined the conference. The "rivalry" never became more than just another conference game and never came close to other cross-division rivalries like Auburn-Georgia or Bama-Tennessee.

The Hogs have dominated the series, but there have been a few close games. In 1993 Arkansas squeaked its way to an 18-17 win at home, and a blocked field goal by Carlos Hall of a Daniel Weaver field goal attempt in 2001 preserved a 10-7 upset of the ninth-ranked Gamecocks. Carolina won a close one in 2004 when they squeaked by the Hogs, 35-32.

The last three have not been pretty.

In 2009, Stephen Garcia hit Alshon Jeffery for an 80-yard touchdown to open the second half and give the Gamecocks a 16-10 lead. From there it was all Arkansas as they scored the final 23 points to pull away to a 33-16 win. The following season South Carolina did not even show up to the game as Ryan Mallett and the Razorbacks opened up an early 24-7 lead and would lead 41-10 before Carolina scored the final 10 points in the final 5:35.

Last time out - Last season was by far the closest of the three games, but the South Carolina defense just could not stop Tyler Wilson and the Razorback offense. Arkansas scored on all but three possessions, with a missed field goal, a failed fourth down conversion, and a Devin Taylor interception return for a touchdown the other possession. That would not be enough for Carolina as Arkansas cruised to a 44-28 victory, scoring the final 14 points of the game.

Most memorable moment – There really hasn't been a ton of memorable moments in the 20 meetings. The most memorable moment was Blake Mitchell's 2006 performance. The quarterback lost his starting job to Syvelle Newton, but with Carolina trailing 23-6 they needed a spark. Mitchell got the nod to being the second half and completed 15-of-21 passes for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Gamecocks rallied back. Trailing 26-20 with time running out, Mitchell tried to lead one more drive but was picked off in Arkansas territory and the Razorbacks were able to run out the clock. Still, Mitchell's heroics were one of the few bright spots for the Gamecocks in this series.

Key to the game – Arkansas has a lot of question marks going into the season. It is a team that could be a top 10 team heading to Columbia or a team that is struggling. It could end up being a battle of the top two running backs in the league with Knile Davis and Marcus Lattimore. Whoever has the better game will likely win the game.


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