Gamecocks enjoy pig-pickin’ picnic against Razorbacks

Jadeveon Clowney didn’t make a tackle in the first three quarters of his return to action for No. 14 South Carolina on Saturday.

South Carolina didn’t need the junior defensive end to.

The Gamecocks’ defense dominated despite Clowney finishing with just one tackle, holding Arkansas to just 248 yards while cruising to a 52-7 win at Razorback Stadium.

Clowney, playing for the first time in two weeks after missing the Kentucky win with a muscle strain near his rib area, was often double-teamed during the game. The 6-foot-6, 274-pounder played into the early stages of the fourth quarter in the blowout.

South Carolina (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) trailed 7-0 less than three minutes into the game, then scored the final 52 points en route to its largest margin of victory in an SEC road game in coach Steve Spurrier’s nine-year tenure.

Gamecocks senior quarterback Conner Shaw was sharp while playing a little more than three quarters, completing 19 of 28 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns in addition to rushing for another score. SEC-leading rusher Mike Davis ran for 63 of his game-high 128 yards in the first quarter as South Carolina had its way with the Arkansas defense through the air and on the ground.

The Gamecocks racked up 537 yards and held the ball for 43:25 in the game.

Arkansas (3-4, 0-3) lost its fourth straight game in the midst of a five-game stretch that features four ranked opponents, including a looming matchup at No. 1 Alabama next week.

The Razorbacks took the opening kickoff and quickly drove down the field, taking the early 7-0 lead on freshman running back Alex Collins’ 6-yard touchdown run. But the offense went cold after that.

Sophomore quarterback Brandon Allen’s fifth interception in three games led to a quick Davis touchdown to put the Gamecocks up 10-7 with 5:12 left in the opening quarter. Arkansas failed to pick up a first down the remainder of the first half, going three-and-out its next three possessions and turning it over on downs on the fourth.

The Gamecocks continued to stretch the lead as the Razorbacks floundered.

Shaw found Bruce Ellington for a 9-yard touchdown pass to push the advantage to 17-7 less than two minutes into the second quarter. South Carolina converted a fourth-and-2 at the Arkansas 7 to set up another Shaw-to-Ellington touchdown to make it 24-7 with 13 seconds left in the first half.

The Gamecocks stretched it to 31-7 on Shaw’s 45-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Damiere Byrd on the opening drive of the second half.

Arkansas finally picked up a first down on its ensuing possession, but receiver Keon Hatcher lost a fumble at the end of a 50-yard run on a reverse to thwart any momentum. Collins fumbled into the pylon at the end of a 29-yard run in the fourth quarter, resulting in a touchback and lost scoring opportunity.

South Carolina added three more second-half touchdowns to add to its most lopsided win of the season and just its second victory in Fayetteville.

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