Arkansas is one game away from besting their 5-7 record of a year ago, and becoming bowl eligible for the first time in the Bobby Petrino era after defeating South Carolina 33-16 on Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Ryan Mallett completed 23 of 27 passes for 329 yards against the Gamecocks, with 7 of those passes going to Junior tight end D.J. Williams for 137 yards, and the Razorbacks defense made big plays when it counted to help the Razorbacks to victory.
“I’m very proud of our football team,” Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said after the game. “I thought they did a good job all week long in their preparation and attitude. They went out and attacked. It certainly wasn’t easy, but we came up with some big plays on both offense and defense, and it gave us an opportunity to win the game.”
South Carolina got on the board first with a field goal by Spencer Lanning in the first quarter. Joe Adams answered with an 18 yard touchdown run for the Hogs on their ensuing possession, but the Gamecocks scored again on a Stephen Garcia 1 yard run to go up 10-7 on the Hogs.
Arkansas was able to even the score just before the half when Williams caught a Ryan Mallett pass and went 69 yards down the sideline before stumbling around the 10 yard line and falling down at the SC 7. After Mallett missed Greg Childs on a slant route with 6 seconds left in the quarter, Alex Tejada added a 24 yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to tie the score 10-10.
South Carolina scored on the first play of their first possession of the second half on an 80 yard pass play from Garcia to South Carolina receiever Alshon Jeffery, and fumbled the snap on the point after attempt to make it 16-10 South Carolina.
Arkansas then scored 23 unanswered points including a pair of touchdown runs by big back Broderick Green to seal the win, and move to 5-4 on the season.
Next up, Arkansas plays a dangerous Troy team that is 7-2 on the season, and has won 7 straight games coming in to the matchup with the Hogs on Saturday. Arkansas needs one more win in its remaining 3 games to become bowl eligible.
The Troy game on Saturday will start at 6:00 pm, and will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southwest.