Post and Courier
August 23, 2014

INSIDE THE GAME: South Carolina at Arkansas

Posted: 10/11/2013 04:00 p.m.
Updated: 10/11/2013 05:49 p.m.
By Ryan Wood

South Carolina will try to do Saturday what historically has been difficult, winning a game at Arkansas. Here is a close examination of the No. 14 Gamecocks’ game against the Razorbacks, which will kick off at 12:21 p.m.



Clowney returns?

The debates and pontificating have subsided at this point. Now, the stage is set. There is no guarantee Clowney returns from a rib injury Saturday. But, once again, he’s expected to play. And if he does? After a week of controversy, questioning and finger pointing, my, what a moment this could be. Imagine if Clowney goes out and has another transcendent game, another Clemson-esque performance. Now imagine if he doesn’t. If Clowney plays, there is a heck of a lot at stake for the young superstar.



Mike Davis vs. Alex Collins

They’re the two best running backs nobody had ever heard of one month ago. In the preseason, Mike Davis was known mostly as Marcus Lattimore’s backup. Alex Collins, a true freshman, was known as the high school tailback whose mother hired a lawyer in an attempt to prevent him from playing at Arkansas. Now, on paper, they’re the top two running backs in the SEC — Davis is the leader with 122.8 yards per game, Collins the overall leader with 651 yards. Watching these two backs run on the same field will be a treat.



Forgetting history

Steve Spurrier won the very first time he marched South Carolina into Fayetteville, a 14-10 victory in 2005. Since then, the Gamecocks are 0-3. But their struggles in Fayetteville go beyond Spurrier’s tenure. Since 1992, when this became a permanent rivalry, South Carolina has won only twice in Fayetteville. With the series likely discontinued moving forward, getting a rare win at Arkansas would be a sweet ending for the Gamecocks.



Visor vs. Bielema

Great games are made of great matchups, and the stylistic clash Saturday will be something to behold. Irresistible force vs. immovable object. Pure offense vs. “normal, American football.” Spurrier has long been known for his offensive wizardry, while Arkansas coach Bret Bielema’s offense can often resemble a rock fight. But, it’s an effective rock fight, with hulking offensive linemen plowing the way for the boulders in the backfield. Two different coaches. Two different styles. Something has to budge.



Prediction

South Carolina 38, Arkansas 35