FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. — South Carolina played Saturday’s 44-28 loss at Arkansas without its leading tackler, spur linebacker Antonio Allen, who didn’t practice for the rest of the week after straining his neck during Tuesday’s practice.
Allen was replaced by Damario Jeffery. Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson praised Jeffery during the week, but Jeffery was displeased with how he played Saturday, saying he was to blame for the 68-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter that put Arkansas up 17-14.
Johnson said Thursday that he expected Allen to play, but said after the game that it was Allen’s call to sit out, because he didn’t think he’d be able to play well enough.
“We were hoping beyond hope (that he would play),” Johnson said. “He didn’t practice at all this week and he was still getting treatment even up until (Saturday) morning. He just felt like he wouldn’t be effective. He had some spasms down in the neck and shoulder.”
Johnson said he isn’t sure if he’ll be able to get Allen back for Saturday’s Southeastern Conference finale against Florida, in Columbia, based on how Allen was unable to recover in time for the Arkansas game.
Jeffery record watch
USC wide receiver Alshon Jeffery caught three passes for 19 yards and now has 170
catches for 2,767 yards over his three-year career. Jeffery is
second on the South Carolina yardage list behind Kenny McKinley (2,781 yards from 2005-08) and would have jumped McKinley if not for a holding penalty Saturday.
“Hopefully, I can be the all-time leader at home (next week against Florida),” Jeffery said. “But I’m not thinking about the record. I’m thinking about the win.”
Wilds couldn’t hear play
Arkansas got a field goal with 1:17 left in the third, which put the Razorbacks up 30-21. They had a short field, starting at USC’s 38, after Gamecocks tailback Brandon Wilds lost a fumble. On the play, quarterback Connor Shaw switched the ball from his left hand to his right before trying to hand off to Wilds. Wilds said he ran the wrong direction after the snap because he heard the wrong play call in the huddle. Razorback Stadium was very loud for most of the night, and the crowd noise led to Wilds not being able to hear the call.
“I couldn’t hear,” said Wilds, who finished with just 10 carries for 21 yards after debuting as USC’s primary back last week at Tennessee by running 28 times for 137 yards.
This and that
Strong safety DeVonte Holloman suffered a concussion when he hit his head on an Arkansas receiver’s leg while trying to make a tackle. He did not return. His status for the Florida game is uncertain. … Cornerback C.C. Whitlock missed the Tennessee game with a concussion. Marty Markett started at Whitlock’s spot against Arkansas, but Whitlock did play.