Week 11 – Arkansas at South Carolina
Arkansas WR Cobi Hamilton
Arkansas WR Cobi Hamilton
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 8, 2012


Week 11 Fearless Prediction – Arkansas at South Carolina

@ColFootballNews

Arkansas (4-5) at South Carolina (7-2) Nov. 10, 12:00, CBS

Here’s The Deal: Does Arkansas have a little bit of a miracle left in its dud of a 2012 season? The Hogs can still go bowling by winning two of their last three games, and although they’ll need to pull off a big upset, with a trip to Mississippi State and a date against LSU to close out after the trip to Columbia, they’re coming into this week on a roll winning three of their last four games. The offense isn’t exactly working, but the passing attack is interesting and the O line is playing well, while the defense has allowed 15 points or fewer in three of the last four games. It helped to play Auburn, Kentucky and Tulsa, but the team is playing a wee bit better.

South Carolina doesn’t have much to play for with the SEC title, an at-large BCS appearance and all the goals coming into the season off the table, but as long as they’re trying, the end of the season should be a success with two apparent layups – Wofford is up next - before closing out with the showdown at Clemson. This is the first game after the devastating loss of running back Marcus Lattimore, and it’s the first time the team is stepping on the field without a shot at playing for the SEC title. A loss would make it three in the last four games, and it would also make it four in a row against the Hogs.

Why Arkansas Might Win: Could the Hogs bomb away to make this interesting? South Carolina has been fantastic against the pass this year, partly because of a devastating pass rush that destroys passing games on a regular basis, but Arkansas is doing a decent job of keeping Tyler Wilson upright and the receiving corps should give the Gamecocks a slew of big problems. South Carolina might be allowing fewer than 200 yards per game through the air, but it was lit up by Tennessee and Tyler Bray for 381 passing yards and five scores after giving up four touchdown passes the week before against Florida. Nine of the 12 touchdown passes given up came in the last two games, and Wilson and Arkansas should be able to spread the ball around a bit.

Why South Carolina Might Win: Could the Gamecocks bomb away to make this a blowout? So how will South Carolina get by without Lattimore? It’ll had the ball off to Kenny Miles and a slew of other options, but it’ll also rely on Connor Shaw and an underappreciated passing game that should do whatever it wants against a miserable Arkansas secondary. The Hogs aren’t great at coming up with takeaways, and while the pass defense looks better statistically over the last few weeks, it hasn’t dealt with any passing attacks. USC is efficient and effective when Shaw gets time, and against Arkansas he’ll get lots and lots of time to operate.

What To Watch Out For: Can Kenny Miles carry the South Carolina rushing attack? The idea coming into the season was for the senior to play a big role giving Lattimore a break, but it didn’t happen early on. After running for 626 yards in 2009, he was limited in 2010 and was injured for a good chunk of 2011. With only 149 yards and a score this year, the 5-9, 193-pounder has plenty of tread on the tires and should be fresh and ready to go. Can he rip off a big game to balance out the attack? The offense might need it.

What Will Happen: South Carolina will come back refreshed and strong in one of the team’s final home games. There will be a good offensive balance, while the defensive front will come up with a good enough game to keep the inconsistent Hog offense in check.

CFN Prediction: South Carolina 35 … Arkansas 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) South Carolina -14 O/U: 55
Must Watch Rating (5 – Skyfall, 1 – Wreck It Ralph): 3