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Arkansas Vs. South Carolina Preview: Regardless of the Records, the Gamecocks Have to Worry

Arkansas might not be the juggernaut that everyone thought they would be at the beginning of the season. They're still a dangerous team for South Carolina

Wesley Hitt

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. South Carolina Gamecocks, 12 p.m. ET, CBS

The story about this game earlier this year was that it was one reason South Carolina might not win the SEC East. Infamously, the Gamecocks had to face another one of the Top 3 teams in the SEC West, and one with an explosive passing attack, the kind of test that Georgia supposedly would not run into all year.

As it happens, only one part of that has turned out to be true. South Carolina is already eliminated from the SEC East no matter what happens in Columbia today. Arkansas has not turned out to be one of the Top 3 in the SEC West, and might be considered the worst if it weren't for Auburn. But the explosive passing attack? That's still on display. The Razorbacks average more than 305 yards a game and Tyler Wilson is the fourth most efficient quarterback in the league. (And complaints from fans in other conferences notwithstanding, the SEC's quarterbacks are nothing if not efficient.)

That passing attack is the one reason that South Carolina still has to worry about this game. The Gamecocks have never defeated an Arkansas team that ended the year with a winning record -- something that seems incredibly unlikely this year. But Tyler Bray passed for 381 yards two weeks ago in Tennessee's loss to South Carolina, and the Gamecocks' pass defense is mediocre in comparison to other SEC units. In fact, the pass defense is the weak link in what is otherwise a solid defense for the Gamecocks, and it's the one thing that keeps this game relatively close.

South Carolina 28, Arkansas 20