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South Carolina at Arkansas

SEC Football Betting Line and Analysis

11/7/09

This Arkansas football team can look so good at times, but also can look so bad at times. The Razorbacks are 4-4 on the year, but the good news is they are through the toughest part of their schedule. In a 6 game stretch Arkansas played Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn, Florida, and Ole Miss without a bye week. It would be hard to find a harder 6 game stretch then that. Arkansas is in their 2nd year under Head Coach Bobby Petrino, and he has this program moving in the right direction, but they really need to close out this year strong.

This game against South Carolina has almost become a must win for the Hogs, but it is a game that the Gamecocks also need badly. South Carolina started their year 5-1 with their lone loss coming against Georgia in a shootout that they had every opportunity to win. Since then they are 1-2 with a 20-6 loss to Alabama, and an embarrassing 31-13 loss to Tennessee. They really need to bounce back after that performance against Tennessee, or the wheels could fall of this South Carolina football team.

PRIMETIME MATCHUP

This Arkansas passing attack led by QB Ryan Mallett has been very impressive all year. They have 3 very good sophomore WRís in Joe Adams, Jarius Wright, and Greg Childs that give defensive coordinators problems, because all three are threats to score from anywhere on the field. Mallett has thrown for 2151 yards on the year with 18 TD and just 3 INT. This Arkansas offense is 2nd in the SEC in total offense averaging 438 yards per game and in scoring offense averaging 36 points per game.

The South Carolina defense has got to get pressure on Mallett and make him uncomfortable, because if they donít he can really hurt you. The problem for this South Carolina defense is they are not at full strength. Their starting strong safety Chris Culliver and starting defensive end Cliff Matthews are both out for Saturdayís game leaving South Carolina with just three defensive players who have started every game. Throw in the fact that this Gamecock defense is forced to play with a very young secondary, and that is not good news when you are going up against the SECís #1 pass offense.

While Mallett has looked great for most of the year, we have seen that when you get pressure on him consistently that his accuracy does go down. South Carolina is going to have to send more blitzes then usual with the injuries to their defensive line, so linebacker Eric Norwood is going to be very important. Norwood is one of the best defensive players in the country, and it is going to be very important for him to get pressure on Mallett, because if they are unable to get pressure on him this Razorback offense has too many weapons and will put up points in a hurry.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Coach Steve Spurrier and Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson are having a year that they would like to forget on the defensive side of the ball. This is a very good defense when healthy, but they have been hit with the injury bug all year. Losing starting SS Chris Culliver and DE Cliff Matthews is a big blow to this Gamecock defense. South Carolina is going to need some young players to step up big time, because this Arkansas offense is very explosive led by QB Ryan Mallett. If you give Mallett time he will pick you apart all day long, but like we saw in the games against Alabama and Ole Miss if you get pressure on him his accuracy does go down, and you can slow down this Arkansas offense.

When you have this many players injured it makes it very difficult to continue to have success defensively. We believe this Arkansas offense with Mallett and WRís Joe Adams, Jarius Wright, and Greg Childs will be just too much for this young South Carolina secondary, and Arkansas gets the much needed win. Arkansas -7

 


 

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