Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
Individual marks set in defeat
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON -- Arkansas' Cobi Hamilton, (11) runs by South Carolina' DeVonte Holloman , right, during the first quarter of their game Saturday afternoon in South Carolina.
COLUMBIA, S.C. The Arkansas Razorbacks were in no mood to celebrate after Saturday’s 38-20 loss to South Carolina Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium, but they did have three players set school records.
Senior quarterback Tyler Wilson holds the career completions record with 539 after hitting 26 of 41 passes for 277 yards. He broke the record of 513 completions record by Clint Stoerner from 1996-1999.
Senior Cobi Hamilton holds the season record for receiving yards with 1,149 after catching five passes for 72 yards. He broke the record of 1,117 yards set by Jarius Wright last season.
Junior kicker Zach Hocker hit two field goals and two extra points to give him 285 career points and set the record for a kicker. He broke the mark of 280 by Steve Little Rock from 1974-1977.
For the third consecutive season, South Carolina scored a touchdown off a Tyler Wilson turnover.
D.J. Swearinger returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown Saturday.
Devin Taylor returned an interception 48 yards a touchdown last season.
Byron McKnight returned a fumble 1 yard for a touchdown in 2010 after Wilson was sacked by Stephon Gilmore and lost the ball.
Illegal formation penalties have plagued the Razorbacks throughout the season, and it bit them again in the first quarter Saturday. What would have been a 39-yard pass from Tyler Wilson to Cobi Hamilton on third-and-17 to give Arkansas a first down at the South Carolina 22 was called back by an illegal-formation penalty.
The Razorbacks then had to punt after failing to convert a third-and-22. South Carolina then drove 77 yards for a touchdown a 7-0 lead.
Two weeks ago in a 30-27 loss to Ole Miss, the Razorbacks had a touchdown pass — from Tyler Wilson to Austin Tate — called back by a formation penalty, and they had to settle for a field goal that cut the Rebels’ lead to 24-20 with 13:23 left in the fourth quarter.
Not filling the bill
Before the season started, the Arkansas-South Carolina figured to be a matchup of the SEC’s top two running backs — the Razorbacks’ Knile Davis and the Gamecocks’ Marcus Lattimore.
Sadly, though, neither of the preseason All-SEC tailbacks dressed out Saturday. Both were expected to have big comeback seasons after sustaining injuries last year, but it hasn’t worked out that way.
Lattimore was on his way to a strong season, but he suffered a seasonending knee injury against Tennessee on Oct. 27. He finished with 662 rushing yards and 173 receiving yards in nine games.
Davis missed his second consecutive game because of a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the final three quarters against Ole Miss. Davis has just 340 rushing yards and 105 receiving yards in eight games.
No DJ on return
Arkansas senior Dennis Johnson holds the SEC career record for kickoff return yards with 2,763, but he was not the return man for Adam Yates’ kickoffs on Saturday.
Freshman Nate Holmes returned kicks in place of Johnson, who is averaging 18.0 yards on 26 returns this season, including a 5-yarder against Ole Miss when his knee hit the ground as he caught the ball and a 4-yarder against Tulsa when he fumbled the ball and recovered it at the Arkansas 9.
Holmes returned two kicks for 38 yards.
Arkansas freshman Keon Hatcher’s first career reception was a 6-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Wilson in the first quarter. Sophomore cornerback Tevin Mitchel got his first career interception in the fourth quarter when he intercepted a Connor Shaw pass in the end zone.
East streak ends
Arkansas had won eight consecutive games against SEC East teams before Saturday. The Gamecocks are the first East team to beat the Razorbacks since No. 1 Florida won 23-20 at The Swamp on Oct. 17, 2009.
The Razorbacks’ winning streak against the East included victories over South Carolina (3), Vanderbilt (2), Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky.
True freshman middle linebacker Otha Peters made his first career start Saturday, taking the place of senior Terrell Williams, who is indefinitely suspended after being arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated last weekend. Peters is the fourth Razorback to start at middle linebacker this season, along with seniors Tenarius Wright, Alonzo Highsmith and Williams. Wright and Highsmith are out for the season because of injuries.
Senior offensive tackle Jason Peacock was back in the starting lineup after not playing against Tulsa last week. Peacock, who was “in the doghouse” according to Arkansas Coach John L. Smith, started in place of Brey Cook. It was Peacock’s fifth start this season. Cook also has started five times.
Arkansas’ series lead over South Carolina is 13-8 after the Gamecocks beat the Razorbacks for the first time since 2008. The teams had never met until both joined the SEC in 1992, and they’ve played for 21 consecutive seasons as East-West partners.
Missouri is supposed to replace South Carolina as Arkansas’ annual opponent for the East, but that change won’t happen until at least 2014. The Razorbacks and Gamecocks will play again next season in Fayetteville.
Arkansas Coach John L. Smith said suspended linebacker Terrell Williams may return for next week’s game at Mississippi State.
“Not necessarily,” Smith said. “But there’s a possibility.”
Sports, Pages 32 on 11/11/2012