After a disappointing start to the season, with tough losses to both Texas Christian University and Texas A&M, the Razorback football team will try to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season when the Hogs face the South Carolina on Saturday.
The Razorbacks (2-2) rolled over New Mexico State on Sept. 30 for the Hogs’ second win of the season. The team put up 42 points in front of a home crowd and are looking forward to continue the momentum against the Gamecocks (3-2).
The Razorbacks’ offensive woes seem to have improved, and after criticisms of the team’s ability to compete in second halves of games over the past two years, Hog fans saw their team dominate throughout all four quarters. The team put up 28 points in the first half. It also racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense.
The last time the Razorbacks faced the Gamecocks in 2013, the Hogs were on the wrong end of a 52-7 blowout loss. South Carolina put up over 500 yards on offense, while holding the Razorbacks to 248 yards.
That is a game the Razorbacks don’t want to repeat.
With both teams having underwhelming seasons and a combined win percentage of 55 percent, the matchup looks to be slightly more even than the last meeting.
The Hogs will look to senior running back David Williams, a graduate transfer who came from South Carolina and has 4.72 yards per carry and four touchdowns on the season, to attack the South Carolina defense.
Senior defensive back Henre’ Toliver said the New Mexico State win will help going into another tough SEC competition.
“This win definitely boosted our confidence a bit,” Toliver said. “It gave us more chemistry, offensively and defensively. I think as a team we needed this (win) to feel a little better going into SEC play. As far as preparation for South Carolina, we are going to put this New Mexico State game to bed and move on to the next opponent with film study and trying to catch on to tendencies and techniques and gather as much information possible to attack those weaknesses and try to get a win.”
Senior defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson also said this win over NMSU will propel them into the next game.
“After 2 tough losses, I feel it was good to get a win. There has been so much negativity that we’ve had to deal with,” Jackson said. “The win will get some positive energy circulating around the team. We feel like we had to correct some of the mistakes we made in the previous games and we did. Defensively, we still have a lot to fix, but we pride ourselves on stopping the run and we did that successfully. It gives us a little more confidence as we re-enter SEC play.”
Senior offensive lineman Frank Ragnow said the Hogs are looking forward to competing this weekend.
“We’re excited for another SEC opponent,” Ragnow said. “They are a well-coached team that plays real hard. We need to be ready to go play in a hostile environment on the road.”
The Hogs will have their first SEC road challenge at 4 p.m. at the Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina.