Nov. 1, 2004
Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Gamecocks (5-3/3-3) play their final home game of the 2004 season by hosting the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-4/1-3) Saturday, Nov. 6 at Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250). Kickoff time is set for 12:33 p.m. with Jefferson Pilot Sports televising across the Southeastern Conference network. Bill Rosinski (play-by-play), Dave Rowe (color analyst) and Jenn Hildreth (sideline reporter) will handle the broadcast.
A QUICK LOOK
Saturday will be Senior Day at Williams-Brice Stadium, as 24 seniors will be making their final appearance in a Gamecock uniform before the home fans. In addition, the USC Athletics Department will host its annual “Salute to the Military.” A special feature will include a demonstration by the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, which has appeared at two “Monday Night Football” games this year and will be making its only appearance at a college game this year when they perform at Williams-Brice Stadium at halftime Saturday. Representatives from the various military installations across the state of South Carolina will also be honored … The fans at Williams-Brice Stadium will be bidding farewell to 24 seniors on Saturday. Many of this group participated in back-to-back New Year’s Day Bowl games (2001, 2002 Outback Bowls) and were part of the winningest two consecutive seasons in Carolina history (2000-01, 17 victories) … Members of “Team Gamecocks,” the Athletics Department’s Community Outreach program, will be conducting its annual Team Food Drive competition at the USC-Arkansas game. Student-athletes from Carolina’s various teams will be collecting food for Harvest Hope Food Bank and fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the game prior to kickoff. Collection boxes will be stationed outside the stadium entrances.
South Carolina and Arkansas meet for the 13th time this Saturday, with all of the previous 12 meetings coming since both of the schools began competing in the SEC in 1992. Since that time, Arkansas has been a permanent Western Division opponent for the Gamecocks … Arkansas leads the series 8-4 and has won the last three meetings between the two teams. In Columbia, the Razorbacks lead 4-3. USC’s last victory came in 2000 in Columbia (27-7) … Last Meeting … Arkansas 28, USC 6, 11/6/03, Little Rock … Arkansas capitalized on four Gamecock turnovers and totaled 248 rushing yards while its defense held USC in check as the Razorbacks prevailed 28-6. The Thursday night tilt was featured on ESPN and improved Arkansas’ record to 16-0 at War Memorial Stadium under Coach Houston Nutt. The Razorbacks fumbled the opening kickoff and Carolina turned it into three points on Daniel Weaver’s 43-yard field goal to open the scoring. The Razorbacks took the lead for good midway through the first quarter when DeCori Birmingham raced 51 yards for a touchdown. Quarterback Matt Jones connected with tight end Jason Peters on a one-yard scoring pass in the final minute of the first half, capping a 13-play, 71-yard drive, to give the Razorbacks a 14-3 lead at the break. Jones picked up where he left off in the second half and threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to George Smith in the third quarter to extend the lead to 21-3. Weaver added a field goal late in the third period to trim the lead to 21-6. George Wilson caught Jones’ third TD pass of the game midway through the fourth quarter to increase the Razorback lead to 28-6 and provide the game’s final margin. On the night, USC’s Dondrial Pinkins was 21-36-2 for 181 yards. Demetris Summers had to leave the game early in the third quarter after suffering a concussion. Linebacker Marcus Lawrence led USC with 12 total tackles. Arkansas was successful on 11 of 15 third down conversions … Last Meeting in Columbia, Arkansas 23, USC 0, 11/9/02 … For the first time since 1999, the Gamecocks were held scoreless. USC’s offense struggled against the Razorbacks, as the Gamecocks managed just 233 total yards. The passing game was ineffective, as USC completed just 13 of 31 passes for 89 yards and three interceptions. The three interceptions led to 13 Arkansas points. The Gamecocks did manage to rush for 144 yards on 32 carries against the SEC’s second best rushing defense that was allowing just 102 yards a game on the ground. South Carolina began the game with a promising opening drive, marching 44 yards on 14 plays, which took 7:43 off the clock. The Gamecocks came up empty, however, when Daniel Weaver misfired on a 42-yard field goal attempt. The drive was USC’s longest of the day and was also the deepest penetration the Gamecocks had all afternoon against the Razorback defense. Arkansas rushed for 200 yards on 50 carries and controlled the football for 20:52 in the second and third quarters combined. UA quarterback Matt Jones completed 10 of 18 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns, while tailback Fred Talley rushed for a game-high 77 yards on 18 carries… USC’s last victory over Arkansas came on Oct. 14, 2000 in Columbia, when the Gamecocks became bowl eligible with a 27-7 triumph over the Razorbacks. USC quarterback Phil Petty threw for two touchdowns and tailback Derek Watson picked up 136 yards on 17 carries with one touchdown. The win boosted USC’s record to 6-1 on the season.
A CLOSER LOOK
South Carolina returns 16 starters (nine offense/six defense/one specialist) … For the first time since 1995, USC opened its season with two straight SEC games. The Gamecocks defeated Vanderbilt 31-6 in the season opener before dropping a 20-16 decision to #3 Georgia on 9/11 … USC bounced back to defeat South Florida 34-3 on 9/18 and was a 17-7 winner over Troy on 9/25. Carolina notched his third straight victory and second straight SEC road win with a 20-3 triumph over Alabama in Tuscaloosa on 10/2. The Gamecocks fell to Ole Miss 31-28 on 10/9 in Columbia, as the Rebels scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:05 remaining. Carolina came back to defeat Kentucky 12-7 in Lexington on 10/16, as reserve quarterback Michael Rathe tossed a 19-yard scoring pass to Troy Williamson with 1:28 remaining … The Gamecocks dropped their third home game of the season on Oct. 30 with a 43-29 loss to #11 Tennessee … Now in his 33rd season as a collegiate head coach, USC’s Lou Holtz ranks third among active head coaches and eighth all-time with 248 career victories. His 248 career wins trail only Penn State’s Joe Paterno and Florida State’s Bobby Bowden among active coaches. Coach Holtz is the only coach in the history of college football to lead six different programs (William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina) to post-season bowl games (all by the second season) and is likewise the only coach in history to have four different programs (NC State, Arkansas, Notre Dame and South Carolina) finish the season ranked in the top 20 … Over the years, Coach Holtz is 1-4 vs. Arkansas, a school where he had great success as a head coach from 1977-83. During Coach Holtz’s tenure at Arkansas, the Razorbacks posted a 60-21-2 (.735) won-loss record and played in six straight bowl games (Orange, Fiesta, Sugar, Hall of Fame, Gator and Bluebonnet), marking the first time the school had ever played in bowl games in more than four consecutive seasons. Under Holtz, Arkansas was 3-2-1 in those bowl games… Coach Holtz’s first six Arkansas squads combined to average nine victories per year, the best record in any six-year period in Razorback football history … Coach Holtz led the Hogs to three bowl victories. His first Arkansas team, in 1977, finished 11-1 and ranked 3rd in the country following a stunning 31-6 victory over 2nd-ranked Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. Following that season, Holtz was named National Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America and Walter Camp Foundation … During his seven seasons at Arkansas, Coach Holtz’s teams played before sellout crowds every home game … Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt is in his seventh season with the Razorbacks. He enters this week’s game with a 51-31 record during his tenure with the Hogs. Now in his 12th season as a head coach, his overall mark reads 87-53. Nutt was also head coach at Boise State and Murray State before coming to Arkansas prior to the 1998 season … Coach Nutt is 5-1 vs. South Carolina … Nutt played quarterback at Arkansas for Coach Holtz (1977) before transferring to Oklahoma State (1979-80). he later returned to Arkansas as a graduate assistant under Holtz in 1983 … Three of Arkansas’ assistant coaches have coached under Lou Holtz at one time or another during their careers. Bobby Allen, UA’s secondary coach, was a graduate assistant for Coach Holtz at Minnesota in 1985. Mike Markuson, UA’s offensive line coach and running game coordinator, was a graduate assistant for Coach Holtz in 1989 at Notre Dame, a year in which the Fighting Irish finished 12-1 and ranked #2 in the final AP poll. Dave Wommack, UA’s defensive coordinator, was a part-time coach on Holtz’s 1981 and 1982 Arkansas staffs … South Carolina lists no players from the state of Arkansas on its 2004 roster. Arkansas does have one player from the Palmetto State — linebacker Marcus Whitmore is from Laurens, S.C.