When the No. 14 South Carolina Gamecocks and Arkansas Razorbacks meet on Saturday, a battle of streaks will come to a head in what is a pivotal SEC football showdown.
The Gamecocks have won three in a row after a loss to No. 11 Georgia a month ago. The Razorbacks, on the other hand, have lost three games in a row, including recent defeats at the hands of No. 10 Texas A&M and No. 18 Florida.
Both the Gamecocks and Razorbacks tout smashmouth styles of football led by outstanding ground games. Whichever team can impose its will early and often will emerge the victor.
Here is a look at the important details fans must know about the matchup.
When: Saturday, Oct. 12, at 12:21 p.m. ET
Where: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark.
Television: SEC TV
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Over/Under: 51
- Spread: South Carolina (-6)
Gamecocks Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Jadeveon Clowney||DE||10/09/2013||is probable for Saturday's game against Arkansas||Probable||ribs|
|Carlton Heard||WR||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Arkansas||Questionable||hamstring|
|James King||LB||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Arkansas||Questionable||foot|
|Mike Matulis||T||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Arkansas||Questionable||shoulder|
|Kyle Morini||LB||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Arkansas||Questionable||elbow|
|Shaq Roland||WR||10/02/2013||will be eligible to return for 10/19 against Tennessee||Suspended||two-game suspension|
|Gerald Turner||DE||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Arkansas||Questionable||ankle|
|Devin Washington||DE||09/05/2013||is out indefinitely||Out||concussion|
|Brandon Wilds||RB||09/29/2013||is expected to miss 2-3 weeks||Out||shoulder|
Razorbacks Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Will Hines||CB||10/06/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||arm|
|Nate Holmes||RB||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against South Carolina||Questionable||ankle|
|Travis Swanson||C||10/09/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against South Carolina||Questionable||knee|
|Demetrius Wilson||WR||08/18/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee|
Which Team Can Stop the Run?
South Carolina averages 215 yards rushing, primarily due to sophomore back Mike Davis, who has 614 yards rushing and eight scores to go with his outstanding 6.7 average gain per carry.
Conversely, Arkansas averages 216 yards on the ground behind the duo of freshman back Alex Collins (651 yards, three TDs) and sophomore Jonathan Williams (503 yards, four TDs).
As far as rushing attacks go, both defenses are not far apart in standing their ground. South Carolina allows an average of just 128 yards rushing per game while Arkansas surrenders an average of 125 yards rushing per contest.
Whichever defense can adequately handle the other offense's predictable rushing attack will enable its own offense to not only control the clock, but also the pace and outcome of the game.
Perhaps the biggest wild card in Saturday's contest is a player who has been lost in the shuffle of a stellar South Carolina rushing attack.
We are talking about Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw, who has been nothing short of impressive this season. Shaw has thrown for 927 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions in just five games.
Not to be outdone by his running game, Shaw is also the team's second-leading rusher with 282 yards and one touchdown.
Speaking of wild cards, Gamecocks' star defensive end and presumed top-five pick Jadeveon Clowney is probable for the game, meaning the Razorbacks will have a difficult time controlling the trenches against the run.
Expect the Gamecocks to slip by, as stars like Shaw and Clowney complement a strong South Carolina rushing attack.
Final: South Carolina 33, Arkansas 24
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling