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Wilson leads No. 8 Arkansas past No. 10 South Carolina

Nov 6, 2011 - 3:46 AM Fayetteville, AR (Sports Network) - Tyler Wilson threw for 299 yards and a pair of touchdowns, leading eighth-ranked Arkansas to a 44-28 win over No. 10 South Carolina.

Wilson connected on 20-of-37 throws and his one interception was returned for a score by Devin Taylor in the second quarter.

Dennis Johnson ran a kickoff back 98 yards for a score and Jarius Wright caught a pair of scoring passes for the Razorbacks (8-1, 4-1 SEC), who won their fifth in a row. They won despite some crucial mistakes, but pulled away in the fourth quarter.

"You saw a tremendous amount of competitive spirit from our team and our seniors," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "We've pulled out close ones on the road for the past few weeks and it has pulled us together as a team. We don't point fingers, we've just come closer together as a team and you can't say enough about them winning in those close games."

Connor Shaw rushed for a pair of TDs for the Gamecocks (7-2), who had won their previous three contests. Shaw completed 16-of-25 passes for 128 yards, but was picked off once and sacked five times.

"Arkansas played very well, and they were a lot better than we were tonight certainly, on offense, defense, and special teams," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. "Their special teams were very good, ours were not very good tonight. It's one loss, it's a game we didn't play our best."

Shaw's one-yard TD run had the Gamecocks within 30-28 with 10 1/2 minutes in the game, but South Carolina's defense failed on the ensuing drive. Ronnie Wingo Jr., who dropped a sure touchdown pass earlier in the game, scored on a four-yard run with 8:09 remaining.

Shaw was then picked off by Alonzo Highsmith on the next play from scrimmage, but Broderick Green was stopped on 4th-and-goal from the two.

The mistakes continued for the Gamecocks, as Shaw was sacked and fumbled the ball away at the South Carolina one. Green scored from there for the 16-point cushion with 4:07 to go, and South Carolina's Victor Hampton fumbled away the ensuing kickoff return.

Zach Hocker kicked a 44-yard field goal 3 1/2 minutes into the game, but then missed a 45-yard attempt later in the quarter.

Brandon Wilds scored on a four-yard run to the left side to put the Gamecocks on top with 2:28 left in the opening quarter, but Johnson rumbled 98 yards on the ensuing kickoff to put the Razorbacks back on top.

Wingo dropped a likely touchdown pass early in the second quarter. Two plays later, Wilson was being sacked when he side-armed the ball, which was picked off by Taylor. He surged 48 yards the other way to the end zone.

The Razorbacks scored on the ensuing play from scrimmage when Wilson connected with Wright over the middle for a 68-yard bomb.

Wilson's 16-yard connection to Wright in the back of the end widened the margin to 24-14 with 4:11 left in the half. The hosts were threatening to make it a 17-point margin at the half, but again a dropped pass came back to bite the Razorbacks. Cobi Hamilton mishandled a perfectly-thrown ball at the rear of the end zone with eight seconds left, and Hocker was wide right on a 29- yard field goal try.

Shaw scored on a nine-yard run to cap the opening drive of the third quarter, pulling the Gamecocks within 24-21.

Wilson's 39-yard pass to Joe Adams helped to setup Hocker's 21-yard field goal, and the Gamecocks fumbled the ball away on the ensuing possession. That led to Hocker's 25-yad field goal with 1:17 left in the third.

Game Notes

The Razorbacks have won six straight games against opponents from the SEC Eastern Division, the longest winning streak against Eastern Division foes in school history and the third-longest current interdivision win streak in the SEC...The Razorbacks had 435 yards to 207 for South Carolina...Johnson had 86 yards on 15 carries...The win for the Razorbacks is the team's first win in a top-10 matchup in Fayetteville since 1965 and the third in school history.