South Carolina had just capped a 13 play, 59-yard drive with a 33-yard Elliott Fry field goal. Not the result South Carolina hoped for after allowing Arkansas to score on the opening possession, but it was certainly a solid answer to the Razorbacks score on their first possession.
With Arkansas getting the ball at their own 12-yard line after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, they started to move the football again with ease thanks to Alex Collins. Three straight runs by Collins netted 17 yards, but the third carry was negated by an Arkansas holding penalty.
The Razorbacks were staring a first and long from their own 19-yard line. They had only thrown two passes at this point in the game and decided on first down to have Brandon Allen drop back and throw the football hoping to pick back up some the penalty yards they just received on the previous play.
Here is where our Play of the Game comes into play:
Allen is in the pistol formation with Collins behind him in the backfield. Allen gets the snap and is looking to his right for his receiver. Lined up across that receiver was Victor Hampton. The Arkansas receiver began running his route and went up field about 10 yards before curling to the sidelines. Hampton is reading the receiver and quarterback the whole way and is close in coverage on his receiver.
As soon as Allen throws the ball, Hampton knows where its going. He makes the jump towards the football and comes away with the interception and begins up field with a return. He eventually takes it up field before turning to the inside and is tackled at the six-yard line of Arkansas.
This play basically ended the hopes of the Arkansas Razorbacks but at the time, we didn't know that. Arkansas had basically had its way with South Carolina on the ground on its first series and even on this series where they threw the interception. However, they decided to go to the pass there and Hampton made a perfect play and basically flipped the game in favor of South Carolina from that point forward. The Gamecocks would score immediately with Mike Davis on the ensuing play and South Carolina takes the lead 10-7 over Arkansas and would go on to score 42 more points to win by a score of 52-7.
It was a blowout victory for South Carolina on the road and a much needed road victory to get this three-game road stretch off to a great start.
Hampton's play was big and that's why it's this week's Play of the Game.