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Raheim Sanders, No. 16 Arkansas rumble past South Carolina

Sep 10, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) breaks several tackle attempts in the second quarter as South Carolina Gamecocks defensive lineman Zach Pickens (6) reaches for the ball at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Raheim Sanders rushed 24 times for a game-high 156 yards and two touchdowns as No. 16 Arkansas opened Southeastern Conference play with a 44-30 victory over South Carolina Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville, Ark.

KJ Jefferson was 18 of 21 for 162 yards and a score and rushed for a crucial touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to push the lead for the Razorbacks (2-0, 1-0 SEC) to 28-16. He later threw a 23-yard tally to Warren Thompson.

Jefferson added 67 yards on 19 carries and a rushing TD. Rashod Dubinion and AJ Green also found the end zone on short runs.

Arkansas snapped a three-game losing streak against the Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1) and moved to 14-10 in the series.

Oklahoma Sooners transfer Spencer Rattler was 23-for-38 for 371 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his second outing for South Carolina.

MarShawn Lloyd rushed for a score, but his fumble that was recovered by Arkansas’ Hudson Clark ended a drive after Jefferson’s TD run. Juju McDowell and Jaheim Bell added TDs on the ground.

Antwane Wells Jr. caught eight passes for a game-best 185 yards and a TD.

In the squads’ first meeting since 2017 in South Carolina, the Razorbacks gambled on their first possession, with Jefferson converting a fourth-and-inches sneak. Two snaps later, Sanders roared in for a 7-0 lead at 6:42.

On the ensuing drive, Lloyd’s 43-yard reception on a screen pass set up Mitch Jeter’s field goal from 28 yards.

But Sanders capped a 12-play drive with a scamper for 11 yards just 32 seconds into the second quarter. Dubinion’s scoring run ended a second straight drive of 12 plays and put the home side up 21-3 at 8:13.

Lloyd scored from seven yards on a run, but Jeter missed the extra point wide left after a bad snap to leave it 21-9 at halftime.

On a third-and-17 midway through the third, the visitors slashed the deficit to one score when Rattler found Wells wide open for 62 yards to make it 21-16.

–Field Level Media