Coach Spurrier is a fan of going for it on fourth down, so when the Gamecocks found themselves facing fourth and five on the Arkansas 42-yard line toward the end of the first half, he didn't need much convincing from his quarterback to run another ball play.
"On the previous play I had a terrible throw to Ace [Sanders]; he was wide open on the quick out. So I ran to the sidelines and said, 'Coach, let's go for it!' and he said, 'Yeah, let's go for it,'" shared junior quarterback Connor Shaw. "He ended up calling a great play. We just recognized the coverage and executed it."
Shaw escaped the defense with just enough time to find receiver Bruce Ellington sitting in a hole in the coverage. Ellington took it the rest of the way to the end zone for the 42-yard touchdown. The score put the Gamecocks up 21-10 with just 1:30 to go in the half.
"When I was running I saw the corner went in and I saw the safety over top so I just sat in the hole then took it to the end zone," said Ellington, after the game. "The play was for me to go deep but I saw the safety up top and saw a little hole so I just sat in it."
"I told Bruce it was a good heads up play because if he had kept running [the route] he would have run into the free safety," said Shaw.
Both Shaw and Spurrier saw that Arkansas was in a coverage that they had shown on film and they had a feeling they could get a good play. Shaw complimented the offensive line in giving him time to escape the blitz and find Ellington.
"Bruce is starting to get a lot of balls and that was a big play he had on the 4th & 5 play. It ended up being one of the big plays of the game," said Spurrier. "They were in a kind of coverage that I think the guy's supposed to come way over but we had Ace going down the middle on the play and it ended up being a good play for us and a bad play for them."
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