FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Travis Swanson has seen what it's like when a team loses its confidence, most notably last year when Arkansas' season collapsed under the wake of fallout from the Bobby Petrino scandal.
The Razorbacks center refuses to believe this is one of those seasons.
Arkansas will have its next chance to prove Swanson correct when it hosts No. 14 South Carolina (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) on Saturday.
The Razorbacks (3-3, 0-2) enter on a three-game losing streak, including a 30-10 loss at Florida last week. They are eager to show this isn't the same team as last year, when Arkansas finished 4-8 under interim coach John L. Smith.
"I think the attitude of the team overall is good," Swanson said. "That's something that you can really tell. It's so different than last year; everyone has a good outlook on each week."
First-year Arkansas coach Bret Bielema appeared to have his new team on the right path through the first three weeks. However, the Razorbacks have since lost to Rutgers, Texas A&M and Florida, leaving Bielema one loss short of matching his longest losing streak as a head coach.
Bielema lost four in a row during the 2008 season while at Wisconsin, though that team rebounded to win its final three regular-season games and reach a bowl game.
With games left against South Carolina, Alabama and LSU, just to name a few in a slate full of SEC games, Arkansas' chances of reaching a bowl game have taken a serious hit in the last three weeks.
Just don't expect the Razorbacks, who senior fullback Kiero Small said have "seen it all" after last season, to look at it that way.
"We had such a bad taste in our mouth last year from losing that we're not trying to get on the same path again," quarterback Brandon Allen said. "We've had a few games in a row that we've lost, but we're trying to turn that around right away, and that's not something we're taking lightly. We're really trying to get that reversed and get that first win in the SEC."
Five things to watch as Arkansas tries to avoid a four-game losing streak and South Carolina looks to stay in the SEC championship race:
NO CLOWNING AROUND: South Carolina All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney caused a bit of a stir while missing last week's win over Kentucky with a strained muscle near his ribcage. With any miscommunication with coach Steve Spurrier in the past, the 6-foot-6, 274-pound Clowney practiced two days in a row this week and is expected to return to start against the Razorbacks.
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