SEC Upset Special: Georgia vs. Arkansas
The Razorbacks are still searching for their first conference win, against a Georgia team that has rebounded well after the early loss to South Carolina. With a strong running game and timely defense, the Hogs will be able to hang with Gurley-less Georgia on Saturday.
Arkansas’s Ability to Move the Ball
The Razorbacks offense has been one of the most impressive units this season, but it’s not very flashy. They average 39.3 points per game and are 11th in the country in rushing, averaging 278.7 yards per game.
Bret Bielema has built a solid foundation at Arkansas with a huge offensive line and two very good running backs; Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins have combined to rush for 1,203 yards and 15 touchdowns. Quarterback Brandon Allen doesn’t get much publicity, but he does a good job of managing the offense. On the season, he has thrown only two interceptions compared to 10 touchdowns.
Georgia is talented up front, so this will be a tough challenge for Arkansas. Alabama was able to somewhat contain the Razorbacks run game last week, but Alex Collins only had six carries in that game after missing some time. This is the most impressive rushing offense in the SEC, but Georgia’s defense is talented enough that Allen will have to make plays through the air also. I think he can, because he will have time to throw. Allen has only been sacked five times this season, and if Arkansas gets enough going on the ground, it will open up opportunities for him down the field.
Does Georgia Have Enough Offensively Without Gurley?
I am not a part of the Hutson Mason hate-wagon like some. He, like Allen, isn’t the flashiest player in college football, but he is efficient. However, without Gurley, against a talented Arkansas defense, I don’t like Mason like week. The Razorbacks defense is giving up 23.8 points per game this season, which isn’t bad considering their schedule. This unit played exceptionally well against Alabama last weekend, holding the Tide to 227 total yards offensively. The Tide, known for their power running game, totaled only 66 yards on the ground.
If the Razorbacks are able to contain Georgia’s run game like they did against Alabama, it will force Mason to make plays. Remember, this is a Dawgs offense that will be without Sony Michel and could also be without Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.
-Another big factor in this game will be time of possession. Arkansas had the ball for a little over 34 minutes against Alabama, and sustaining drives is important here because of what Georgia can do on offense. It’s simple: if you keep their offense on the sideline, they can’t score.
Arkansas has covered in five consecutive games, so it’s hard not to like them again this week, as they are being given 3.5 points.
This is an Arkansas team that is still very hungry and still very confident. Bielema will have his guys fired up to try and get that first conference win. This team should have beaten both Texas A&M and Alabama, but all will be made right on Saturday. I think Arkansas is a great bet to cover the points, but I also think they get the job done. The Hogs beat the Dawgs in a nail-biter.
Arkansas 24, Georgia 23