Who: Georgia (5-1, 3-1 SEC) vs. Arkansas (3-3, 0-3 SEC).
Where: War Memorial Stadium, Little Rock, Arkansas.
When: 4:00 p.m. eastern
How: Television through the SEC Network, radio across the Georgia Bulldog radio network.
This is Speaking With The Enemy, in which we pick the brains of those who follow the Bulldogs’ upcoming opponent on a daily basis. This week we talked to Ryan Higgins of SB Nation’s Arkansas site, Arkansas Fight.Ryan graciously answered our every inquiry about the state of the Razorback fanbase, the game time atmosphere in Little Rock, and a host of other topics.
Dawg Sports: What is the general mood of the Arkansas fan base in the wake of that close lost to Alabama? Is there a sense that the Razorbacks are about to break through, or is it just more frustration?
Arkansas Fight: It's frustrating for sure. There is no doubt this team is going to break through at some point (thank God Mizzou is on our schedule), and some fans do believe it could be this weekend against Georgia. Personally, I think the Hogs break through against LSU.
Dawg Sports: This seems to be the year of the SEC quarterback who no one truly buys into unless he's playing in Mississippi. Hutson Mason, Anthony Jennings, Justin Worley, Dylan Thompson, the list goes on. Is Brandon Allen in that category as well? Or do Arkansas fans feel like they have the guy to run their offense?
Arkansas Fight: Funny you ask that, I wrote in a column earlier this week that Brandon Allen isn't as bad as his critics say he is, and he isn't as great as his pimps promote him to be. I've never seen someone who is so average be so polarizing (Editor’s note: Bulldog fans may have something to say about that. . .). Really, he is just the best the Hogs have right now and there is no point in getting mad about it. He's going to be the guy unless he gets hurt.
Dawg Sports: Describe for Bulldog fans the differences between an Arkansas game contested in Fayetteville and one like this weekend's contested in Little Rock.
Arkansas Fight: The fans and the atmosphere. I can say what I'm about to say because I've had Fayetteville season tickets since '05 and Little Rock ones for as long as I can remember. It's a wine and cheese party in Fayetteville. It's a social event. The stadium is opened at one end so the sound is allowed to escape through the north end zone. Little Rock is more of your blue collar shit show. There aren't many suites and it is 55,000 drunkpeople crammed into a tiny space. It's just a bowl of concrete on top of the field with nowhere for sound to escape. I've been to about half the schools in the SEC and none have been as loud at War Memorial at full strength. Friends have told me Death Valley at LSU is the only place they've been to that has been as loud.
Dawg Sports: Fill in the blank: Arkansas breaks it's SEC losing streak this weekend if _______.
Arkansas Fight: They stop beating themselves. Turnovers and stupid penalties have destroyed the Hogs chances at upsets their last two games, and they have showed no signs of stopping that.
Dawg Sports: Have there been any stars to emerge on the Arkansas defense? After giving up 45 to Auburn and 35 to A&M, did the effort against Alabama indicate good things around the corner for that unit?
Arkansas Fight: To be fair, they only gave up 28 to A&M in regulation. The offense had multiple opportunities to win that game in regulation after the defense set them up nicely after some stops. Middle linebacker Brooks Ellis is the brain of the defense. He has done a great job of getting everyone lined up and where they need to be. He's just a helluva player, however he has a bone bruise on his knee and is likely out (you lucky dawgs). Defensive end Trey Flowers is a guy most people are familiar with off the Arkansas defense and he's having another solid year. Safety Alan Turner has played well most of the season, but has dropped some picks he should have caught. Honestly, the personnel is almost the same as last year, but new defensive coordinator Robb Smith has impressed the entire fan base with what he has done with this defense. Most people thought the offense was going to be what won games for Arkansas, but really the defense has put the offense in opportunities to win games and the offense hasn't delivered.
Dawg Sports: Score prediction?
Arkansas Fight: 31-30, another heart breaker for the Hogs. I just don't think they break through until the LSU game, especially with Ellis out.
Thanks to Ryan for answering our questions, and be sure to check out Arkansas Fight for all your Razorback news needs. Until later...