This afternoon’s matchup with the top ten Arkansas Razorbacks was billed as a “separation game”, a chance to separate the wheat from the chaff in the SEC.
I think we’ve now established something of a pecking order.
Georgia proved way too much for the Fightin’ Pittmans to handle, jumping out to a dominating 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looking back in a 37-0 barbecuing.
We’ve been expecting the Bulldog offense to come out and some point and just run the dang ball on somebody, and sadly for Barry Odom’s Razorback defense today was that day. The ‘Dawgs pounded out a season-high 273 yards on the ground, running early and often and usually effectively. James Cook led all Bulldog rushers with 87 yards on 12 carries, showcasing the next gear that makes him a threat to take it to the house whenever he touches the ball. Zamir White reminded us that he’s a credible option whenever the Red and Black need tough yards, picking up a key early fourth down and an extra effort touchdown late.
Stetson Bennett May not be a pre-med major, but he followed the Hippocratic oath anyway, doing no harm to the Bulldog effort with his 7 of 11 for 72 yards passing effort. He threw no touchdowns but also no interceptions. In fact Georgia has no turnovers and relatively few penalties, and without those ingredients an upset for the Arkansans was just never going to be in the cards. Arkansas’s 13 penalties for 101 yards on the day were really just the cherry on top.
Defensively, we are running out of superlatives for a Bulldog defense which posted it second SEC shut out in a row for the first time since that sainted 1980 season. Dan Lanning’s unit gave up only 162 yards of total offense, never allowing Razorback quarterback KJ Jefferson to escape the pocket, and also never giving him time to find targets downfield.
The ‘Dawgs now move on to a weirdly early road matchup with the Auburn Tigers in the Loveliest Little Post-Apocalyptic Outpost on the Plains. One would expect Bryan Harsin’s team to have this one circled as a chance to make a statement. Maybe they’ll be the foe that finally pushes this Bulldog team. But it’s going to take a lot to slow this mean machine in red and black.