Happy Monday, Dawg Sports readers. It was another gloriously anticlimactic weekend of football. But this week brings a new challenge, a high noon shootout with #8 Arkansas.
Many Bulldog fans have probably never witnessed a noon kickoff of this caliber, something which in the pre-national TV deal days was far more common. For you young whipper snappers in the group, please heed the words of venerable blogger emeritus Paul Westerdawg:
TRAFFIC FOR UGA VS ARK: The worst traffic for a UGA game is the noon start. We haven’t had a game this big at noon in quite literally decades (early 80s). You have to plan to get there 2 hours earlier than a normal noon start or you’re going to be in traffic hell and very late.
— Paul Westerdawg (@GeorgiaBlogPWD) September 26, 2021
The Razorbacks will come to Athens with a lot of eyeballs, but they may not bring a full compliment of players. Both starting QB KJ Jefferson and the Hawgs’ fantastic receiver Treylon Burks went out in the second half against Texas A&M with undisclosed injuries. All indications at this time are that both will be on the field Saturday, but there’s a definite contrast between the two teams’ condition.
Coach Pittman, as should be no surprise to those who know him and his philosophy, emphasized his team’s toughness following their 20-10 defeat of the Aggies. But the ‘Hawgs have now played a series of physical football games in which a still thinnish roster has been put to the test.
Georgia on the other hand appears set to get some major contributors back as soon as this week and didn’t sustain any consequential injuries against Vandy. Most of the Bulldog starters were on the sideline for a substantial portion of the second half. Arkansas by contrast had several players banged up after a hard fought game against the Aggies that went the distance. That contrast is a major advantage for Georgia as it embarks on the toughest stretch of its schedule.
The ‘Dawgs open as an 18 point favorite over the ‘Hawgs, which to my untrained eye seems pretty fair. That doesn’t mean the Fightin’ Pittbosses won’t turn this one into a much closer game. It doesn’t mean that Georgia won’t turn on the jets and win by 30. But Arkansas looks like the most physical opponent Georgia has faced all season. Offensively they’re more explosive than Clemson, and while Texas A&M’s offense is a plane being built in mid-air, the Arkansas defense looked fast and hard hitting in holding Jimbo’s guys to 272 yards of offense. I mean, when you’re starting a guy in the middle named Bumper Pool, you gotta be tough, right? Until later…