Georgia Bulldogs at Arkansas Razorbacks preview


Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday afternoon, and for the second consecutive week, they will be taking on a quality opponent in a hostile environment. This week, the Dawgs will be in Little Rock to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks at War Memorial Stadium, and with Todd Gurley expected to be on the shelf, there are plenty of eyes focused on how UGA will handle things without their best player. Let’s take a look at the match-up.

Opponent: Arkansas Razorbacks

Time/TV: 4:00 pm ET, SEC Network

Georgia Offense vs. Arkansas Defense

Todd Gurley remains suspended (at least as of this moment), and as a result, Nick Chubb is expected to get the lion’s share of the work for the Bulldogs in the running game. The Razorbacks rank among the top 40 teams in America in stopping the run at just 127.2 yards allowed per game, but at the same time, they haven’t seen many rushing attacks like this, and Alabama had some sustained success on the ground behind their impressive stable of running backs.

The biggest question will be how Mike Bobo handles the workload of Chubb, as the freshman toted the rock 38 times in the win over Missouri. That is likely unsustainable long-term, but during the week, Mark Richt indicated that Keith Marshall was highly unlikely to return, and with Sony Michel still out with injury, UGA would be forced to turn to Brendan Douglas to spell Chubb for any length of time.

Through the air, Hutson Mason had arguably the best game of his career in Columbia last week, completing 22 of his 28 passes without committing a turnover. With that said, Arkansas has been far worse against the pass than the run this season, and the Hogs can be expected to stack the box in an attempt to slow down the ground game. That would force Mason and his improving cast of receivers to “win” the game for the offense, and that may be a tall task given the venue and stakes.

Georgia Defense vs. Arkansas Offense

Arkansas is very good at running the football. For the year, they are 11th in the country in rushing at 278.7 yards per game, but when you factor in some of the teams ahead of them running pure triple-option offenses (i.e. Georgia Tech), that number is even more impressive. As a general rule, the UGA run defense has been quite good, ranking among the top-15 teams in America at just over 100 yards allowed, but Arkansas will still look to establish the run and it will be crucial for the Dawgs to hold their own in the front seven.

Fortunately for Jeremy Pruitt’s mental health, Arkansas is among the worst teams in the country in the passing game. This is a pure example of “strength vs. strength” and “weakness vs. weakness”, which likely benefits Georgia, but if the Razorbacks are connecting through the air with any regularity, it is time to panic. Nothing is a given with this Georgia passing defense, but if the performance against Maty Mauk and Missouri is any indication, Pruitt’s group could be turning the corner.


Last week’s performance against Missouri was beautiful to watch. Georgia personified the “nobody believes in us” phenomenon, and in turn, they played their most complete game of the season. However, this is certainly a spot where the Dawgs could stumble if they don’t play their “A-game”, and Arkansas may be the best 3-3 team in all of college football. Mistake-free football would be ideal in a hostile environment, and if that does not happen, the door will be cracked for a potential upset by the Hogs.

Stay tuned for post-game coverage, and a live game thread that will open on Saturday morning. Check it out!