Georgia heads back to Athens after a resounding 62-0 victory over Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday. The Bulldogs are preparing to take on an Arkansas team that has been one of the hottest teams in the SEC of late.
The Razorbacks have been extremely physical on both sides of the ball and it has earned them two top-25 wins through four games. Winning up front has been the main focus for Arkansas, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since head coach Sam Pittman was formerly the offensive line coach under Kirby Smart at Georgia.
Unstoppable force against immovable object
Arkansas runs a two-deep offensive line rotation with a combined six seniors and juniors on the depth chart as well as four underclassmen. The Razorbacks’ pass blocking has been above-average, only allowing an average of one sack per game.
Pittman and Arkansas offensive line coach Cody Kennedy have found a great deal of success in giving the running backs space to work. The Razorbacks are ranked eighth in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 261 yards per game.
For Georgia’s front seven, the Arkansas front five presents the toughest challenge it has faced all season. The Bulldogs are seventh in the nation in rushing defense, and have racked up 15 sacks in four games.
Jordan Davis, who has had success through four games plugging up the gaps alongside Devonte Wyatt and Jalen Carter, needs to find similar success while the outside linebacker and defensive end rotation must contain any outside threats in the run game.
Another key for Georgia’s front seven is to make KJ Jefferson uncomfortable. Jefferson is coming off a game against Texas A&M where he missed a quarter due to injury, but threw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns when he was on the field.
Challenge on offense
Many of the Georgia offensive lineman will get the chance to play in front of Pittman, the coach that recruited them. The Razorbacks’ defense poses a fierce challenge for the Bulldogs who have struggled at times to open up gaps for ball carriers.
While the Georgia run game has improved over the last three games, Arkansas presents more talent on the defensive line than teams like Vaderbilt, UAB and South Carolina. The Razorbacks have recorded 10 sacks on the season and are ranked 48th in the nation in rushing defense.
It will be important for the Bulldogs to find a balance between the run and the pass game to be successful against Arkansas, and the offensive line getting a good push is necessary to create explosive plays in the run game.
Luckily for the Bulldogs, one of the offensive line’s strengths is its pass blocking. Georgia quarterbacks have only been sacked twice through four games and it has allowed JT Daniels and Stetson Bennett to find open receivers downfield.