So, Hog fans, here we sit at 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the conference after the stirring victory in Athens last weekend. As far as statement games go, it still leaves some open questions - particularly about the running game and 4th quarter defense - but the fact remains that overall the Razorbacks did exactly what they needed to do: they marched into a hostile environment against a fairly desperate team and made plays with the game on the line to pull out a huge victory.
Now, as a reward for that success, we get to face an even tougher team this coming weekend. Before we get to the Alabama game, though (and we'll have plenty to say about that this week), here are some final thoughts on where things stand after Georgia:
* Before Saturday, the Hogs had been showing up on various "overrated" lists as they slowly ascended in the polls without having done much. I don't think we'll be hearing that claim too often this week.
* The mental impact of this game cannot be underestimated. Sad to say, I had visions of countless heartbreaking Razorback losses dancing through my head as Georgia took the field for what turned out to be their final drive, and was already resigned to adding another painful memory to that list. But, this year's Hog team turned the tables on me (and a lot of other people) by pulling out multiple clutch plays to get the win, and I can already feel my attitude shifting. Next time we're in this situation my expectations will be much more positive. And if I feel that way, how must the team itself feel? Talk about a great confidence boost.
* Ladies and gentlemen, we have a SEC-caliber special teams unit. And not just a middle of the road one, either...if the first three games are any indicator, we have a damn good group. It feels nice to type that!
* Huge props to Catholic High's Jake Bequette for his bonecrushing clutch sack on Aaron Murray. If any play symbolizes the difference between this year's and last year's teams it was that one. (The other contenders: Zack Hocker's long field goal at the end of the first half, and Dylan Breeding's 57-yard punt that set up Bequette's heroics.)
* The fact that the momentum-turning defensive play came on a QB sack was fitting...the D line did a great job of pressuring Murray all game.
* Discussion starter: was Petrino too stubborn in trying to ice away the game on the ground last weekend? What has the higher odds of success at this point, a short pass play or short running play?
* Whatever the answers are, we certainly need a running game. And next Saturday would be a very nice time for either Wingo, Green or Davis to stage their coming out party.
* It doesn't get much more fun than watching Joe Adams run with the ball in his hands. Mark my words - he'll break a punt return for a TD at some point this year.
* For a glimpse at the Georgia fan mindset after such a tough loss, here's a good summary on DawgSports.com.
* Props are due to our vodka-fueled Russian soothsayer, Rasputin, who predicted the final score within four points (he had the Hogs at 31-28). He is currently celebrating with the bender to end all benders.