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Georgia Bulldogs 45, Arkansas Razorbacks 32: Back To The Drawing Board...Again


Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Many people expected Arkansas to be 3-4 at this point in the season. The way the Razorbacks got here was surprising, but that they're here isn't.

After seeing how well dominant Arkansas was in its three wins, and how jarringly they simply gave games away against Texas A&M and Alabama, the narrative began to change. The Hogs were just a small underdog to Georgia despite the Bulldogs coming into the game 5-1, in the top 10, and off a total beatdown of Missouri. Sure, the Bulldogs were without Todd Gurley, but Mark Richt has never built Georgia as the type of program to be completely reliant on one player, and Nick Chubb was one of the top running backs in the country coming out of high school last year. The Hogs were a 3-3 team, but still many around the college football world were picking the Razorbacks to win.

Then the Hogs went out and reminded everyone that they are a 3-3 (now 3-4) team. We've known since before the season started that Arkansas was a thin team, and playing without injured starting middle linebacker, and losing another linebacker in Braylon Mitchell to a targeting penalty, left the Hogs in a situation without much experience at the linebacker position.

We've known Arkansas can't afford to make too many mistakes, and yet Alex Collins fumbled a pitch inside their own 10-yard line that led to a Bulldog touchdown in one play. Brandon Allen fumbled as he was sacked on the Georgia side of the field and the ball was returned 54 yards by Dominick Sanders for a touchdown with just a couple of minutes to go until halftime. Arkansas only stopped Georgia once in the first half outside of scoring position, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave the Bulldogs a free first down that led to a touchdown.

And that was all just in the second quarter.

The second quarter was an absolute disaster of a quarter for Arkansas. The Razorbacks had put themselves in a hole regardless, but those late turnovers and penalties helped push the lead to 38-6 at halftime and Arkansas just isn't built to threaten a lead like that against a good team.

Yet, Arkansas did claw themselves back into respectability in the second half, even scoring a pair of 4th quarter touchdowns in the process to make the final 45-32. They even called a fade pass in the end zone for 6'6" freshman Kendrick Edwards, allowing him to take advantage of his height for one of the first times this year. It's hard to say if Georgia went more conservative in the second half with a big lead, but regardless, they did enough to hold onto it.

Arkansas did actually outgain Georgia by 38 total yards in the game. Brandon Allen threw for nearly 300 yards. But those four turnovers were lethal. And Tevin Mitchel's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty should be included as a fifth. Georgia's a better team than Arkansas in part because they didn't make those types of mistakes. This isn't to say Arkansas wins without the turnovers, but the game surely would have been more competitive.

All that said, we're now 7 games into the season and it seems safe to say we know who this team is now. These Razorbacks can show flashes of absolutely brilliant football. Arkansas' opening drive was gorgeous.

They are also a team completely capable of slicing their own throats. Whether it's a tripping penalty, fumbling the snap, tossing away a touchdown in the end zone resulting in a touchback, allowing PAT's to be blocked, dropping interceptions, or fumbling basic pitches, the team can look tragically undisciplined.

That's what fans are left to deal with. They'll likely easily beat UAB next week and head into November with a 4-4 record, just as many expected. Of course, that was before the Mississippi schools proved to be top 5 opponents, but still, this Razorback team will likely either be remembered for beating somebody in November, or destroying themselves in September and October (and possibly November as well).