The No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0 SEC) will take on the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks (4-0, 1-0 SEC) at 12:00 p.m. ET Saturday in Athens, Ga. This SEC showdown has brought College Gameday to Athens and will air on ESPN as Georgia looks for their second victory against a top-10 opponent in the 2021 season.
Georgia opens as a heavy favorite following a dominant 62-0 win against Vanderbilt and have won their last three games by a combined 138 points. The Razorbacks are boasting their highest ranking since the 2012 season where they opened no. 10. Arkansas is coming off a 20-10 victory vs. 7th-ranked Texas A&M and also hold a victory against 15th ranked Texas 40-21.
Both teams enter this top-10 matchup with top ranked defenses. Georgia holds the nation’s top-ranked defense allowing just one offensive touchdown all season and holding teams to 181 yards per-game. Arkansas enters with the nation’s 12th-ranked defense and 3rd-best in the SEC. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart spoke highly of Arkansas’ defense stating, “This is not the Arkansas team that we played last year. They are extremely physical and create an immense amount of problems for the people they play.”
Georgia’s 6th-ranked rushing defense will be put to the test as Arkansas enters this game 6th in college football in rushing yards. Former Georgia assistant Sam Pittman now head coach of the Razorbacks has built a physical rushing attack that can strike from anywhere as both Arkansas running back Treylon Smith and quarterback KJ Jefferson rank top-10 in the SEC in rushing yards. Their receiving corps is led by junior Treylon Burks who is coming off a career game against Texas A&M where he brought in 6 catches for 167-yards and a touchdown. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart had high praise for Burks stating, “He’s a tough matchup and they find many ways to get him the ball. He was a problem for us last year and he’s been a problem for the SEC for a while.”
Georgia’s deep running back room gives the team an advantage facing a physical defense such as Arkansas. Head coach Kirby Smart said, “I think it’s important to stay healthy, stay fresh, and use the hot hand.” Look for Georgia to establish the running game early to take pressure off of starting quarterback JT Daniels who is coming off playing only one quarter against Vanderbilt last week in the blowout win.
Bulldog head coach Kirby Smart has been encouraging fans to arrive early all week stating, “So when we talk about our fan base, talk about our fan base being elite, we want to be there early and show up better than we ever have.” This matchup on paper features two teams similar in both offensive and defensive rankings, however; look for the Bulldogs to want to make a statement on ESPN to back up themselves 18-point favorites and a no. 2 ranking.