Both these teams have been phenomenal this year. Defensively, Georgia is #1 overall, and Arkansas is #13 overall. The Georgia defense has given up one offensive touchdown while Arkansas has given up seven on the year. The statistic that stands out is Georgia caused nine turnovers, and Arkansas has caused six. Both of these teams have dominated through their defenses. This game is going to be about ball control.
Offensively, Georgia is averaging 42 points per game. The one time they played a top 25 defense, they only scored 10 points. Arkansas is averaging 35 points per game, but the one time they played a top twenty-five defense, they scored 20 points. Both of these teams can produce numbers. Those numbers drastically drop when playing top twenty-five defense, which they will both be doing this weekend. This game could decide who ends up in the college football playoff. These teams are in for a tough matchup going into this week.
Second-year Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman has made vast improvements this year. Last year he went 3-7, and he has already beaten his total wins from last year. Coming off three years as the offensive line coach at Georgia before joining Arkansas, this is no surprise to anyone. Sam Pittman has used the same principles at Arkansas that Georgia uses. A stout defense and a solid running game. Junior RB Trelon Smith has been a big part of the success of this offense. Averaging 5.4 yards per rush has opened up the passing game for first-year quarterback KJ Jefferson. The combination of running the ball and these players has led Arkansas to be the #21 offense in college football this year.
Georgia has racked up the points on offense this year. They aren’t as good in total offense as Arkansas. Ranked #33 overall in total offense, but they have been able to score points. They are currently averaging 177 rushing yards per game. QB JT Daniels has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in college football, throwing a 76% completion rating. This team can move the football. The issue is that this week they play one of the best defenses in college football.
Both of these teams have struggled to move the ball against top twenty-five defenses. Georgia only scored ten points and had 256 total yards. Arkansas managed 443 yards but only twenty points. This weekend will be a defensive slugfest. Arkansas has the better offense by an inch, and Georgia has the better defense. These teams are so similar statistically, and the similar playing style is uncanny.
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman knows this Georgia team. He coached there for three years and would love to beat Georgia at Georgia. Arkansas is going to come out ready to play. Both of these teams will look to control the clock through their running game and their defense. Expect this game to be closer than everyone thinks. Georgia is a great team and will come out ahead, but 21 points are just too much for them to win after only scoring 10 points against Clemson. I teased Arkansas to make it an even three touchdowns. That gives me a little cushion in case Georgia turns a turnover into a quick six. Arkansas to cover 21 is the play.
Pick: Arkansas +21 (-145)
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