NCAAF · Fri (12/16) @ 11:35am ET
|MIAO Miami (OH)||at||UAB UAB|
|Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA|
Our Pick: ARK Arkansas at 10.5 (-108). Enjoy a $5000 risk-free bet when you join Caesars today!
Anyone that says they saw the Arkansas Razorbacks entering this week’s game against No. 2 Georgia with an undefeated record and a top ten ranking is lying. The Razorbacks have been bottom dwellers in the SEC for years, while Georgia is a perennial contender for the conference and national titles. Georgia is undoubtedly in both conversations this season—but so is Arkansas.
While the Razorbacks are only on the outskirts of both conversations, an upset win over the Bulldogs will put them smack dab in the middle of both. Oddsmakers do not seem to think they have much of a chance. Georgia is a heavy favorite, but that means a win will be that much sweeter for Arkansas.
As crazy as it sounds, the Razorbacks might be able to pull off the biggest upset of the 2021 college football season.
Beating Georgia will require the Razorbacks to play their best and most complete game of the season. Not only will the defense have to step up to slow down the Georgia offense, but the offense will have its hands full against the top-ranked Georgia defense.
A game plan like they had against Texas (heavy on the run with an efficient passing game) could work. But it will not be as easy to run against Georgia’s sixth-ranked rushing defense. A more balanced attack like they had against Texas A&M may work even better. However, the Georgia defense is as stingy against the pass (second in the nation) as it is the run.
So, the Razorbacks will have to make the most of every opportunity they have. While they have been good in the red zone this year (51st in the nation), they have not been great. Against an opponent like Georgia, they will need to be great.
Much like the defense gave them a leg up against Texas A&M, it may be able to do the same against Georgia. The Bulldogs have been good but not great on offense this season. Yes, they blew out Vanderbilt last week, but who doesn’t? If the Razorbacks can attack the Georgia offense like they attacked Texas A&M’s, they could keep the Bulldogs off-balance.
A lot of things will need to go right for Arkansas to pull the upset off. But with what we have seen from the Razorback so far, it is not hard to see them making it happen.
Statistically, the Bulldogs appear to be a great team. Georgia’s defense is the best in the SEC and one of the best in the nation. Offensively, they are looking good whether they run the ball or pass it. They appear to be a pretty complete team and have played dominant football on both sides of the ball. But you have to consider who they have played so far.
Yes, Clemson is a traditional powerhouse, but the Tigers are struggling this season. While the wins over UAB, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt were dominant—they should have been. Yes, last week could have been worse had quarterback JT Daniels played past the first quarter. But again—it’s Vanderbilt. But Georgia has dominated their opponents for a reason—the team is talented.
On the offensive side of the ball, JT Daniels leads one of the most efficient passing games in the country (tenth). However, he will be facing one of the most efficient passing defenses in the country (fourth). The run game is not as effective (51st in the nation), but the Bulldogs do what matters most. They put points on the board (12th in scoring with 42 points/game).
Defensively, Georgia will have its work cut out for them facing a dual-threat talent like Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson. Whether the Bulldogs will win this game or not will probably come down to how well they can contain him and the Arkansas run game.
Kirby Smart is an excellent head coach and a proven recruiter. So, there is little reason to think that his Georgia Bulldogs are not a good team. Yes, they have yet to play anyone of note. But under Smart, they have become a perennial powerhouse for a reason. However, these Razorbacks are not the ones fans are accustomed to seeing. Arkansas is a good team this year. While the stats certainly tell a good story, their record speaks for itself.
Like Georgia, they are 4-0. But they have defeated two quality opponents (Texas and Texas A&M). Georgia’s schedule has been soft by comparison.
That is not to say the Bulldogs are not good. If you want to play it safe, take Georgia to win via the moneyline. But do not be shocked if Arkansas wins outright; if they do not, they will probably win against the spread. As for the total, while we have to good offenses facing off here, the defenses are going to rule the day. Take the under.