It always ticks me off when I forget to mention something I took note of in a game when it’s time to do an Observations post. Gentry Estes reminded me of just such an event from last Saturday.
Big moment in the game early when Georgia missed on the onside kick, giving Arkansas great field position. But after running it so well on the first drive, the Razorbacks for some reason decided to pass on first down. The RB couldn’t protect against Ray Drew, who flushed the QB into Swann, who blitzed from the backside as no WR lined up on his side of the field. Swann’s hit forced a fumble that Arkansas recovered for a loss of 10 yards. The Bulldogs then went nickel on the next play, and Leonard Floyd whipped the right tackle badly and got another sack, chasing down and slamming the QB to the turf. This was a huge stretch in this game. Not only did it not allow the Razorbacks to take advantage of UGA’s failed gamble in the short term, but it also allowed the defense to get confidence and set a tone of pass protection problems that would plague Arkansas up front for much of the game.
He’s absolutely right about that, both because of the message Richt sent to his team and to Arkansas that Georgia was going to be coached aggressively and because of the way the defense responded when the kick wasn’t executed properly. Sure, Arkansas’ questionable play calling there didn’t hurt, but it’s not like the Hogs did much on the ground after that first drive, anyway.
I liked it all. Now if they can get Morgan fixed on those onside kicks…