One more Arkansas note

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…

19 Comments

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19 responses to “One more Arkansas note

  1. Russ

    Great message sent to the team by Richt with that onside kick. And I don’t think there was any problem with the execution. It’s an oblong spheroid, so it’s going to bounce differently each time. That was just a Sunday hop.

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    • Cojones

      Correct. What does Morgan have to fix on that kick? Angle? Strength? Didn’t see anything fixable, but everyone knows I don’t know subleties in this game. The Ark player stepped up and fielded it. He made a good play instead of waiting for it. Glad to see that Richt’s call is appreciated instead of excoriated.

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      • AusDawg85

        I’ve seen that criticism a couple of times now and don’t get it. We had 5 on 3 on both sides of the kicker…he makes the 6th man for whichever side he goes of course. Good numbers. He wants that ball to bounce high so our guys have time to cover the 10 yards and prevent the receiving team from grabbing it early. If anything, we tipped our hand as Morgan approached the kick…shorter steps and angled differently. May be why the Arky player stayed home and got the lucky hop straight to him. Frankly, I’ve always liked the kicker to simply drag the ball in front of him, stay with it and recover himself.

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  2. Another message sent was that Arky’s line, the biggest on the planet, couldn’t stop Georgia’s pass rush.

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  3. Macallanlover

    Have heard people wonder why Arky got away from their running game in that situation. I never thought that, there have been approximately 614,724 instances of talking heads/experts explaining to all of us how you must “take a shot” following any turnover of surprise change of possession. The Hog OC felt obligated to try a pass, plus everyone would “feed the beast” at that point so you should play a little chess and catch Pruitt with his pants down. Following the result of that first play, they didn’t hacve much choice on the second, and the third didn’t really matter. I am sure we would have seen more of the same had we kicked it to the end zone and not tried the onside kick.

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    • Russ

      For the record, Andre Ware was fine with the call. “Taking a shot” and all. 🙂

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      • JonDawg

        Andre Ware is just awful at announcing.. He’s probably the worst, and that’s doing a disservice to some serious ass holes who show up on various channels on saturdays

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  4. Sanford222view

    That was a key part of the game and it was heart warming to say the least to see the Defense come out and not only force a punt but push Arkansas back so the chance of being pinned deep in our own territory was lessened. Last season’s D likely would have given up 7 in that situation. I think Richt’s growing confidence in the D was a huge factor in his decision to try the onside kick. No way he attempts that on the road in a critical game with the defense of the last two seasons.

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  5. DawgPhan

    Loved seeing CMR take a shot like that. Also loved that the D stepped up big and made several big plays in a row to flip it back on them. Didnt they end up 4th and 30+. great stuff from the defense. Loving what I am seeing. Now we just need to get #3 back and have everyone get healthy and get stronger.

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    • Russ

      I think it was 4th and 17, but we refused a holding call that could’ve made it 3rd and 43. Still think we should’ve taken the penalty, blitzed them again and gotten a 4th and 50+.

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  6. bulldogbry

    I’d like to think Richt just said, ‘here’s how big my jewels are…..we may not recover this, but I’m bettin you won’t do squat with this. Your move, Brett.’

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  7. The onside was brilliant if for no other reason than the D wasn’t gonna get stuck with another 13 play, 75 yard, 5 first down TD drive.

    Bilema got suckered into thinking they could match wits with us and they can’t. That’s not what they do. I mean….they were even running the same play action. Took then out of their game plan early.

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  8. What fresh hell is this?

    I’m in the minority here. I hated that onside call. The only worse call was Arky deciding to throw rather than run after the recovery of the onside. Being aggressive is fine, channeling your inner Andy Reid is another story.

    I wonder how many here would love that call if Arky had rammed in a TD and kept the crowd in the game. Would there have been a different outcome in the final result…I doubt it, but count me as one who hopes we’ll never see the unnecessary onside kick again. Same goes for the damn pooch kick that reared its ugly head in the Mizzou game!

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    • Macallanlover

      I wouldn’t mind the aggressive call IF it were backed by scouting reports that Arkansas is quick to retreat into blocking for the return. If it was, and they just didn’t in that instance, then the call was a good one, our defense could use more rest and time to make adjustments. If was one of those “watch this shit” wild hair decisions then I also think it was ill timed. I assumed they had seen something on film and felt they could rock the pigs back on their heels. Worked out well so hope it was another lesson learned, it could also make future opponents play kickoffs against us differently.

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    • JRod1229

      When it happened I didn’t mind it.. not because of the aggressiveness, but because if Arkansas managed to run it down our throats it wouldn’t be down the entire field, thus breaking the will of our team so early. Give up a short field and the d wouldn’t be blamed. We showed we could score at will on Arkansas. So yeah even if the worst had happened, I was OK with it.

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    • I’m in the minority here. I hated that onside call. Same goes for the pooch kick that reared its ugly head in the Mizzou game!

      I didn’t like ’em either. But I LOVED the way our defense responded. No question that a key series in the game.
      ~~~

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