ATHENS — Georgia football has opened as an 18-point favorite over Arkansas in next Saturday’s noon showdown at Sanford Stadium.
The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs (4-0) scored a 62-0 win at Vanderbilt on Saturday in a game that could have featured an even wider scoring margin had Kirby Smart not put the brakes on the blowout.
Georgia lifted starting quarterback JT Daniels in the first quarter with a 35-0 lead, limiting UGA to just 3 points in the second quarter, and the Bulldogs did not attempt a pass in the fourth quarter.
The No. 8-ranked Razorbacks (4-0) are coming off a 20-10 win over previously No. 7-ranked Texas A&M in a game played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
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Georgia opened the 2020 season with a 37-10 win at Arkansas, though it’s worth noting the Razorbacks held a 7-5 lead at the half after the Bulldogs struggled out of the gate before turning to Stetson Bennett.
“His kids believe,” Smart said, comparing the first half to an extra-innings baseball game. “I know from trying to start the program at Georgia, it starts with that fight and competitiveness.”
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Arkansas coach Sam Pittman has emerged as an SEC favorite this season after his Razorbacks upset Texas and followed up with the win over Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies.
Pittman, who was the offensive line coach at Georgia under Kirby Smart from 2016-2018, publicly thanked Smart during his appearance at the SEC Media Days in Birmingham last July.
“Kirby was very good to me. I wouldn’t be the head coach at the University of Arkansas without him,” Pittman said. “We’re looking forward to going back there and seeing our friends and certainly trying to compete against one of the best football teams in America.”
The Razorbacks have proven to be much the same with 19 of 22 starters returning including their entire offensive line and 10 starters from the 2020 defense.
This marks Georgia’s second Top 10 battle of the season. The Bulldogs beat then-No. 3 Clemson 10-3 in the season-opening game in Charlotte, N.C.
Smart is 11-6 against Top 10 teams.