“Every time we get on the field, we are pushing for a three and out,” Nakobe Dean, a junior linebacker, said. “That is just the standard. If they do not score, they cannot win. We just try to do our job and get them off the field and get the offense the ball.”
And Georgia’s offense, not even the most sterling within the SEC, has driven the Bulldogs’ 142-10 dispatching of their first three opponents in the sport’s premier league.
While Arkansas is assuredly better than its recent incarnations — 3-7 last season, 2-10 before that and 2-10 before that — the Razorbacks’ performance on Saturday signals that Arkansas is not back to being a power reminiscent of the Frank Broyles era. Indeed, the team’s evisceration on Saturday probably did more to fuel questions about the strength of Texas A&M, a preseason playoff contender that lost by 10 to Arkansas last month, than it did to herald the start of a dynasty, or even something much more modest, in Fayetteville.
Arkansas did, however, win the coin toss.
The Razorbacks deferred until the second half and, after a touchback, invited Stetson Bennett, Georgia’s second-string quarterback, to trot out in the place of the injured JT Daniels, who had started for the Bulldogs against Clemson, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
The snap came from the 25-yard line. Bennett kept the ball and sped toward his right, nearly picking up a first down. The next play brought the next offensive outburst, this time with the arm of a running Bennett: a 16-yard pass to Ladd McConkey, a redshirt freshman who caught it as two Arkansas defenders drew close a step or two too slowly.
When Georgia’s drive at last looked ever so slightly imperiled — the Bulldogs faced third-and-1 — the tailback Zamir White zipped through for a touchdown, his third of the season and the first of his two on the ground on Saturday, along with a special-teams score.
Georgia’s nine-play, 75-yard, shutout-starting drive, which consumed just more than four minutes, soon counted as a relative pleasure for an Arkansas team that gave up 273 rushing yards to the Bulldogs.