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Go Hog Wild for the Georgia-Arkansas Game

Credit: Tony Walsh

I would normally say it was business as usual for the Georgia Bulldogs last weekend in Nashville. But the beating put on Vanderbilt was considerably better than business as usual.

The Dawgs laid down their most impressive performance of the season so far against Vanderbilt, defeating the ‘Dores 62-0. It was Georgia’s second-largest margin of victory ever against an SEC opponent, falling short of only a 75-0 win over Florida in 1942. I could go into the stats, but they are essentially meaningless. All you need to know is we whooped their ass.

But while Georgia was busy manhandling the ‘Dores, the rest of the college football landscape was being thrown for a loop. In the biggest upset of the season so far—although not quite as big as it would’ve been predicted to be only a few weeks ago—Clemson lost to NC State 27-21 in double overtime. With two losses already and only piss-poor ACC opponents left to bolster its resume, Clemson’s hope for another appearance in the College Football Playoffs is dashed. Elsewhere, the Arkansas Razorbacks snagged a statement win over Texas A&M, defeating the Aggies 20-10 on a neutral field in Jerry World. 

There were a handful of other notable results in Week 4, but for Georgia, those are the only two that matter right now. Those two games drastically change how we can view the strength of Georgia’s schedule. All of a sudden, Clemson isn’t the title contender we thought they were, taking some of the shine off our season-opening win. Conversely, though, Arkansas now looks legit, just in time for the undefeated Razorbacks to head down to Athens for what is shaping up to be the toughest home game of the season.

If you had said Arkansas would be the toughest home game of anyone’s season just a year ago, you would’ve been laughed out of the room. At the start of last season, the Hogs were riding a 20-game SEC losing streak. But head coach Sam Pittman—who served as the offensive line coach in Athens for the four years prior to 2020—ended that streak with an early-season upset over Mississippi State and hasn’t looked back. 

The Pitt Boss only managed a 3-7 record in his first season in charge, but he changed the culture in Fayetteville and instilled belief back in that program and fanbase. Now in his second season, he has the Hogs at 4-0 with wins over Texas and Texas A&M. With a showdown against Georgia now on the slate, the Hogs will be licking their lips at the opportunity to shock the world and upset the Dawgs.

But thanks to Pittman’s ability to turn that program around, Georgia also has an opportunity this weekend. With the Clemson win lessened by the loss to NC State, Arkansas provides Georgia with another chance for a statement win as we head into the meat of the schedule.

Even though the Hogs will feel like they are on top of the world and capable of beating anyone, and rightfully so, it may be the perfect time to play them. While Georgia was resting starters by the second quarter against Vanderbilt, Arkansas was fighting tooth and nail against the Aggies in a physical matchup, and they didn’t emerge unscathed. 

Quarterback KJ Jefferson left with a knee injury in the third quarter but returned to close out the game in the fourth. Top receiver Treylon Burks also sat in the fourth quarter because of injury. Arkansas is hurting right now, and they’ll be hurting a lot more after facing a Georgia defense that is much more physical than Texas A&M’s.

We should be thankful for Arkansas’s upset of Texas A&M. The Dawgs-Hogs game kicks off at noon on Saturday, and I’ve been wary of nooners since we lost to South Carolina in one back in 2019. But with Arkansas in the top 10, there is no overlooking this game. I expect one of the rowdiest noon game atmospheres we’ve ever seen at Sanford. The team will be ready and so will the fans. It’s time to make a statement.