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Post 10 questions – Arkansas

Tuesday September 22, 2009

Yes, it’s kind of late for postgame thoughts, and most everything has been said. We’ve been dealing with a little bit of rain over the past couple of days, but we’ll go ahead and wrap this up.

1: What kind of a weekend was it where a 10-point loss is a triumph, and a double-digit win by a road underdog leaves the victors grumbling?

2: Is everyone who was waiting for the Arkansas game to provide some clarity satisfied? What if, all along, the identity of this year’s Georgia team was there in the first two games? The only twist has been the health of Joe Cox in the opener. At this rate, I almost expect to head to Jacksonville and find at least one article proclaiming that now, finally, we’ll get a chance to see what this Georgia team is made of.

3: How many preseason assumptions have been shaken? Are the offensive line and defensive tackles the strengths they were supposed to be? Is Joe Cox able to do anything beyond the dreaded “manage the game”? Are the kicking woes sorted now after signing a Californian with a big leg?

4: Was anyone else surprised that Arkansas chose the field goal in the 4th quarter? The strategy was sound; it brought the game back to a one-possession defecit for the Razorbacks. Put the decision in the context of this post last week from the Senator. Petrino has a track record of not only going for it on 4th down but getting a fair number of his touchdowns on those attempts. Mallett, ridiculous whining about a late hit aside, had scrambled to put Arkansas in a 4th and 4 situation from the Georgia 6 with nearly 8 minutes left.

5: Was Miami or LSU the bigger beneficiary from the weekend’s biggest upsets? Miami, doing just fine on their own, looks even better after FSU’s drubbing of BYU. LSU’s struggles at Washington in the season opener raised a few eyebrows, but the Huskies handed Southern Cal the Trojans’ annual upset loss. Washington isn’t turning the clock back yet to 1991 (or even 2000), but a tough win over the Trojans makes a competitive showing against an SEC school seem like much less of a fluke or as big of a red flag for the Tigers.

6: How big were Richard Samuel and Caleb King in pass protection? It gets a little lost in the offense’s fireworks and the results they had carrying the ball, but several times the Georgia tailbacks stood their ground as the last line of defense for Joe Cox. The line, again, didn’t have its best day (and we’re not just talking penalties), but some big blocks from the running backs helped to ensure that Cox often had enough time to make his reads and throws.

7: Is “pooch kickoff specialist” now a scholarship position at Georgia?

8: Was there a more overblown play from the weekend than Eric Berry’s impact with Tim Tebow? Everyone else calls them “tackles”. It was the solid kind of hit you’d expect from an all-American safety. It wasn’t a decleater or anything that would leave Tebow or anyone else eating through a straw. From the reaction you’d have thought the collision produced antimatter, and the world can now enjoy free and limitless energy thanks to a T. Boone Pickens consortium founded to harvest the results of the play. Berry’s interception was a much tougher and more impressive play.

9: What did Georgia do differently on defense in the 4th quarter? It might’ve been an odd quirk that Arkansas was kept from scoring in the second quarter, but Mallett and the Arkansas offense in general were much less effective towards the end. Certainly Georgia had an advantage of an opponent in come-from-behind mode, and that meant even more passing. Whether it was the effect of Arkansas pressing, conditioning, or even Georgia being more battle-tested, the Dawgs were able to get more pressure. The sequence of Butler’s punt, a sack, and a three-and-out put Georgia in position to seal the win. We’ve seen plenty of examples, even from this game, of the offense, defense, and special teams combining for spectacular meltdowns. That set of events late in the game was an example of what can happen when it all goes right. It was a nice change and a great way to end the game.

10: Was that the upper bound for “Fluless Joe” Cox? TSK has some thoughts about Cox’s progression and concludes that the efficient performance against South Carolina is probably more in line with what we can expect from Cox. One thing that has helped Cox and the offense in general is the emergence of a diverse set of options beyond A.J. Green. Michael Moore has proven that his strong finish to 2008 was no fluke. King adds a speedy option to stretch defenses. Now the tight ends are getting in on the scoring. The backs aren’t as involved in the passing game, and there are depth concerns behind the trio of Green, Moore, and King, but those are quibbles at this point with what has become an effective passing game.

Joe Cox is in for one heck of a welcome from the home fans this weekend.

2 Responses to '10 questions – Arkansas'

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  • I think a large portion of the Dawg Nation needs to appreciate waking up on Sunday morning with a victory. The details and manner in which this team win is irrelevant. Finding a way to win is a good attribute to have & certainly beats the alternative. Reading some of the mass comments, it appears some folks would rather loose a 17-10 ballgame than win a 50-45.

    Field position has been deadly for our defense. Looking back @ okie State, sc and ark, when our opponent takes possession inside their own 40 we have made 3 & outs. Giving our opponents the ball inside our 35, we need to be thankful we can get away with giving up field goals.

    There are only 12-13 games in a season, so enjoy then all. Our defense giving up yards and points is not the sign of doomsday or spells the end of the Georgia football program.

  • Thinking Bulldog

    September 22nd, 2009
    10:56 pm


    Groo, #8 is some of your best work ever.