Sam Pittman had a productive four years in Athens as Kirby Smart's assistant head coach and offensive line coach.
Now he's going to be trying to beat him.
No. 8 Arkansas faces second-ranked Georgia on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. in an ESPN game. You can also listen to the game at HitThatLine.com or at ESPN Arkansas 99.5 in Fayetteville, 95.3 in the River Valley, 96.3 in Hot Springs and 104.3 in Harrison-Mountain Home.
After three seasons getting his fill of trying to work for Bret Bielema, he jumped at the chance to join the Bulldogs. Pittman won't say that publicly but that's a big part of why he left in 2015.
"I learned a lot from (Smart)," he said Monday. "I mean, a lot about practice organization, a lot about assistants. I don’t know if pressure is the word, but putting demands on assistant coaches to be the best they can be. Obviously recruiting."
Pittman was a good recruiter before he went to work for Smart. After four years there, he's trying to bring something similar to the Razorbacks.
He's also brought a desire to win.
"You know, Coach, all he wants to do is win," Pittman said of Smart's drive. "I mean, he’s going to treat people right and all that. But he’s at his alma mater and he wants to win for the state of Georgia, the University of Georgia.
"You’ve got to respect all that."
While it's starting to sound like a broken record, Pittman knows the Hogs are going to be facing their toughest test of the season after a 4-0 start that has made them the story of college football ... at least this week.
He knows they will be facing a different challenge because he knows Smart pretty well.
"They play extremely hard," Pittman said. "You don’t find many teams that are playing extremely hard that don’t have high respect for the head coach. They do, and I was very fortunate to be there four years and learn from him."
The Bulldogs opened as an 18-point favorite and that line has gone to 19.
Once again Pittman has the Hogs in the underdog role that he seems to turn to his team's advantage.
Now he's got to face his old boss on the field and needs every edge he can figure out.
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