Game grades for Georgia football's victory over Arkansas

Kyle Funderburk

The score really doesn't reflect how stressful the game was for Georgia football. The Bulldogs fell behind 10-5 early in the second half and didn't take the lead until the six-minute mark of the third quarter.

Georgia responded with a complete 180 in the third quarter, scoring 32-unanswered points en route to a 37-10 victory. Here are the grades the Bulldogs' offense, defense and special teams earned in the victory.

Offense: C

Halftime grade: F

Georgia's offense was down-right ugly for 29 minutes and just plain frustrating for about five minutes. D'Wan Mathis lacked poise in the pocket. He held on to the ball too long and made two huge mistakes that kept Georgia from attempting field goals. 

Stetson Bennett entered the game in the second quarter and he settled into the game much quicker than Mathis. He led a long, one-minute drive to end the first half with a field goal, but his next drive ended because of a fumble by James Cook. 

The complexion of the game (and the perception of Georgia's offense) changes on the following possession. Bennett led a great drive into the red zone before a bad snap by Trey Hill put the drive at risk. Bennett fell on the ball to minimize the damage and threw a touchdown to George Pickens on the next play. Bennett ended the possession by running for a two-point-conversion and giving Georgia a 13-10 lead.

Bennett led two more touchdown drives before leaving the game. He capped off the next one with a seven-yard touchdown pass to John Fitzpatrick and Zamir White used two cuts to run into the end zone for the last score. 

Bennett finished the game with 211 passing yards and 20 rushing yards with two scores. White rushed for 71 yards on 13 carries, and 12 different players caught at least one pass. Kearis Jackson led all receivers with six catches for 62 yards.

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Defense: A+

Halftime grade: A-

The defense started the day allowing a deep touchdown pass, but that is as bad as it would get. The defense contributed eight points to Georgia's final score. Mark Webb and Azeez Ojulari created a safety when they broke up a reverse in the end zone. Eric Stokes, who doesn't get thrown to very often, scored a touchdown on an interception. Richard LeCounte added two more interceptions.

The unit was placed in a bad spot after Cook's fumble around midfield, but the defense only allowed Arkansas to kick a field goal. Arkansas never sniffed the end zone again. The Razorbacks gained 91 yards on their touchdown drive, and only gained 189 yards the rest of the day.

Special Teams: A+ with special honors

Halftime: A+ with extra credit

What else can you say about Georgia's special teams? Scott Cochran was clearly a home run hire because his unit came to play. When the offense was struggling, Jake Camarda flipped the field position by downing five punts inside the 15-yard-line. Supporting Camarda was a host of players there to keep the ball out of the end zone.

Kearis Jackson returned two punts for 34 yards and Tyrique Stevenson gained 23 yards on his only return. Kenny McIntosh impressed in his kickoff return debut, running for 91 yards on two returns. His best return was a 48-yarder when Georgia needed it most, following Arkansas' field goal in the third quarter. The offense scored on the ensuing drive and didn't look back.

Zamir White nearly blocked a punt, but the kick sailed out of bounds and set up Georgia's offense at the Arkansas' 24-yard-line. Jake Podlesny converted two field goals in his debut game.

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Comments (7)
No. 1-6
A_dog_ivey
A_dog_ivey

Georgia was not alive at first in the first half. In the second half we came alive and showed them what we are made of. If we did that in both halves imagine how good we could be.

Nashvilledawg
Nashvilledawg

I've known Cochran several years. He isnt and never was your normal strength coach. He learned a lot more on field stuff than anyone understands. That, plus his solid relationship with Kirby, will make him just as important to Kirby as he ever was to Saban.

Nashvilledawg
Nashvilledawg

i've know Cochran a few years. He is not, and never was, your normal strength coach. He did more and learned more about on the field football than anyone knows. That , along with his strong personal relationship with Kirby, is going to make him a big time contributor as time goes by.

tigerdawg
tigerdawg

Contrary to past reports, Scott Cochran is Georgia's gain more than Alabama's loss.

Brooks Austin
Brooks Austin

Editor

I thought they bounced back pretty well in the second half. Defense got things figured out QUICK.

And you are correct, the special teams unit were out of this world

Kyle Funderburk
Kyle Funderburk

Special teams' were a TD away from playing peak "Beamer Ball." I've never enjoyed watching an overall special teams performance more than I did today. Everyone from Camarda to McIntosh were outstanding.


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