Know your enemy: Georgia football vs. Arkansas
The wait is finally over. In just three days, Georgia football travels to Arkansas to begin the delayed 2020 season.
The Razorbacks were a recent addition to Georgia's schedule along with Mississippi State after the SEC elected to switch to an SEC-only schedule in 2020. This is the first meeting between Georgia and Arkansas since 2014 when the Bulldogs won 45-32 in Little Rock.
However, the Bulldogs have some familiarity with the Razorbacks. Arkansas is coached by Sam Pittman who, of course, served as Georgia's offensive line coach from 2016-2019. Quarterbacking the Razorbacks is former Florida Gators starter Feleipe Franks. And serving as defensive coordinator is former Missouri head coach Barry Odom.
In just over two seasons, Franks has 4,593 passing yards with 38 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. But his numbers against Georgia aren't very impressive. Franks completed just seven of his 19 passes for 30 yards and one interception against the Bulldogs in 2017. He also lost 15 rushing yards and allowed a touchdown on a fumble. In 2018, his stats improved to 105 passing yards on 13 completions with one touchdown and one interception.
Around Franks is likely the most underrated group of backs and receivers in the SEC. Starting running back Rakeem Boyd rushed for 1,133 yards with eight touchdowns in 2019. He added 160 yards on 19 receptions.
The Razorbacks return their three leading receivers Treylon Burks, Mike Woods and Trey Knox. The trio combined for 1,283 and seven touchdowns. They have a lot of potential, but were hampered last season by inconsistency at quarterback. Franks hasn't lived up to expectations as a college quarterback so far, but he is certainly a step up from recent Arkansas quarterbacks.
Arkansas' offensive line was a weakness in 2019 and will need a monumental improvement to hang with Georgia's front-seven this Saturday. But, with Sam Pittman's tutelage, improvements are bound to happen even if the talent isn't there.
The biggest concern for Arkansas is its defense. The unit ranked 110th in total defense in 2019 and it lost the best player at each level. The Razorbacks allowed at least 24 points to every power-five opponent last season, and at least 31 points to nine opponents.
The defense should be better this season, but without spring practices, you're asking a lot out of the team if you expect them to handle Georgia's wealth of skill players. Arkansas' best hope is for Georgia's quarterback battle to become a comedy this Saturday.
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