By Zack Sims
After the suspension of Todd Gurley last week, many fans were concerned the Bulldogs would stumble on the road against a ranked Missouri team. However, this suspension seemed to give Georgia life as they won 34-0, shutting out a ranked opponent on the road for the first time in school history.
The Bulldog’s ability to run the ball successfully without Gurley will be crucial if he is forced to miss more games.
Freshman Nick Chubb proved he is capable of filling some of the void left by Gurley’s absence. In his first career start, Chubb carried the ball 38 times for 143 yards and a touchdown.
His ability to gain three to four yards at a time helped Georgia consistently move the chains and maintain possession.
If Gurley doesn’t return, Chubb will need to continue to have this kind of success in order for the Bulldogs to be successful.
Gurley’s suspension most certainly hinders the Georgia offense. The Heisman hopeful had at least one run longer than 40 yards in four out of the first five games this season.
The Bulldogs did not manage a single play over 20 yards against Missouri last Saturday. If Gurley is forced to miss any more games, Georgia will need to find a way to generate explosive plays on offense.
The Bulldogs look to remain atop the SEC East standings by beating Arkansas on the road today. This will be a matchup of two offenses that rely heavily on their rushing attack. Georgia must slow down the Arkansas’ run game to win on Saturday.
The Razorbacks come into this game with the 11th best rush offense in the nation averaging 278.7 yards per game.
Fortunately, the Bulldogs have been successful defending the run this season. They allow 101.7 yards per game, which ranks 12th in the country.
Much like the Georgia offense, Arkansas runs the ball successfully using multiple backs. Alex Collins leads the way for the Razorbacks with 634 yards and six touchdowns on 92 carries.
He is coming off his worst outing of the season after only running for 13 yards against Alabama. Georgia will be looking to make that happen again this weekend.
Jonathan Williams is the other primary back in the offense. Williams has 86 carries for 569 yards and team-high nine touchdowns.
He has managed to score in all six games this season and averages an impressive 6.6 yards per carry. In Arkansas’ three losses he did not rush for over 100 yards.
Georgia must slow down the rushing attack to get the Razorbacks in third and long situations, forcing them to throw. Arkansas struggles throwing the football as their pass offense ranks 107th in the nation.
Quarterback Brandon Allen only averages 7.28 yards per attempt, and making him throw longer passes could get him out of his comfort zone, increasing the chances for turnovers.
The Bulldogs will likely load the box to stop Arkansas from running the ball successfully, which means a lot of plays at the line of scrimmage for Georgua linebackers.
Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson combined for 88 tackles in the first six games. Their ability to make tackles near the line of scrimmage is crucial to slowing down Collins and Williams.
Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins are two of Georgia’s best defenders at making tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Jenkins enters this game with five and a half tackles for loss and Floyd follows closely with five tackles behind the line of scrimmage. If these two can make a habit of getting in the Arkansas backfield, it will be a long day for the Razorbacks on Saturday.
The Bulldogs are coming off their best defensive game of the season after allowing only 147 yards against Missouri.
If they can carry this momentum into the Arkansas game, look for another strong outing from the Georgia defense.