No. 10 Georgia Bulldogs (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (3-3 SU, 5-1 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date and Time: Saturday October 18th, 2014. 4:00PM EST
Where: War Memorial Stadium Fayetteville, A.R.
TV: SEC Network
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UGA -3.5/ARK +3.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
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Last week the Georgia Bulldogs went into Columbia, Missouri and took control of the SEC East in convincing fashion by blowing out the Tigers in a 34-0 rout. Even without suspended tailback and arguably the leading Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Gurley, the Bulldogs racked up 210 rushing yards to dominate the game on the ground. This Saturday the Bulldogs look to stay in control of the SEC East when they go on the road to visit the Arkansas Razorbacks for a 4:00pm (EST) kickoff on the SEC Network.
On the outside, it appears that Georgia should continue to roll this week over a 3-3 SU Arkansas team that has lost 15 straight games in SEC competition. However this Arkansas team has been so close to pulling off big upsets this year and they are going to get a SEC victory soon. The Razorbacks took Alabama down to the wire last week in a 14-13 loss and took Texas A&M into overtime in a 35-28 loss prior to that. The Razorbacks run the football extremely well averaging 278 yards per game which is the 11th best mark in college football. Running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams are both on track to eclipse the 1,000 yard barrier. Both backs have combined for 15 touchdowns this year as the leading rushers in Bret Bielemas offense.
Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen has not posted any outstanding numbers in the Razorbacks heavily run favored offense. In fact, Allen has completed just 57% passing for 997 yards through 6 games. The good news is that Allen has produced a strong 10 touchdowns to 2 interceptions ratio which means he has limited the big mistakes. Arkansas has given up just 8 turnovers all season with is tied with 31st for the least amount of turnovers in the FBS. Therefore lets put these tangibles into perspective. Arkansas runs the ball well, eats up a lot of clock, and makes very few mistakes. As a result, Arkansas has been a very tough out for teams this year and is likely the reason they are just 3.5 point underdogs to the visiting Bulldogs this Saturday.
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For Arkansas to end their SEC 15 game losing streak this Saturday, they will need a big effort from their defense especially the guys up front against the run. Despite being without Todd Gurley, Georgias offense still heavily favors the run. The Bulldogs have an extremely talented stable of running backs with freshmen Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Chubb was the work horse for the offense last week carrying the ball 38 times for 143 yards and a touchdown. Missouris defense did not have any answer for the Georgia rushing attack which has been the case for most of Georgias opponents this season. It will be interesting to see if Arkansas can play better against Georgias running attack this week to give their selves a chance at scoring the upset.
Defense in general may be one of the most overlooked aspects of this Saturdays matchup between Georgia and Arkansas. Both defenses played extremely well in last weeks contests. The Bulldogs held Missouri to a measly 147 total yards in their 34-0 shutout. Meanwhile despite the loss last week, Arkansass defense was equally impressive as they held Alabama to just 227 total yards. Arkansas also held the Crimson Tide to one of their lowest rushing totals in the Nick Saban era by holding Alabama to just 66 yards on the ground in the close loss. Therefore do not be surprised if the play of the Georgia and Arkansas defenses play into the equation in this weeks matchup in Fayetteville.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think this is the perfect spot for Arkansas to pull off the upset over Georgia this week. Missouri really played an awful game last week which may have given the Bulldogs a bit of a false sense of security. Meanwhile Arkansas is hungry for a win and they are playing a lot better than people are giving them credit for. Take Arkansas +3.5!