Tusk to Tail 2014: Georgia comes to the ‘neutral site’ of War Memorial
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The Razorbacks 3 p.m. kickoff Saturday against #10 Georgia marks the third consecutive game against a top 10 (AP poll) opponent (though Texas A&M is no longer there after back to back losses). It also marks the lone visit to War Memorial Stadium and the 83rd year of at least one kickoff there for the Hogs. It is UGA’s first visit to War Memorial Stadium and on an interesting note, the Bulldogs’ sports information department listed WMS as a “neutral site.”As University of Arkansas fans let’s help make sure it’s a visit the current leader of the SEC East will not soon forget.
The Bulldogs feel good after beating Missouri on the road while overcoming the surprise suspension late last week of Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Gurley. Based on the local sports talk shows last Thursday and Friday, you would have thought the world was coming to an end. However, Mark Richt’s team played a good game with freshman running back Nick Chubb running for 143 yards and a touchdown. Chubb earned co-SEC Freshman of the Week along with LSU’s RB Leonard Fournette.
Whether Gurley plays this week or the rest of the season is the big unknown. As of Tuesday evening, he is still suspended.
There are some similarities between the Razorbacks and the Bulldogs.
Both schools have first year defensive coordinators – Jeremey Pruitt joined Coach Richt’s staff in January after serving at Florida State last season as they won a national championship. Prior to that, he spent three years working as defensive backfield coach for Nick Saban.
While Pruitt’s hiring received a lot of buzz in the SEC, I’d argue that Arkansas’ Rob Smith has been the best hire at the position and possibly the country. The Razorbacks are playing better each week and this level of defensive play is something we haven’t seen in years.
Hogs quarterback Brandon Allen is completing 50% or better in each of the six games this season. He threw for 246 yards against Alabama including a 54 yard touchdown to tight end AJ Derby.
Most of this season quarterback Hutson Mason seemed to be a game manager. However, he completed 22 of 28 passes for 156 yards and 1 touchdown to wide receiver Michael Bennett against Mizzou. He also scampered 11 yards for another touchdown.
The Hogs and ‘Dawgs have the two best rushing attacks in the SEC at #1 and #2 respectively.
Questions and comments heading into Saturday:
• What is the impact from the loss of linebacker Brooks Ellis this week?
• Do the Porkers shake off the disappointment of the last two games and maintain their fire? After watching a replay of Coach Bielema’s post game presser, I believe they’ll have it.
• For those of you who have waited patiently, Tusk to Tail’s menu for Saturday is Jamey Johnson’s famous BBQ with chips and coleslaw. Arkansas Times’ nominee for best bartender, Jarrod Johnson, will be running the bar.