ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS (4-0, 1-0 SEC)
AP/Coaches Rank: 8/11
Head Coach: Sam Pittman (Pittsburg State [Kan.], ‘86)
Career Record: 7-7 (2nd season)
Record at Arkansas: Same
GEORGIA BULLDOGS (4-0, 1-0 SEC)
AP/Coaches Rank: 2/2
Head Coach: Kirby Smart (Georgia, ‘98)
Career Record: 56-14 (6th season)
Record at Georgia: Same
INSIDE THE SERIES All-Time Record: Georgia leads, 11-4 In Fayetteville: Georgia leads, 5-0 In Athens: Georgia leads, 3-2 In Little Rock: Georgia leads, 1-0 At Neutral Sites: Tied, 2-2 Most points scored by Arkansas: 41 (2009) Most points scored by Georgia: 52 (2009) Largest margin of victory by Arkansas: 21 (1976) Largest margin of victory by Georgia: 31 (2000).
After snapping a nearly decade-long losing streak in the Southwest Classic, Arkansas gears up for a top-10 showdown with Georgia on the road in Athens. Kickoff inside Sanford Stadium is set for 11 a.m. CT Saturday, Oct. 2, on ESPN. • Arkansas’ rapid ascension in college football’s national polls continued after taking down Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium. The Razorbacks, unranked a mere three weeks ago, moved up to No. 8 and No. 11 in The Associated Press poll and USA Today Coaches poll, respectively. • The No. 8 ranking is the Hogs’ highest since September 2012, when Arkansas peaked at No. 8 in the polls two games into the year. The Razorbacks have appeared in the AP poll 420 times in history — the 21st-most appearances all time. • Arkansas, 4-0 for the first time since 2003 and 1-0 in the SEC for the first time since 2010, is one of only two teams in the country — along with top-ranked Alabama — to claim multiple wins against top-15 ranked opponents this year. • QB KJ Jefferson, praised for his big arm, has proven he can also do serious damage with his legs. The Razorback signal-caller is second on the team in rushing this season, totaling 230 yards on the ground (7.2 avg.) with two touchdowns. Jefferson is the only quarterback in the SEC with 800 passing yards and 200 rushing yards on the year. • RB Trelon Smith, Arkansas’ leading rusher a year ago, has run for 298 yards and three scores through four games in 2021, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the third time in his career against Rice. Dating back to 2020, Smith has scored eight rushing touchdowns in his last eight games while averaging 85.6 rushing yards per game over that span. • WR Treylon Burks, who extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 24 against Texas A&M, leads Arkansas with 19 catches for 373 yards and two touchdowns through four games this season. The wideout is one catch short of 100 career receptions and 186 yards away from entering the school’s top 10 for career receiving yards. • DE Tre Williams has wasted no time making his presence felt. The impact transfer from Missouri leads Arkansas in sacks (4.0) and tackles for loss (4.5) this season, wreaking havoc with two sacks and three quarterback hurries in the win against Texas A&M. Williams’ 11.5 career sacks are the most among all active Razorbacks defenders.
NOTABLES FROM WEEK FOUR • Arkansas snapped a nine-game losing streak against Texas A&M last weekend, downing the seventh-ranked Aggies, 20-10, in the 78th edition of the Southwest Classic. • The win moved the Razorbacks to a perfect 4-0 on the season for the first time since 2003. Arkansas is also 1-0 in SEC play for the first time since the 2010 campaign. • Arkansas is on its first four-game winning streak since 2015- 16, when the Hogs strung together five consecutive victories against Missouri (28-3, 2015), Kansas State (45-23, 2015), La. Tech (21-20, 2016), TCU (41-38, 2016) and Texas State (42-3, 2016). • The Razorbacks are also on a two-game winning streak against ranked opponents for the first time since 2015. • For the second week in a row, Arkansas held its opponent to 10 points. It marks the first time the Hogs have limited an opposing offense to 10 or fewer points in back-to-back weeks since the 2014 season, when Arkansas pitched consecutive shut outs of LSU (17-0) on Nov. 15, and Ole Miss (30-0) on Nov. 22. • Saturday’s win against seventh-ranked Texas A&M marked the first time Arkansas has held a ranked team to 10 or fewer points since a 31-10 win against No. 11 Florida on Nov. 5, 2016. • It’s the first time the Hogs held a top-10 opponent to 10 or fewer points since a 30-0 win against No. 9 Ole Miss on Nov. 22, 2014, and the first time doing so against a top-seven ranked opponent since a 27-10 win against No. 2 Auburn on Oct. 7, 2006.
Series History Georgia leads the all-time series with Arkansas by a 11-4 margin. The two programs last met in Fayetteville to open the shortened 2020 season with the Bulldogs knocking off the Razorbacks 37-10. Arkansas left Sanford Stadium with a 31-24 win during its last trip to Athens in 2010. The first four clashes in the series came in bowl games starting with the 1969 Sugar Bowl, a 16-2 Arkansas win. Also of note, Georgia captured the 2002 SEC Championship with a 30-3 victory over the Razorbacks in Atlanta. This Saturday’s showdown marks the second matchup between Bulldog head coach Kirby Smart and Arkansas’ Sam Pittman, who spent the 2016-19 seasons at Georgia, the first three as the offensive line coach and the final year as Associate Head Coach in charge of the offensive line. Pittman is just one of several Razorbacks on staff with Georgia connections. Former Bulldog special teams coach Scott Fountain is the Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator for the Razorbacks. Former Georgia assistant strength coaches Jamil Walker and Ed Ellis are on staff as Walker serves as the team’s head strength coach while Ellis is the senior associate director. Former Bulldog Fernando Velasco serves as the team’s Director of Player Development, while former Bulldog staffer Patrick Doherty is the Director of Football Operations. Top 10 Foes In Smart Era Georgia is 11-6 against top-10 teams under Kirby Smart, including 3-0 at home. Most recently, the Bulldogs started the 2021 season by edging then No. 3 Clemson 10-3 in Charlotte, N.C., during the Duke’s Mayo Classic. The Bulldogs ended last season with a 24-21 win over eighth-ranked and undefeated Cincinnati during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta. Georgia’s highest-ranked win under Smart was over No. 2 Oklahoma (54-48, 2OT) in a CFP Semifinal at the 2018 Rose Bowl Game. ESPN College GameDay Is Athens Bound This will mark the first time ESPN College GameDay will be in Athens since coming for the showdown of No. 4 Georgia versus No. 7 Auburn in 2020. The Bulldogs left the Tigers behind in that matchup 27-6. This marked the last top-10 matchup in Athens. The production was trimmed down because of the COVID-19 regulations and was set up in Sanford Stadium’s west side plaza rather than the traditional Myer’s Quad. GameDay was also in Charlotte for the top-five matchup against Clemson. This marks the sixth time that GameDay has come to Athens. Dominating Defense Currently Georgia leads the nation in Scoring Defense giving up just 5.8 points per game. The defense has allowed just one touchdown this season and it came in the fourth quarter versus South Carolina with the Bulldogs leading 40-6. Georgia’s opponents have advanced to the Red Zone only four times this season resulting in three field goals and turning it over once on downs. Georgia had held its first four opponents to a total of 23 points. Georgia topped UAB 56-7 and it is worth nothing that the Blazers’ touchdown came on a pick-six. Most recently, Vanderbilt was held to 77 yards on 46 plays and just four first downs, including one by a penalty. That was the lowest total offense by a Bulldog opponent since 2009 when Georgia blanked Tennessee Tech 38-0 holding them to 55 yards on 47 plays. Georgia’s win over the Commodores was the second-largest margin of victory in an SEC game in school history, trailing only the 75-0 win over Florida in 1942 in Jacksonville. Also, Georgia has now had six shutouts in Smart era, including four in the SEC. During the Bulldogs’ win over No. 3 Clemson in Charlotte, N.C., the Tigers finished the night with just three points on 60 plays and 180 yards as Georgia tallied seven sacks. Clemson’s three points were the fewest scored in the Dabo Swinney era and the fewest for the program since 2007.