Georgia vs. Arkansas score, takeaways: No. 2 Dawgs shut out No. 8 Razorbacks behind defensive thrashing

No. 2 Georgia flexed its muscles and made a case for the No. 1 spot in America with a physical 37-0 win over No. 8 Arkansas on Saturday. The Bulldogs moved to 5-0 and have outscored its last four opponents by a combined 175 points. 

After physically crushing Texas A&M and Texas in previous weeks, the Razorbacks were held underwater by a dominant Georgia front. The Bulldogs posted seven tackles for loss and four sacks against Arkansas, including two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks from linebacker Nakobe Dean. Georgia has not posted back-to-back shutouts against SEC opponents since 1980 – coincidentally, the year the Bulldogs won their lone national title. 

Arkansas mustered just 156 total yards against the Bulldogs. Fifty-four yards came on a meaningless final drive with backup quarterback Malik Hornsby in the game. Quarterback K.J. Jefferson completed 8 of 13 passes for 65 yards. No Arkansas running back carried the ball more than six times.

The Bulldogs were without starting quarterback JT Daniels but backup Stetson Bennett IV did everything he needed to keep the offense on schedule. Bennett completed 7 of 11 passes for 72 yards. Running backs James Cook, Zamir White, Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton combined for 260 yards and three touchdowns on 51 combined carries. 

With the win, Georgia picks up its first top 10 victory of SEC conference play and cements its spot as one of the leading contenders for the College Football Playoff. 

Here are the top takeaways from Saturday's beatdown between the hedges.

Georgia is the best team in the country

Say it with me, and say it with feeling … Georgia should be the No. 1 team in the country when the polls are released on Sunday. 

The Bulldogs showed on Saturday that they are the most complete team in college football. The offensive line should be the front-runner for the Joe Moore Award, their running backs are versatile and talented, and their defensive front is as scary of one as we have seen since Clemson in 2018.

What's more, they have a dominating win over a top-10 team on their resume. Should Arkansas really have been ranked at the top-10? Based on their resume, yeah. Wins over Texas and Texas A&M four weeks into the season were more than enough to garner national recognition.

Can No. 1 Alabama boast that resume? Not yet. The close win over Florida was solid, but the lack of a running game is, at the very least, concerning enough to eliminate the possibility of calling it "elite." Oklahoma has been inconsistent, Oregon is relatively untested and many of the other national title contenders either have losses or glaring holes as we start the second month of the season.

Georgia's offensive line is legit

Let's be real … when Arkansas heard that Bennett will start in place of Daniels, its focus went directly to the Bulldogs running game. It didn't matter. The Georgia offensive line flat out dominated in the trenches and opened up holes all over the place for the talented group of running backs. 

Think about that for a second … Georgia was one-dimensional by choice, and there was nothing that a Barry Odom-coached defense could do about it. That bodes well for the future. 

This team has imposed its will on all five opponents this year, and it's not like the Bulldogs have a treacherous schedule leading up to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta in the first week of December. Sure, Florida is a test and it's a rivalry game, but this offensive line plays at a completely different level. Yes, even different than Alabama.

Don't get discouraged, Arkansas

The No. 8 ranking was the highest for the Hogs since 2012, and it was the first time that they have been 4-0 since 2003. The buzz around Fayetteville, Arkansas, was insane leading up to this one. It still should be high despite the fact that they got run on Saturday afternoon.

This team still has its identity. It still has its toughness. It still has taken on the DNA of Pittman -- who hadn't been a head coach in FBS until last year. That speaks volumes about the future of the program. They just need the players to contend with a team like Georgia.

They finished No. 25 in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings last year, and are off to a good start at No. 21 during this cycle despite only having 18 commitments. What's more, Pittman made his mark in the SEC as a relentless recruiter who can consistently bring top-tier talent into whatever program he coaches. 

It'll be fine, Hog fans ... it'll just take some time.

Don't fret about the Georgia passing attack

Daniels has been fighting core and shoulder injuries throughout the first month of the season, which has allowed Bennett to log meaningful snaps. He was SEC Co-offensive Player of the Week in the Week 2 win over UAB, and understood on Saturday that there was no reason to force throws into tight windows against a very good Arkansas secondary. 

That's important moving forward because we don't know if Daniels will be good-to-go anytime soon. To win in the SEC, you have to run the ball and play defense. Georgia does that at an elite -- and I mean elite -- level. As long as Bennett can keep things simple and not overthink when he's in the game, the Bulldogs will be alright until Daniels returns.

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@GeorgiaFootball via Twitter
October 2, 2021, 7:31 PM
@RazorbackFB via Twitter
October 2, 2021, 7:15 PM

Dawgs now up 34-0

Zamir White punched it in from 15 yards out to extend Georgia's lead. What's more impressive is that Georgia's offensive line isn't letting up ... it's actually getting angrier as the game goes on. This is going to be a huge win for a Bulldogs team that might be the best team in the country


Georgia extends the lead

Nine of Georgia's 10 plays on its first drive of the second half, but the Razorbacks forced Bennett to pull down a pass on third-and-short to force a field goal from Jack Podlesny hit a 30-yard field goal to push the lead to 27-0. It's a modest win for an Arkansas defense that was getting gashed on the ground. Will it matter in the end? Probably not. But there are such things as moral victories for a team that is not used to being in the national spotlight.


Uga chillin'

The Georgia mascot is livin' his best life in his air conditioned dog house. His team is up big, it's a great day and he's got his ice pillow ready and waiting in case the temps crank up.


Georgia dominating at the half

Half: Georgia 24, Arkansas 0

Arkansas has gone three-and-out four times in five drives, the Bulldogs scored on their first three drives of the afternoon and the their offensive line is dominating in what looks like a rout between the hedges. Oh, and the Georgia defensive front led by monster nose guard Jordan Davis has allowed just 78 yards by the Razorbacks -- who are 1-for-6 on third down. I'm not sure how Arkansas coach Sam Pittman can adjust to what has been an incredible performance for the home-standing Bulldogs.

@RazorbackFB via Twitter
October 2, 2021, 5:37 PM

Another three-and-out for Arkansas

The Razorbacks have gone three-and-out four times in five drives, and hasn't been able to find anything that's working. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart and defensive coordinator Dan Lanning have adjusted to the KJ Jefferson running game, and is using a ton of movement up front to confuse the Arkansas' offensive line. Arkansas coach Sam Pittman is an offensive line coach by trade, and he's going to have to find something at halftime.


Arkansas' defense stands up

The Razorbacks forced their first punt of the game midway through the second quarter in a drive that looked a lot like the ones the Hogs forced last week against Texas A&M. Zach Williams stuffed Kendall Milton on first down, the Hogs defense forced Bennett to throw the ball away on second and then Jermaine Burton was held to a five-yard catch on third down to give them their first spark of the game. It's still 24-0, but it's the first time that Arkansas has something going for it. 


Georgia extends the lead

Jack Podlesney with a 46-yard field goal to push the lead to 24-0, but it wasn't the cleanest drive. Stetson Bennett tried to force a ball into double-coverage on third-and-five and it was almost picked off. The play call was a bit curious considering the Bulldogs are averaging 5.3 yards per rush on the afternoon. The Razorbacks defensive line had its moments on that drive, which is a significant improvement from earlier in the game when they were getting pushed back five yards off the line of scrimmage.

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