Well, it took five weeks, but Georgia football finally was able to unleash its rush attack fully, and boy did they deliver. The Dawgs demoralized Arkansas 37-0, giving them their second-straight SEC shut out.
Does this offensive performance match up to what Georgia fans have seen through the first four games? No, but the Dawgs were missing JT Daniels, who is nursing an injury that keeps nagging him, so they didn’t need any mistakes against a hot Arkansas team.
Stetson Bennett came into the game and was a game manager for Georgia, and he did his job. The Dawgs finished with 345 total offensive yards, with 273 on the ground. Bennett completed 7-of-11 passes for 72 yards, and some fans might complain about that, but they shouldn’t.
Georgia didn’t need to pass the ball against Arkansas because that could cause turnovers and give the Hogs momentum. Once the Dawgs punched the Hogs in the mouth early, a mistake could have flipped the table if they threw an interception, so it was wise to keep running the ball.
Were there times they needed to throw the ball? Sure, but it wasn’t a necessity. The one time I’d say it was necessary came in the first quarter on the second drive when Bennett connected with Kenny McIntosh on a beautiful pass to keep the drive going and get Georgia in the red zone.
Todd Monken did a great job calling plays because when your offensive line gets that good of a push at the line of scrimmage, why wouldn’t you run the ball down their throat? The Dawgs averaged 4.9 yards a carry, and it was better than that until they put in some of the young guys at the end to get some reps.
Four backs rushed for at least 49 yards, and two of the four guys scored for the Dawgs. James Cook tallied 12 carries for 87 yards, averaging 7.2 yards a touch. Zamir White led the backs with two scores, well, three if you include the punt block score. He had 16 carries for 68 yards.
McIntosh had 10 carries for 57 yards, and Kendall Milton had 12 carries for 48 yards. Milton scored his first career touchdown as a Dawg, and after that, you saw his confidence soar.
Every running back found success against the Hogs, which the Dawgs have wanted from this group all year long. Georgia’s interior blocking hasn’t been nearly as strong as it was in the past, but that group stepped up in a big way on Saturday against the Hogs.
Even Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis got in on the action as Monken put them in on a goal-line play that resulted in Milton’s first touchdown. Carter blocked three guys to make a lane for Milton, and it was so much fun to watch.
The Dawgs ran it 14 times for 65 yards in the first quarter and threw it four times. That number was identical in the second quarter as the Dawgs went into halftime with 28 rush and eight pass plays.
The second half saw similar numbers as Georgia ran it 15 times for 50 yards in the third quarter and 13 times for 84 yards in the fourth quarter. Passing-wise, the Dawgs threw once in the fourth and five times in the third.
Georgia planned to run the ball, and they executed that successfully. They showed the college football world even if you take away the passing game; they can still find ways to beat a team on the ground.
Granted, before this game, Arkansas ranked ninth in the SEC in rush defense at 123 yards a game. Well, the Dawgs doubled that number and showed the world they’re still RBU despite having a solid passing game this year.
Of course, people will say that Arkansas wasn’t as good as their rating portrayed them to be because they hate Georgia that much. Well, that is what the Dawgs do — they make teams look overrated because everyone thinks teams are once they finish with them.
There is something special brewing in Athens, and it’s not from Creature Comforts or Terrapin Brewing Company — nope, it’s coming out of the Butts Mehre building and includes a blend of passing and running that will hit the soul just right.
If Georgia can stay healthy and continue to win games like this, we could be on the verge of something incredible. I won’t jinx anything or speculate, but I like what I see out of the Dawgs, and with the running backs getting this kind of game under their belt, Georgia is becoming one complete and dominant powerhouse.