Well, there is some tailgating to be done, some hands to be shook, and some drink to be drunk. Let's get to the preview.
By my way of thinking, this game boils down to one simple thing: Who wins the turnover battle?
Much as been said about Ryan Mallet and his cannon arm. Much as been said about DJ Williams, especially in light of what Saunders did in Athens last Saturday. Much has been said about Georgia's young players and the ability of all in Red to hold onto the ball.
Ryan Mallet cannot run like Zac Robinson and Steven Garcia. Likewise, he cannot throw the ball on his back. As he found out in 2007, his cannon arm is not as effective when he's lumbering for his life. This presents opportunties to pick up some interceptions, if there is pressure on him. It is unrealistic to expect a 6'7" 238 pound QB to fumble much, but it isn't too much to expect him to try to force a ball into tight coverage, if he is forced to. That is where strong coverage on DJ Williams will be key. With the return of Justin Houston, we can hope that an improved rush from the line will help keep the zone from being too soft. That isn't to say it happened that way last week, in fact the rush was pretty effective and SC's tight end was open way too much. However, a week of practice in that zone coverage for the guys that were rotating around the defense last week can only help.
Arkansas has a great deal of confidence in their ability to shut down AJ. If that is the case, it is imperative Isreal Troupe, Rantavious Wooton and Marlon Brown step up whenever given the opportunity, granting they have to be given the opportunity. Richard Samuel will get his. I hope King and Thomas gets theirs, as well. You know Branden and Brandon can be factors, but don't think having B Smith in the offensive scheme will go as unoticed as last week. All of them have to hold onto the ball, when they touch it.
That brings us to Michael Moore, Tavares King and Orson Charles. If the Oline gives Joe the time AND if Joe will start checking down, MM could be a huge factor. He's caught two balls in each game this season. I look for him to have many more than that this week. Same goes for TK (well, 1 catch against Okie State and 3 against SC). I look for Orson to get his first collegiate TD in this game.
I just don't think Georgia can go -2 in turnover differential again and expect to win on the road. That is giving too much help to the Arkansas offense that is pretty good and is asking too much of the defense.
So, that is my lunchtime, back of the napkin thoughts. Have fun and see you in Fayetteville.