You might have noticed that I get a bit more optimistic on Friday before games. I don't know why. Maybe it is bravado. Maybe I am merely psyching myself up to get through the workday and into the weekend. Maybe I am drunk already.
Either way, today is no different. I keep thinking about two things.
One: Arkansas running game isn't nearly as good as South Carolina's. I'll let that soak in for a minute.
Seriously, absent Georgia falling even further off the tackle wagon, there is no running back Petrino can send out to churn out soul crushing 8 yard gains that eat up weeks and weeks of game clock. Looking back at the South Carolina game, Georgia lost that game on the first possession when Lattimore ran the ball on the defense like they were all his personal tackling dummies. Yes, the score was close but you'll have that in a game when one team runs the ball 40+ times.
Arkansas isn't built to do that. Bobby Petrino developed the Sling and Fling offense at Louisville. He loves throwing the ball like Steve Jobs loves ninjas. Think about what you remember about Louisville, circa 2004. Got an image? You were thinking QBs throwing the ball until his arm falls off, then running another out there until his arm falls off. The Petrino offense was built on that, is still built on that and will still be built on that when he leaves Arkansas to go to his next dream job.
Two: Arkansas' defense isn't improved so much over last year that I worry about moving the ball. Bobby Petrino hates defense. He hates defense the way my ex wife hated anniversary sex. Oh, you have to have a defense, because they make you. That doesn't mean you have to enjoy it or put much effort into it.
Think about the typical Louisville game from 2004. You are thinking 55-37 over Akron, right? That is what Petrino believes in and what he wants to do. He'll get red faced and close to visor slinging if they don't score bundles of points.
Right now, even as they are loading up the busses to leave Fayetteville, Petrino is planning out the first two drives for the Hogs. He is thinking quick slant, post, crossing, play action (because they just have to be thinking run), crossing, bubble screen, quick slant, handoff, post, slant. Rinse. Repeat.
If that is what they try to do tomorrow, I feel pretty good about Georgia's chances.