The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Fayetteville, AR

Bulldogs' hot second half pushes them past Razorbacks

34 days ago
Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Stetson Bennett threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter, and No. 4 Georgia rallied to beat Arkansas 37-10 on Saturday in the season opener for each school.

Bennett replaced D'Wan Mathis in the second quarter and finished 20 for 29 for 211 yards. Bennett put the Bulldogs ahead to stay when he tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to George Pickens and ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 13-10 with 6 minutes left in the third.

Zamir White rushed for 71 yards on 13 carries, including a 6-yard TD that gave the Bulldogs a 34-10 lead in the final period.

"I'm proud and happy for Stetson," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. "I wouldn't take that moment away from him no way. He did a great job and rallied the guys around him. He gave us the juice we needed."

Georgia hurt itself with 11 first-half penalties. It also struggled on third down, going 1 for 12 in the first two quarters.

Bennett directed the Bulldogs to a field goal in the final seconds of the second quarter, and then carried the momentum over into the second half.

"After that two-minute drill, that really boosted the confidence before the half," Bennett said.

Feleipe Franks was 19 for 36 for 200 yards and a touchdown in his first start for Arkansas (0-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference), but the Florida transfer also tossed two interceptions.

Franks found Treylon Burks for a 49-yard touchdown play in the first quarter, and A.J. Reed kicked a 25-yard field goal with 8:23 left in the third to give the Razorbacks a 10-5 lead.

But the Bulldogs (1-0, 1-0) dominated from there.

Bennett's pass to Pickens got the lead for Georgia, and he made it 20-10 when he found John FitzPatrick for a 7-yard TD. Eric Stokes then picked off a Franks pass and returned it 30 yards for another score.

"He has to be more conscious with the football," Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. "He's got to take care of the football. We were right in the game and he threw a pick-six. Part of that was the receivers ran into each other. I thought we were very sloppy with formations, alignments on offense. We've got to get that fixed."

Georgia's defense also recorded a safety in the first half.

THE TAKEAWAY

Georgia: The Bulldogs struggled offensively for much of the first half. They figured it out in time to roll past the Razorbacks, but they are going to need more consistency to contend in the SEC this season.

"Really sloppy first half. Felt like I was in an extra-innings baseball game," Smart said. "I thought we were very stagnant and (took) undisciplined penalties. Every time we had something going, we'd shoot ourselves in the foot. You can't win football games doing those things. We've got to improve and get better."

Arkansas: The Razorbacks haven't won an SEC game in almost three years, so a halftime lead against the Bulldogs is a positive step.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Even with their uneven play, the Bulldogs could move up in the AP poll after No. 3 Oklahoma lost to Kansas State.

UP NEXT

Georgia open its home schedule against No. 8 Auburn next Saturday.

Arkansas travels to Mississippi State for its first road game of the season.