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September 20, 2009

Another Shootout, Another Victory

GEORGIA 52, Arkansas 41
For the second consecutive week, Georgia was involved in a high-scoring affair that eventually ended with the Bulldogs on top. In 115+ seasons and 1,168 total games played in UGA football history, the 93 combined points from last night are the seventh most scored by Georgia and its opponent in a single game and most in a non-overtime game in nearly 25 years. Georgia's 52 points were more than its basketball team scored in five of its 16 conference games during the 2008-09 season.
The Bulldogs experienced the very same problems which plagued them a week ago and most of 2008: quarterback Ryan Mallett broke records against Georgia's shoddy defense, the Bulldogs' 14 penalties marked the seventh time since the start of the '08 campaign Georgia has been flagged at least 10 times in a game, the Dogs' defense registered just two or less sacks for the 10th time in their last 11 games, and Georgia committed three turnovers while forcing just one. The Bulldogs currently rank tied for 116th of 120 FBS teams in turnover margin (-2.33).
Nevertheless, Georgia's offense bailed the team out with one of its most impressive performances in recent memory. Joe Cox (photo--David Manning of Online Athens) was nearly flawless at quarterback. Although 80 came on a single carry, Richard Samuel's 104 rushing yards made him just the fourth Bulldog since the start of the 2006 season to have a 100-yard rushing performance. Caleb King's 2009 debut was impressive, rushing 11 times for 59 yards, 10 for 54 coming in the final two-and-a-half quarters. Like always, A.J. Green was spectacular while senior Michael Moore (6 catches, 91 yards) had his best game, besides last season's Capital One Bowl, of his collegiate career.
As mentioned, although the defense suffered mightily, for the second straight game, it stiffened towards the end of the contest and when it counted the most. Mallett was brilliant through the first 43 minutes of the game, completing 18 of 25 passes for 372 yards and five touchdowns. However, in the final 17 minutes, he was dreadful, passing for only 36 yards on just 3 of 14 passing. Arkansas averaged more than 9.6 yards per offensive play in its first 43 plays but was held to a 3.6 average in their final 20 plays.


Joe Cox was simply unbelievable, completing 18 of 25 passes for 375 yards, 5 touchdowns and just once interception. Statistically, it is arguably the greatest passing performance in the history of Georgia football.

Forty-six times 11 different Bulldog quarterbacks have thrown for 300+ yards in a single game: Eric Zeier (15), Quincy Carter (8), David Greene (8), Mike Bobo (4), Matthew Stafford (3), Cory Phillips (2), D.J. Shockley (2), Charley Trippi (1), Larry Rakestraw (1), Hines Ward (1), and, as of last night, Joe Cox (1). Of these 46, Cox's passing efficiency rating of 256.00 against Arkansas is the second highest. The top 10 sorted by passer rating:

278.04 Eric Zeier (1993- Texas Tech): 13 of 19, 317 yds, 4 TD, 0 int

256.00 Joe Cox (2009- Arkansas): 18 of 25, 375 yds, 5 TD, 1 int

232.16 David Greene (2002- Vanderbilt): 20 of 23, 319 yds, 2 TD, 0 int

216.61 Matthew Stafford (2008- Kentucky): 17 of 27, 376 yds, 3 TD, 0 int

212.90 Eric Zeier (1991- Kentucky): 19 of 23, 302 yds, 2 TD, 1 int

209.21 David Greene (2004- Arkansas): 22 of 29, 382 yds, 2 TD, 0 int

200.10 Eric Zeier (1993- Vanderbilt): 25 of 35, 379 yds, 4 TD, 0 int

197.00 David Greene (2001- Vanderbilt): 19 of 26, 305 yds, 2 TD, 0 int

189.90 Mike Bobo (1997- Georgia Tech): 30 of 39, 415 yds, 4 TD, 2 int

* n/a Charley Trippi (1945- Georgia Tech): 12 of 23, 323 yds, 3 TD

*Despite considerable research, the number of interceptions, if any, thrown by Trippi against Georgia Tech in 1945 is uncertain. The only way Trippi's passing rating for that game would not appear in the above top 10 is if he threw three or more interceptions, which is highly doubtful. If he was intercepted twice, his rating would still rank 9th, once--7th, and no interceptions--5th.

Other Notes:

  • Cox's current 165.49 passing rating for the year ranks 12th in the Bowl Subdivision. The season is still young, but if Cox loses little to no ground, he will be the fifth Bulldog quarterback in just the last eight seasons to rank 18th or higher in passing efficiency.
  • Brandon Boykin added 146 yards on kickoff returns Saturday giving him 356 for the year--the fourth most nationally. He only needs 335 more to break Georgia's single-season mark of 690 set by Asher Allen in 2007. Boykin's 32.4 kickoff return average ranks 15th in the country.
  • Against Georgia, Arkansas' Mallett set single-game school records for passing yards, the Razorbacks' first 400-yard passing game in their history, and passing touchdowns. His 408 passing yards tied for the fourth most ever surrendered by the Bulldogs while his five passing touchdowns tied for the most ever allowed by Georgia.

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