Razorbacks can’t stop Georgia, drop SEC opener 52-41

Bobby Petrino’s high-octane passing game lived up to the pre-season hype Saturday as Ryan Mallett and the Arkansas receiving core compiled a single-game school record 408 yards through the air in the SEC opener against the Georgia Bulldogs.

The problem? Georgia quarterback Joe Cox also had a career night, passing for 375 yards of his own. Georgia finished with 530 yards of total offense against the struggling Hog defense and handed Arkansas their first loss of the season 52-41.

The Razorbacks jumped out to a 21-10 lead on three early touchdown passes by Mallett but a penalty-plagued second quarter, including 78 yards of penalties and the ejection of Arkansas linebacker Jerry Franklin helped Georgia own the second quarter. The Bulldogs scored 17 unanswered points in the second to lead 27-21 at the break.

Arkansas traded scores with Georgia in the third quarter, but twice couldn’t punch it in inside the red zone down the stretch, instead settling for Alex Tejada’s field goals. Yes, Georgia escaped Reynolds Razorback stadium with the win.

“I’m very disappointed in our defense,” Coach Bobby Petrino said after the game. “We didn’t stop the run well enough and we let them throw for a lot of yards tonight. We didn’t get enough pressure in the four-man rush and we had assignment errors.”

Arkansas will have to regroup quickly. This week the Hogs will travel to Tuscaloosa to face the #3 ranked team in the nation in both the AP top 25 and the coaches poll, the Alabama Crimson Tide.