The good: In the second and third quarters of Saturday’s game, senior wide receiver Fred Gibson played like Georgia fans have always dreamed he would play. Gibson didn’t catch a pass in the first or fourth quarters, but in the middle of the game, he had six receptions for 169 yards. It was the second-best game of his career, trailing only the 201-yard receiving day he had against Kentucky his freshman season. “I’m happy for Fred,” Coach Mark Richt said. “Fred Gibson, when he has been healthy, has been a great football player in my opinion.” For Gibson, this week’s game has special meaning. He grew up just minutes from the Georgia-Florida border and originally committed to play for the Gators. “I want to go out with a big bang against the Gators,” he said.
The bad: Place-kicker Andy Bailey missed two field goal attempts against Arkansas, one from 31 yards and one from 46 yards. Neither missed by much but both were critical in a game that was decided by just six points and wasn’t over until the final minute. Bailey is now 10 of 15 for the season, but Richt said Sunday that he still has a firm hold on the job. “We’re staying with Andy,” he said. Bailey said his confidence isn’t shaken because he feels good about the way he’s striking the ball. He also appreciated words of support from Richt during the game. “Coach Richt came up to me and said, ‘Other guys on the field are messing up too, so don’t worry about it,’” Bailey said.
The ugly: The Bulldogs continue to pile up penalty yardage. They were called for nine violations Saturday and lost 80 yards. That gives them 34 penalties for 282 yards in the last three games. “Penalties (stink),” said center Russ Tanner. “That’s one of the reasons we’re not better in the red zone, but the good news is penalties are correctable mistakes.”
The injuries: Other than Danny Ware’s bruised lung, which makes him questionable for the Florida game, Georgia came out of the Arkansas game in good health.
Notable: Defensive end David Pollack may have a new rule to thank for making him Georgia’s career sack leader a little earlier than he might have been otherwise. Pollack was credited with two sacks against Arkansas, giving him 29.5 for his career, a half a sack more than former UGA record holder Richard Tardits. Last season, statistics generated in the press box weren’t official until after a school’s coaching staff reviewed the film, and that often resulted in minor adjustments to tackle and sack totals. A review of Pollack’s sacks would have cost him at least a half sack and perhaps a whole one since he was the second Bulldog on the play in each case. However, this year for the first time, press box stats are recognized by the NCAA as the official statistics. Richt thinks Pollack’s sacks would have held up to a review anyway, he said. “After looking at all the tape, we’re confident he’s got the record, and we’re real excited about that for him,” he said. “I’m glad it happened early enough in the season that he doesn’t have to worry about it.”
Up next: Georgia plays Florida at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.