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The Arkansas Razorbacks have proven they can demolish outmatched opposition. Now it's time to find out if those lofty expectations are deserved.

Arkansas was picked before the season to finish second behind Alabama in the SEC West race and opened with whippings of Tennessee Tech (44-3) and Louisiana-Monroe (31-7). The No. 12 Razorbacks would gain a lot more respect by starting 3-0, which would include a win this Saturday at Georgia.

"There is a lot of motivation for us coming into this game," Arkansas junior receiver Jarius Wright said Monday. "It's the beginning of the SEC for us, and last year they came into our home and beat us. We feel like we've got to do the same thing."

Arkansas and Ole Miss are the only league teams that did not face a foe from a BCS conference during the first two weeks.

It looked more like the Arena League when Arkansas and Georgia met last season in Fayetteville, as the Bulldogs won 52-41 in a game that totaled 1,015 yards of offense. Hogs quarterback Ryan Mallett threw for 408 yards and five touchdowns but could direct his offense to only a field goal in the fourth quarter.

"We gave ourselves a chance to win the ballgame, but in the end we just didn't do it," Mallett said.

The Razorbacks led the league in scoring offense and passing offense last season for the first time since joining the SEC in 1992 but had some inconsistencies. Mallett had five 300-yard passing games but none on the road, and he completed a mediocre 55.8 percent of his attempts.

Through two games this season, the 6-foot-6, 238-pound junior is 49-of-67 (73.1 percent) for 701 yards and six touchdowns, and he has been intercepted twice.

"I've coached QBs a long, long time, and it's just pretty to watch him do it," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "He can throw a flag route 25 or 30 yards across the field and just put it on the money. It's like throwing darts out there for him."

Said Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino: "I guess it's a good thing offensively when you feel like you're out of sync and you've got a quarterback who is hard on himself after throwing for 400 yards in one game and 300 in the other."

The Razorbacks will play this week without second-leading rusher Dennis Johnson, who was injured against ULM.

Arkansas is hoping for an improved running game and continued improvement from its defense, which was often porous last season but so far has allowed just 23 plays on its side of the field. The Razorbacks host No. 1 Alabama next week.

"We're worried about Georgia, and that's it at this point," Mallett said. "Obviously we want to win and need to win, and that's what we're going to do."

Odds and ends

Georgia's game at Mississippi State next week has been picked up by Fox Sports Net and will kick off at 7 p.m. EDT. ... Petrino will have defensive plans this week that do and do not include Bulldogs receiver A.J. Green. ... Arkansas junior receiver Greg Childs leads the SEC with eight catches a game and had five for 140 yards and two touchdowns against Georgia last year.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or (423) 757-6524.

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