ATHENS – The last time SEC fans saw Feleipe Franks, he was transported off the field to Kroger Stadium in Kentucky in tears, after suffering a dislocation and broken ankle in what turned out to be his last game in a Florida football uniform.
Frank’s path to recovery has diverted him to Arkansas, where he will start for the Razorbacks and become one of four game captains for the 4 p.m. game against Georgia No.4 in Game 1 of the season of both teams.
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“Our mindset is to execute our game plan and to go out there at the end of the day and get a win, and do whatever we can to get that win,” said Franks on an Arkansas Zoom call this week.
“It’s no big secret that they have a tough physical team, but we also have a tough physical team, and we’re ready to go out there and compete.
Razorbacks first-year coach Sam Pittman certainly knows what Georgia’s roster looks like after spending four years as the Bulldogs’ offensive line coach.
But it’s Franks, more than anyone in the stadium, who knows what the Georgian defense feels like after facing two of coach Kirby Smart’s best units in 2017 and 2018.
In Franks’ first appearance against the Bulldogs, he passed a 7 of 19 pass for 30 yards with an interception and was sacked five times in a 42-7 loss.
Franks was more effective in Dan Mullen’s offense in 2018, completing 13 of 21 for 105 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 36-17 loss.
“The last two times I played them Kirby did a great job,” Franks said. “These guys are tough, physical, everything you would imagine an SEC team to be.”
Arkansas tailback Rakeem Boyd, who started his career at Texas A&M before moving to Independence (Kans.) Junior College, is eager for the Razorbacks offense to challenge Georgia.
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“We’re just trying to go out and play physical ball all the time, first, second, third to fourth (quarterback), just soccer to the mouth,” Boyd said this week.
“That’s what we’re trying to do, and that’s kind of what we want to be known, it’s what we want our identity to be, it’s a physical football team that’s going to come and break you. mouth.
Georgia bring back eight of 11 starters in a defense that led the country in defense and run defense, and placed third in total defense.
“They’re strong defensively, so we’re going to have to go with them,” Boyd said. “We know what to expect, we know how we have to play.
“I watched a movie about number 32 (Rice). He’s the defense captain, controls what happens, it’s a team that really communicates… 17 (Nakobe Dean) just got into the mix, he’s good too. He’s quite physical.
First-year Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles is known for his upward passing ploys. Many expect the Hogs to space the Bulldogs apart and get the ball out quickly.
“It will be great to see what these guys can do, we have guys on the perimeter who can make plays,” Franks said.
“I don’t think our whole game plan has to do with the quick release of the ball and preconceived readings, we have a bunch of different mixes.”
Smart said the Bulldogs need to be ready for Arkansas to come to his defense quickly.
“What did Coach Briles do in his story? He organized a lot of games, ”said Smart. “He runs very fast. He’s not going to sit there and let us dig our spikes in the ground and play defense. H
“He’s going to make us play left-handed, and our job is to try not to let that happen. “
No one understands this better than Franks.
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