If there was ever a game that Georgia needed Joe Cox to come out and have his best performance to date, it was this past Saturday against the Razorbacks of Arkansas.
The Razorbacks, led by Michigan transfer Ryan Mallett, came out blazing in their home/SEC opener. The expectations were that Arkansas would handle the Dawgs since they had all off-season, a warm-up game and a bye week to prepare for Georgia.
The first quarter had shades of Georgia-Alabama ‘08 written all over it, until Cox led the Dawgs on two scoring drives to keep the team in the game, 21-10.
Cox showed poise as he delivered time and time again, never once could you see the fiery red head at all rattled.
Georgia took a 27-21 lead into half-time in a game that felt like the Dawgs were blown out early, but they weathered the storm.
Arkansas took the lead on a 40-yard touchdown from Mallett to Childs in the third quarter, but Cox came right back with a 50-yard pass of his own to Tavarres King to regain the lead.
Mallett came back with a two-yard touchdown to DJ Williams, but Cox once again answered with a 44-yard pass to Orson Charles to take the lead right back.
It felt like a heavyweight title fight as both contenders stood toe-to-toe throwing haymakers trying to knock each other out.
Cox would put the dagger into the Razorback faithfull’s hearts with his knockout blow, hitting A.J. Green on a 28-yard score in the fourth quarter that gave the Dawgs a two-score led they would never relinquish.
On the day Cox would complete 18 out of 26 passes for 375 yards and tie a school record five touchdowns with only one pick.
It only seemed fitting that Cox, who suffered from what some say was the swine-flu before the Oklahoma State loss, would have his coming out party against a team that was nicknamed the “Hawgs.”
With his efforts against Arkansas, Cox was named not only the SEC Offensive Player of the Week, but also the National Offensive Player of the Week.
Congratulations Joe, you have officially silenced the critics.