Why You Should Give A Hoot: You ready for some big boy football? Former Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson called out Georgia before last year’s inaugural SEC game in Columbia, and Jarvis Jones and company were more than happy to welcome the new guy to the big time with a dominant 41-20 win. But this Tiger team is much different and will be facing a limping Bulldog squad.
Georgia might have beaten Tennessee in a thriller, and it might still be knee deep in the national title hunt despite the opening day loss to Clemson, but the whole “Next Man Up” movement needs to kick into full force with running back Todd Gurley still hurting after missing the game against the Vols, No. 2 back Keith Marshall out for the year with a knee injury, receivers Michael Bennett and Justin Scott-Wesley injured, and safeties Connor Norman and Tray Matthews sidelined.
The Bulldogs are still a tremendously talented team, and Aaron Murray is as effective as any quarterback in college football, but this might be the game the Tigers show they’re ready to play in the SEC.
Quarterback James Franklin is healthy and he’s playing like it. Meanwhile, his receiving corps is one of the deepest and most talented in the SEC and his running backs are adding more than just balance. The 5-0 Tigers had no real problems with dangerous Indiana and Vanderbilt teams, and they rolled against Murray State, Toledo and Arkansas State. Now it’s Game On.
The East is up for grabs, and the timing couldn’t be better for Mizzou. Georgia is hurting, and Florida and South Carolina will have to come to Columbia. While a road game at Ole Miss and a date with Texas A&M remain, the Tigers could be in for an interesting ride if they can earn a win this Saturday.
This is only the third meeting between the two schools. Along with a win last season, Georgia beat Mizzou in the 1960 Orange Bowl.
Who's going to win the big game on Saturday? Check out the latest Whatifsports.com college football simulation predictions.
Why Missouri Might Win: One of Georgia’s biggest problems has been a secondary that gives up too many plays. Even with a decent pass rush, the Bulldogs are having problems against decent, accurate passers like Tajh Boyd, Zach Mettenberger and Connor Shaw, with opposing offenses completing 61 percent of their throws. James Franklin might not be a bomber the quality of Boyd or Mettenberger, but he’s connecting on 70 percent of his throws thanks to more time from the line, better decisions, and a receiving corps that’s eating secondaries alive.
The Tigers will trot out a slew of NBA swing forward-sized playmakers, and moving the ball down the field shouldn’t be a problem against the worst D in the SEC on third downs. The Mizzou passing game should be fantastic, but …
Why Georgia Might Win: Georgia should be able to light up the Tiger defensive backs. Most teams are throwing on the Tigers to keep up the pace, but over the last three games, Indiana, Arkansas State and Vanderbilt have had way too easy a time even in the face of a fantastic pass rush coming from the outside. The Georgia offensive line has been able to keep Murray relatively clean, and even when he’s been under pressure he’s made all the right reads and throws. Missouri will move the ball, but as Murray and Georgia have shown time and again, the Bulldogs can respond.
What Will Happen: This will be Mizzou’s breakout moment. Georgia will get good performances across the board to make up for key injuries, and the power running game will get J.J. Green going, but Franklin and the Tiger receivers will be too effective in yet another entertaining shootout.