Time: Noon ET/11 a.m. CT
Commentators: Steve Levy, Brian Grease, Todd McShay
The No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs travel to Columbia, Missouri on Saturday to battle with the Missouri Tigers.
Both teams enter the game undefeated and both have had different paths to get there. UGA dominated two cupcake opponents and made the South Carolina Gamecocks look like one themselves in their SEC opener. Mizzou also dominated a couple of lowly opponents and then went on to face the Purdue Boilermakers. In West Lafayette, they allowed David Blough to chuck the ball all over the yard but escaped with a win.
So both teams have passed their only tests up to this point, although Georgia beat a better team far more convincingly.
For UGA it all starts with the running game. D’Andre Swift is averaging 5.0 yards per carry while his partner Elijah Holyfield is averaging 9.0 yards a carry. The Bulldogs on the whole are rushing for roughly 272 yards per game. Now just looking at the numbers, Missouri’s run defense doesn’t look too shabby. They’ve allowed only about 75 yards a game, good for 8th in the county. But a look closer may a cause for concern Tiger fans. Wyoming was missing their starting running back when they came to Columbia and Purdue didn’t even bother trying to run the ball. So this is the first real first test for Terry Beckner Jr. and that Tiger front seven.
Of course, Jake Fromm isn’t too bad throwing the ball, although he doesn’t do it often. Completing 80% of his passes to a talented group of wideouts, including Mecole Hardman. After watching that Mizzou defense against Purdue, Fromm might break out and have his first big game of the year.
Georgia is going to score points, but can Missouri keep up? Having a future 1st round quarterback will certainly help. Drew Lock is completing 69 percent of his passes and has 11 touchdowns and only one interception. He should have time to throw, as Missouri has a dominant pass blockers on their offensive line and Georgia (prepare to gasp) in three games has ONE sack. They are last in the country tied with Iowa State.
Now what helps UGA is they have an extremely talented secondary. The big match up will be Missouri receiver Emanuel Hall and UGA corner Deandre Baker. Baker, famous for shutting down Deebo Samuel just a couple weeks ago, will have his hands full with the speedy Mizzou receiver who is averaging 143 yards a game. For the Tigers, it will be important that are able to run the ball with Larry Rountree III, Tyler Badie and Damarea Crockett. UGA is 23rd in the country in run defense and it’s important for the Tigers offensive line to get a push and keep the chains moving and keep the defense off the field.
This is Georgia’s fourth trip to Columbia since the Tigers have joined the SEC. UGA has won the previous three, and if there is any hope Tiger fans, outside of that 2014 debacle, Mizzou has played Georgia closer then they probably should have. Barry Odom has a chance to show how far he has come as a coach and will get a lot of respect around the country for a win. For Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs, it’s all about dominating as they hope to roll to an eventual rematch with Alabama in the SEC Championship.