Published September 4, 2012 - 9:15am
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
The Matchup: #6 Georgia at Missouri
When: Saturday, September 8th
Where: Columbia, Missouri
Game Time: 7:45 PM ET
What you need to know about Georgia: The Bulldogs have only played Missouri one time back in 1959 and won 14-0. This is an very talented team with proven playmakers on offense and defense.
Georgia didn’t play so well in the first half against Buffalo, and the defense allowed a couple big plays to a running quarterback. Buffalo cut the lead at half 24-16, but the Bulldogs dominated the second half.
Georgia has a very athletic defense, but there are holes in the secondary that need to get shored up before this football game, because James Franklin will take advantage of those. In addition, there will still likely be three suspended players on defense, even though Mark Richt hasn’t announced it yet.
Coming into week one, Georgia was looking at a running back by committee and started sophomore Ken Malcome. But freshman Todd Gurley is the guy. He carried eight times for 100 yards and two touchdowns, including a 100-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. Quarterback Aaron Murray was solid but not spectacular, as he was off for much of the first half. He got into more of a groove in the second half and ended up throwing for 258 yards and three touchdowns.
Georgia’s defense has to improve this week, especially going against a much better quarterback in Franklin than last week. The defense allowed 199 rushing yards to the Bulls. Georgia kept it very vanilla on defense and didn’t blitz really mix up any looks or blitzes on defense. Expect there to be more looks on defense for Georgia.
What you need to know about Missouri: The Tigers exploded out of the gates, scoring 28 unanswered points in the first half last week against SE Louisiana. They’re hoping for the same fast start this week and make Georgia play catch-up.
Missouri will need some big plays on special teams, too, much like last week when punt returner Marcus Murphy housed two of them from 72 and 70 yards.
Gary Pinkel left his starters in until the third quarter because of cluster of a second quarter, but they will need four quarters this week against Georgia.
RB Kendial Lawrence really got it going on the ground, as he rushed for 121 yards on 10 carries with a 76-yard TD run. He’ll need to be very good this week and control the ground game.
Missouri will spread Georgia’s defense out, forcing an inexperienced Bulldogs’ secondary to grow up fast. But Missouri will have to win the running game battle from the get-go.
What you need to watch: I’ll be glued to Missouri’s offense against Georgia’s defense. After giving up nearly 200 yards last week on the ground to Buffalo, it will be interesting to see the adjustments made against Missouri.
I want to see how Missouri’s offense translates over to playing a top 10 defense in the country. Georgia is very physical at the point of attack in their 3-4 scheme, and Missouri has had some injury issues on the offensive line this fall already. This is a match up Georgia will look to exploit, but look for Mizzou to get the football out of Franklin’s hands quickly before the pass rush becomes an issue.
Missouri will look to play ahead and strike fast, with their dual-threat QB in Franklin and talented senior running back in Lawrence.
Georgia will continue their old-man football on offense, which features a power running game and one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC.
This one should be fun.