Game of the Day Preview: No. 7 Georgia at Missouri
Not only do the Bulldogs have to endure a sellout crowd, but a very good, underrated all-around team coming from the Big 12. Still, they have the talent to get by Mizzou and potentially a national title bid.
But nothing can be taken lightly, and a Mark Richt-led squad should know that.
What to expect with Georgia: The 'dawgs to get to opposing quarterback James Franklin. Georgia has an incredible front seven led by defensive tackle John Jenkins and linebacker Jarvis Jones. While the Missouri passing game is good, the offensive line is average and could have problems on the edge. The Tigers will have to sustain a strong running game early in order to set up the air raid.
That might not be much of a problem, however, since the Bulldogs allowed 199 rushing yards to Buffalo last week.
What to expect with Missouri: A ballhawking secondary. Georgia is going to run the ball some behind freshman tailback Todd Gurley, but its offense is formed around quarterback Aaron Murray and the passing game. Missouri's back seven is arguably the best in the East and could prove to give Murray issues, who has shown inconsistency and ill-advised decision-making when rattled.
You can also expect senior running back Kendial Lawrence, who rushed for 121 yards last Saturday, to get plenty of carries and be more involved in the passing game.
Prediction: This was a game I circled a few months ago because nearly everything points to an upset: Mizzou benefits from a frenetic home field advantage; Mark Richt teams don't play well in September (4-5 since 2010); the Bulldogs haven't justified their top-10 ranking yet; the Tigers want to prove everyone wrong and show they belong in the SEC.
Georgia may be a 3.5-point favorite (via Vegas Insider), but I wouldn't be comfortable with taking that bet. I think Missouri gets it done and sends a message to the conference and nation.
But don't worry, Bulldog fans. Your dawgs can still make it back to the SEC title game and get walloped by either LSU, Alabama or Arkansas again.
Missouri 27, Georgia 24 --- via Week 2 predictions