Image by Field Street Forum
The 1-4 Missouri Tigers head to Sanford Stadium this Saturday night for their 3rd meeting in Athens and 7th overall. The Bulldogs hold a 5-1 series lead, including three straight victories over the Tigers. Look no further than last year in Columbia when Georgia rallied for a 28-27 win behind the heroics of true freshman Quarterback Jacob Eason throwing a game-winning 20-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie on 4th & 10. Though, things are different this time around. Jake Fromm, another true freshman Quarterback, is leading the Dawgs offense this year due to Jacob Eason’s injury as well as his play during this 6-0 start.
Something else that is different is the trajectory of these two programs, Missouri is trending downward after getting blown out by South Carolina in year two of Muschamp, Purdue in year one of Jeff Brohm after being a dumpster fire for several years, and finally Auburn whom many were questioning Gus Malzahn after their offensive performances against Clemson (6 points) & Mercer (24 points). To put into perspective, Auburn scored 51 points at Missouri, or more than twice what they scored at home against Mercer (24). All of this was after Barry Odom fired his defensive Coordinator DeMontie Cross on September 11th against South Carolina. It has caused some Missouri fans to already contemplate Odom’s future in year two, while on the other end of the spectrum Georgia fans are thrilled with Kirby Smart’s year two. Georgia’s offensive line is playing much better than it was during this matchup last year in Columbia. In addition, Georgia’s secondary is playing fundamentally sound with very few breakdowns like you saw in last year’s game. I do not expect Mizzou QB Drew Lock to throw for 376 yards and 3 touchdowns like he did last year.
Though, the main key to ensure a Georgia victory is to eliminate the Drew Lock to J’Mon Moore connection. Missouri does not matchup with Georgia from a talent standpoint, but this one connection can keep the Tigers in the game like it did last year when they connected for 8 catches 196 yards and 2 TD’s. If Georgia can shut this option down, I do not see how Missouri can win this game. Their talent level has significantly diminished from the Gary Pinkel teams of 2013 & 2014. On the other side, one could argue the 2017 Georgia team is more talented than the 2013 & 2014 Bulldog teams. That being said, I see this game being over by the third Quarter on Saturday night, with Georgia winning 48-13.
God Bless & Go Dawgs!