Georgia Bulldogs Game 6 Preview: Missouri Tigers


On Saturday, the No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs  travel to Columbia, Mo. to challenge the No. 23 Missouri Tigers in a game that could be a big deciding factor in who wins the SEC East.

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Date: 10/11/2014
Kickoff Time: 12:00 pm EST
Venue: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field (71,168) – Columbia, MO.
Series Record: Georgia leads, 2 – 1
Last Meeting: October 12, 2013 – Georgia 26, Misssouri 41
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG; Sirius 137, XM 191
TV: CBS with Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor, Jamie Erdahl
Internet Stream: GTV on |

Latest Line: Georgia by 3

The Georgia Bulldogs (4-1, 2-1 ) will travel to Columbia, MO for only the second time ever to play the Missouri Tigers (4–1, 1–0).

Last year’s meeting in Athens was the first of Georgia’s two game mid-season nightmare. The Dawgs dominated the offensive statistics while playing without their top two wide receivers and top two running backs. But, four turnovers doomed the Bulldogs to a 41 – 26 defeat.

The Tigers have had a week off to forget their 21 – 20 win over South Carolina and to prepare for the Bulldogs.

Missouri is a veteran, seasoned team accustomed to success. Missouri’s 4 – 1 record includes a close loss to Indiana, a lopsided win against Central Florida and a comeback win against South Carolina. It’s difficult to tell just how good Missouri is, but we can tell they are improving as the season progresses. With an open date to focus its strengths and shore up its weaknesses, Missouri will be a much better team when they welcome the Dawgs in to Memorial Stadium to compete on Faurot Field. And with a 1 – 0 SEC record, Missouri hopes to put the Bulldogs in the rear view mirror in their race for the SEC East title.

Georgia is improving too, improving on offense because Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley have returned and are rounding into shape. All Hutson Mason discussions aside, any offense will be better with is top two outside playmakers.

For a third straight year, youth reigns supreme in the Georgia secondary. However, the Bulldogs are now producing interceptions, tackling better, and playing with energy and savvy.

Keys to the game

Missouri on offense:

Missouri will lineup only seniors and juniors from tackle to tackle and at the skill positions. Sophomore Maty Mauk is a good runner who completes 56% of his passes. He averages 222 passing yards a game and has thrown14 touchdowns against 4 interceptions. Russell Hansbrough has scored all but one of Missouri’s rushing touchdowns. Missouri has not lost a fumble this year and the result is a plus 5 turnover margin for the season.

Georgia’s defensive key to the game:

Georgia’s front seven must neutralize Missouri’s veteran offensive front and force Missouri out of the run, where turnovers are rare, to the throwing game, where turnovers wait. If the game becomes a battle of Maty Mauk and his veteran receivers against Georgia’s defensive backs in training, Georgia can unleash its front seven to harass Mauk.

Sep 27, 2014; Columbia, SC, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Maty Mauk (7) during the fourth quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Missouri wins in the final minutes 21-20 over South Carolina. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri on defense.

Missouri’s four man front defense has some of the SEC’s top performers, especially at the ends, where Shane Ray and Markus Golden are first and fourth in the SEC in tackles for loss. While Missouri’s defensive front plays for the big loss, on the defensive backside, Missouri keeps it simple – keep the pass in front and fly to the ball. But, statistically Missouri has not proven to be a great defensive team, ranking eighth in rushing and ninth in passing defense in the SEC. One interesting note for Georgia, however – Missouri has only allowed two rushing touchdowns this season.

Georgia offensive key to the game:

Georgia will run the ball early, using a variety of personnel, schemes and speed plays to create room for Todd Gurley.  If Missouri’s safeties are near or in the box during the first half and Georgia is moving the chains, this could be a big win for the Bulldogs. Ultimately though, Georgia’s tackles must control the Missouri defensive ends and allow Gurley to work his cut back magic.

Strengths and weaknesses.


Georgia’s rushing attack is second in the SEC, leading the SEC with 7 yards per run..

For the season, Missouri’s turnover ratio is plus 5 and Georgia’s plus 4. Missouri has not lost a fumble in 2014.


Missouri’s defense is surrendering 380 yards per game, but both teams rank in the middle half of the SEC.   Both team’s passing defenses are suspect (Georgia ranks 7th in conference and Missouri ranks 9th).

On offense, Missouri gains 400 yards per game and ranks 12th in the SEC.


Even though decimated by injuries last year, the Bulldogs played well enough to win if the Dawgs take care of the football. This year, Missouri has the open date to rest and prepare. Still, the advantage should be academic as Georgia will win if it avoids Missouri domination in the turnover column.

Georgia 34, Missouri 27