The only and last time the Missouri Tigers had beaten Georgia football dates back to 2013 when Aaron Murray threw two picks, which led to the Dawgs losing 41-26.
This Saturday should be a very different story considering that both of these teams are on the exact opposite side of the spectrum.
Missouri ranks last in the SEC and 122 out of 130 FBS teams for total defense.
Yes, they have the worst defense in the SEC. Even Vanderbilt has a better total defense than the Tigers.
Georgia comes into Saturday’s game No.1 in the SEC and No.2 in the entire country in total defense.
Georgia has been hit with an injury bug of its own throughout the season, and the same can be said for the Missouri Tigers.
Coming into last week’s game against Vanderbilt, the Tigers had 11 total players on the injury report, not even counting the three key contributors that are out for the rest of the season, all due to injuries.
Even with all the injuries that the Tigers have suffered, they have still found a way to get to four wins, but don’t hold your breath for them to get their fifth win in Athens this Saturday.
Georgia looks to get their eighth consecutive win over the Tigers on Saturday, but after all, this is college football, and crazier things have happened.
Here are three key things for Dawg fans to look out for on Saturday afternoon.
1. Connor Bazelak is out for the game against Georgia football
Connor Bazelak is out for this weekend’s game on the road against the Dawgs, which makes it even harder for the Tigers to have a chance in this game. Losing Bazelak is the worst thing that could happen this week for Missouri.
He is one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the SEC, which has undoubtedly been a big reason why Missouri currently has four wins.
Bazelak, so far this season, has 2,138 passing yards, 14 passing touchdowns while completing well over half of his passes at 68%. He doesn’t have gaudy numbers by any means, but he is the anchor of this Missouri offense.
Now that he is out of this game, the Tigers will have to look to either Tyler Macon or Brady Cook to play quarterback.
Macon played in two games this year, completing 3-of-4 passes for 69 yards and one touchdown. Cook has been in 1 game and went 5-of-5 for 29 yards and one score.
Neither player has much playing time, which will help them this week as they take on the country’s toughest defense.
Missouri already had a tall task this weekend against the Dawgs, but without their starting quarterback, it could get rough.
2. Mizzou’s defense isn’t on the same level as Georgia football
Some defenses can’t stop the run, and then there is Missouri’s rushing defense.
The Tigers rank dead last out of all FBS teams in total and rush defense. Opponents average 283 rushing yards per game, and they have given up 22 rushing touchdowns. And to top it off, opposing teams average six yards a carry.
Missouri let up 28 points to a 2-7 Vanderbilt team that has yet to win an SEC game.
So to say Missouri’s rush defense is struggling is an understatement.
Now there is a bright spot for this Missouri defense, and that is their pass defense. They rank 4th in the SEC in passing yards allowed and No. 21 in the entire country in that category, with only 191 passing yards per game.
For Missouri to win this game, it will have to start by stopping that tandem of dawg running backs, but Georgia should have a field day in this one.
3. Missouri’s special teams is likely their best unit
If the Missouri Tigers have one area where they are complete, it would have to be their special teams.
Kris Abrams-Draine is one of the best kick returners in the SEC, averaging 22 yards per kick return, and his longest being a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown.
The Tigers’ placekicker Harrison Mevis might be one of the best kickers in the country. So far through eight games, Mevis is 11 for 11 on-field goal kicks, with his longest being a 56 yarder.
Mevis, without a doubt, has an NFL-caliber leg, and so far, he is perfect for the season.
Now to the punting side of the ball.
If there is a downside to this Mizzou special teams unit, it would be punting, but it is still pretty good.
Senior punter Grant McKinniss ranks top 50 in the country with his ability to pin opposing teams pretty deep in their own territory. On average, McKinniss punts the ball 42 yards downfield while having a total of 1,410 punting yards on the season.
So to say Missouri’s special teams are underrated is a very accurate statement.
But to beat the No.1 team in the country, you have to be almost perfect in every phase of the game, but if Georgia has anything to say about that, then this shouldn’t even be close.