Nothing comprehensive here, just a series of ramblings and reactions to things I’ve read and heard this week:
- I’m slightly amazed to hear some talk of this being the biggest game of Richt’s career. Honestly, isn’t that what we heard about last year’s South Carolina game? The truth is, if there’s a biggest game of Richt’s career this season, it’ll either be because it’s an SECCG elimination game or because the Dawgs have, however improbably, made it to the national title game.
- That being said, Saturday is important. It’s important because in an expanded East, getting behind the eight ball early makes it that much harder to get back on top of the division.
- The big question about Todd Gurley this Saturday isn’t whether he’s the starter. It’s how many touches he gets as a running back. Richt says he wants to involve him more on offense. Gurley had eight of the twenty-nine non-quarterback carries against Buffalo. Assuming that Georgia runs a similar number of plays in Columbia, who does Richt take those carries from? Marshall led the way last week with ten. Before you say Malcome or Samuel, remember that Gurley looked like a true freshman last week in pass protection.
- Tyler has a summary of Missouri’s offensive scheme here. All I could think of as I read it was, “boy, it sure would be nice to have Ogletree back this week.”
- More on that offense here. It really is different from what Georgia has seen. (Interesting that Franklin took something away from Zordich’s performance in Georgia’s opener. The Dawgs’ front needs to do a better job of maintaining lane integrity this week, that’s for sure.)
- I’m sure Faurot Field will be a noisy, crazy place Saturday night, but I’m not sure that’s going to make as much of a difference as Missouri fans hope. It’s not as if the Dawgs haven’t played in big, loud, hostile environments before. And as David Ching points out, they’ve done the regular season travel thing, too. Call it Damon’s legacy.
- Call it the battle of the beat-up offensive lines: Missouri may be looking at a former walk-on and a true freshman starting. Which o-line can hold up better against what should be two above-average to excellent defensive lines may be the key to the game.
- If there’s a size issue on Missouri’s defense, it’s not on the line. It’s at linebacker. The Tigers also have questions at safety. All of which makes me miss Orson. How much Lynch and Rome stay in to block and how much they’re deployed in the passing game will be interesting to watch.
- Marcus Murphy busted two big punt returns for touchdowns in Missouri’s opener. How much will that affect Richt’s approach to the punting game?
- Neither team turned the ball over last week. Georgia didn’t force a turnover, while Mizzou wound up +4 in turnover margin. Don’t think it’ll play out like that Saturday night.