Chip Towers asserts that in the rescheduled game, Georgia will face a “very different” Missouri team, but somehow, I don’t think this is what he means.
Look, Mizzou is 5-3, ranked, on a three-game winning streak and a lock to finish no worse than third in the division. That’s not nothing. That streak, though, consists of a narrow win over South Carolina, a beatdown of Vanderbilt and a game against Arkansas that literally came down to last team with the ball wins.
Georgia averages more points per game than Missouri. It gives up fewer points per game than does Missouri. The Dawgs’ net yards per play is higher than the Tigers’. Missouri’s turnover margin is worse than Georgia’s, to boot. And, to repeat myself, Missouri’s stats, unlike Georgia’s, have the benefit of a game against Vanderbilt.
All of which isn’t to say there aren’t a few concerns for me.
- It’s a noon start (11AM local time) and the weather, to put it mildly, isn’t going to be friendly. Do I worry about the Dawgs coming out of the gate slowly? The thought has crossed my mind, yes.
- I really, really like Larry Rountree’s game. He’s a senior who’s fourth in the conference in rushing yards per game. He’s a smart, tough runner who’s got a little burst to his game. His backup, Tyler Badie, is a nice compliment, too. Georgia’s done a good job shutting down the run all season, but I’d feel better if Jordan Davis could contribute.
- Connor Bazelak’s done a nice job for them at quarterback. He’s completing almost 70% of his pass attempts and was money in the winning drive against Arkansas. That being said, his passer rating is a meh 139.41, mainly because he’s averaging only 7.8 yards per attempt. That doesn’t speak well as to Mizzou’s deep passing game, which is a good thing. On the other hand, what it does say is that Missouri’s passing attack is prepared to dink and dunk you to death. I do worry about Georgia’s pass defense having problems stopping that. (That being said, Missouri’s third down conversion rate is strictly middle of the pack.)
So, yeah, if the game turns out to be a struggle, I won’t be surprised. For one thing, Missouri’s been about as good limiting big plays as Georgia has been. For another, the Tigers ought to be a confident bunch; winning streaks tend to do that for a team. But it’s also a game I expect Georgia to win. We’ll see.