The Missouri Tigers (4-2, 1-2) will travel to face the suddenly struggling Georgia Bulldogs (4-2, 2-2), who have fallen out of the top 25, in a SEC East battle Saturday night. Georgia has won two of the last three meetings, including a 34-0 whitewash on the road on October 11, 2014 as a 3 point favorite in the most recent matchup.
Missouri was handled at home by #11 Florida by a 21-3 score last week. Georgia had their chances but dropped their second straight with a 38-31 road loss to Tennessee. This game kicks off at 7:30 pm ET from Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia and will be televised nationally on the SEC Network. The current odds show Georgia as a 14.5 point favorite with the over/under set at 44 points.
Free Pick on the Missouri Tigers +14.5 (if playing straight up, take Georgia)
Missouri found themselves in a 14-3 hole in the first quarter and never bounced back; as a matter of fact, they never found the end zone. The Tigers were outgained 337-257 in the contest and committed the only two turnovers of the contest. One of those turnovers was a pick six in the third quarter that closed out the scoring. Missouri gave up 23 first downs while having only 12 of their own and allowed the Gators to dominate the time of possession battle by a margin of 37:53 to 22:07 in the contest. Maty Mauk continues to be suspended and there is no indication when, or if, he will return to the program.
The Tigers are 92nd in the nation in passing offense (194.3 yards per game) and 116th in rushing with an average of 114.5 yards per contest. Missouri is scoring only 18 points a game but they are 9th in scoring defense as they allow 13.5 points per contest. Mauk has hit 51.8 percent of his throws for 654 yards with six touchdowns and four picks while adding 135 yards and a score on the ground. Lock is hitting 56.5 percent of his throws for 512 yards with three touchdowns and three picks. Ish Witter leads the Tigers with 80 carries for 318 yards and a score as he’s filling in for the injured Russell Hansbrough, who has 33 carries for 166 yards. Nate Brown leads the Tigers with 18 receptions for 200 yards and four scores while J’Mon Brown has 16 grabs for 205 yards and two touchdowns; Sean Culkin chips in 12 catches for 101 yards and a score. Andrew Baggett has hit all 12 extra point attempts and eight of 10 field goals this season.
Georgia has given up 76 points in the last two games after allowing 54 in their four victories to start the year. The Bulldogs were outgained 519-444 in the game, watched Tennessee win the first down battle 26-15 and allowed the Volunteers to control time of possession by holding the ball 34:03 to Georgia’s 25:57. Georgia scored on a fumble return and a punt return in the contest but, down by seven late in the game, Reggie Davis dropped a sure touchdown pass that would have tied the score. Georgia’s final drive fell short and they were left lamenting what should have been.
The Bulldogs stand 77th in the nation in passing offense (219.8 yards) and 15th in rushing offense (231.5 yards) per game on the year. Georgia is scoring an average of 37 points per game while they are tied for 45th in scoring defense as they allow 21.7 points per contest. Greyson Lambert has completed 77 of 124 passes for 1,098 yards with nine touchdowns and an interception. Brice Ramsey (16 of 26, 221 yards, TD, 2 INT) is next in line should Mark Richt decide to make a change. Nick Chubb leads the Bulldogs with 92 carries for 747 yards and seven scores but he’s done for the year after suffering a knee injury. That means Sony Michel (63 carries, 421 yards, 4 TD, 12 catches, 174 yards, 3 TD) and Keith Marshall (28 carries, 155 yards, 3 TD) will be leaned on heavily in Chubb’s absence. Malcolm Mitchell is the team’s leading receiver with 28 receptions for 456 yards and four touchdowns; Davis (181 yards, TD) and Terry Godwin (125 yards) each have 11 catches. Marshall Morgan has connected on all 29 extra points but is six of nine on field goals.
Missouri is 5-0 ATS in their last five after a double digit loss at home, 5-1 ATS in their last six after being held under 20 points and 11-3 ATS in their last 14 on the road. Georgia is 2-6 ATS in their last eight in October, 1-4 ATS in their last five in October and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 after allowing at least 280 yards through the air.
The Bulldogs have struggled to come up with key plays on both sides of the ball. They’ll be pressed now with the loss of Chubb to find a way to keep things from going sideways. Missouri has struggled offensively all year long and that will be an issue once again here but it’s tough to give two plus touchdowns with Georgia giving up big plays and long drives right now. If you’re playing straight up, Georgia gets the call but playing the line Missouri gets the nod.
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