Week 7: Georgia at Missouri

    Georgia (4-1) at Missouri (4-1) Oct. 11, 12:00, CBS Here’s The Deal: Is this for the SEC East title? South Carolina is all but done, Vanderbilt went

    October 7, 2014

    Georgia (4-1) at Missouri (4-1) Oct. 11, 12:00, CBS

    Here’s The Deal: Is this for the SEC East title? South Carolina is all but done, Vanderbilt went bye-bye long ago, Tennessee is a year away for the ninth year in a row, Florida has no offense, and Kentucky is, well, Kentucky – it’s good, but it’s still Kentucky.

    Last season, even though Georgia was banged up and bruised, this was still the moment when Missouri announced that it was going to be a major factor in the SEC race, going to Athens and coming away with a decisive 41-26 win. This year’s version isn’t as good, it isn’t as explosive, and it isn’t nearly as deep, but with a stunning last few minutes in a 21-20 comeback win over South Carolina, the loss to Indiana didn’t matter and there’s a chance to own the division with a trip to Florida next week and home dates with Vanderbilt and Kentucky to follow. It also helps to miss both Mississippi schools and both Alabama schools from the West.

    South Carolina’s third SEC loss meant that its win over Georgia was relatively insignificant. The Bulldogs have a huge margin for error now, but this start a run of four straight games away from home, and with Auburn to great them when they come back. They have to get the passing attack going, but the ground game is among the best in the nation. This isn’t a perfect team by any stretch, but, like Mizzou, missing both Mississippi teams is a plus on an interesting remaining schedule for any team with dreams of getting into the College Football Playoff.

    This is just the fourth time the two teams have met with Georgia winning the first two, starting with a 14-0 win in the 1959 Orange Bowl.

    Why Georgia Might Win: Can Missouri stop the run? Sort of. It teed off on South Carolina and did a great job of keeping the game close with a great defensive effort, but Indiana’s Tevin Coleman ran amok in the Tiger defensive backfield and Toledo was able to come up with several big plays. The Tiger line is great at getting into the backfield, and it held up with the Gamecocks tried smacking it in the mouth, but Georgia’s running game is rolling through everyone. The South Carolina game was the only time the team was under 220 yards – and that was the lone loss. Missouri’s one loss came when Indiana became the only team to run for over 154, taking off for 241.

    Why Missouri Might Win: The Tiger defensive front is absolutely destroying teams. Shane Ray already has seven sacks and Markus Golden has four, with the two helping the team and defense that came up with four sacks and nine tackles for loss against South Carolina. The Georgia O line has been fantastic in pass protection and doesn’t give up too many plays behind the line, but it hasn’t seen anyone who can dial up the pressure like the Tigers can in key moments. Georgia doesn’t want to throw too much, but when it does …

    Who To Watch Out For: Hutson Mason has to be terrific. Todd Gurley only ran for 65 yards and a score in the 2012 win, and he missed last year’s game, but it’s Mason who needed to be the difference maker. Solid so far, he threw two picks against Tennessee and gave up one last week against Vanderbilt, but he hasn’t been shaky – he’s done what he has needed to do connecting on almost 70% of his throws and not forcing things that aren’t there. However, if Mizzou’s run defense is able to keep No. 3 in check, this will be Mason’s big moment. Last year, Aaron Murray threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns, but it was his only two interception game of the year.

    What’s Going To Happen: Mizzou will make it two in a row, but it won’t be pretty. Gurley will be bottled up just enough to force Mason to try moving the offense, but it’ll be Maty Mauk who comes up with the two really, really big pass plays in key moments to pull the Tigers out of the first for the second game in a row.

    Prediction: Missouri 27 … Georgia 23
    Line: Georgia -3 o/u: 52
    Must Watch Factor: 5: Last Week Tonight – 1: Bad Judge … 4

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