This is Speaking With The Enemy, in which we exchange questions and answers with the people who know the most about the Bulldogs' upcoming opponent: the writers who cover them on a daily basis. Today's guest is Rock M Nation's Adam Cribbs. Adam graciously agreed to a Q&A exchange earlier this week, then patiently waited for his answers to be published while Athens burned and Bulldog fans from Lakeland to Clayton began searching every henhouse, outhouse, and dog house for a former sports memorabilia dealer from north Georgia with a proclivity for emailing business proposals.
Despite all that's gone on in the past couple of days, there's still football to be played in Columbia, Missouri. And Adam has the answers you need before kickoff.
MaconDawg: Maty Mauk appears to have been a bit inconsistent the season. What would you say the general trend in his performance is: upward? Downward? Sideways on a moped?
Adam: Maty's personal performance has been tough to gauge as he's dealt with a lot of inconsistency around him aside from his own inefficiencies. The receivers have been impressive when they're actually on the field, but Jimmie Hunt and Darius White being gone last week had a LOT to do with his poor performance. If everyone around him can stay healthy, I think he can get back to his gunslingin', moped drivin', game winnin' ways.
MaconDawg: Missouri also sustained some losses on defense coming into the season. How has this unit done in making up for those losses?
Adam: The national media for some reason hasn't wanted to give the Mizzou defense much credit for what they've done this season, but unless I'm just a complete idiot/homer, they've been pretty impressive. The young guys at linebacker and in the secondary are starting to come around, evidenced by more consistent play from Aarion Penton and Mike Scherer. The D-line has been pretty monstrous again this season, especially in pass rushing situations with Golden and Ray being everything we wanted and more. The run defense hasn't been as impressive as the pass defense, but it wasn't last year either if you watch the SEC Championship game (HRRNNNNGGGGGG).
MaconDawg: If Missouri needs to score late for a come-from-behind win, who's getting the ball?
Adam: Maty Mauk to Bud Sasser. Mauk is the guy we want to have the ball in a pressure situation, and he sure likes throwing it to Sasser. I'll address this more in the next question.
MaconDawg: What is the current status of the Missouri receiving course? Is it just Bud Sasser and a bunch of guys?
Adam: Mizzou's receivers have been more than solid this season when they're all on the field. Sasser has been Mauk's go-to guy, and he's earned the title of Mizzou's best receiver so far this year. Darius White is the speedster that just seems to score touchdowns every time he catches the ball, but he doesn't seem to catch the ball all that often. Jimmie Hunt is a consistent #2 (even though he had a bad case of the drops earlier in the season) and also has the speed to stretch the field. Getting those two guys back will be a big boost to the Tiger offense this week.
MaconDawg: So this crap storm at Kansas… You got to be enjoying that right?
Adam: Gonna miss this. http://i.minus.com/ibqOiyIkkngrxa.gif
MaconDawg: Finally, give us your score prediction. As always, feel free to couch it in terms of if/then statements.
Adam: Well because I finally got around to answering these AFTER a certain RB from your team got suspended (which I understand is a bummer for you guys, but is a huge OMG NO WAY moment for us), I'm gonna say Mizzou 31, Georgia 24. Mason is gonna have a lot of pressure to win and a lot of pressure in the backfield from Ray and Golden, so I just don't know if I've seen enough from him to trust that he can go on the road in a big game and manufacture a win. If Gurley were playing this week, I'd probably give a slight lean to UGA, something like UGA 38, MU 31. I just hope Chubb isn't as good as a lot of you guys are saying.
Thanks to Adam for answering our questions. If you're looking for more previewy goodness, don't forget to check out the live game chat we did with Rock M Nation's Fullback U earlier this week. Until later . . .