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Georgia/Missouri First Half Open Thread.

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Mike Zarrilli

It's finally and mercifully time to play some football. After a couple of days of monumental distractions it will be interesting to see how Mark Richt's team responds to having their permanent team captain, the guy responsible for 40% of their offensive output, and the guy who gives them the best shot to keep the Missouri offense off the field out for this weekend and who knows how much longer.

Since Gurley was practicing with the team as recently as Wednesday we can assume one of two things: either a) Mike Bobo knew about Gurley's plight before then and is a monumental, Francis Marion-style strategist, or b) the Georgia offense is going to look like it normally would, only with Nick Chubb where Todd Gurley would be 80% of the time.

I'm going with B. I have a lot of confidence in Nick Chubb, but he is still a freshman. And as we saw with Brendan Douglas against Missouri last season, freshmen gonna freshman. I think Georgia absolutely has to have big plays out of the defense and special terams to pull this one out. Luckily, both units have produced just that sort of play this season, albeit not as consistently as we would like.

It also wouldn't hurt to have some help from Missouri QB Maty Mauk. Mauk reminds me of Aaron Murray a little when he took over the reins at Georgia. A phenomenal passer who due to youth and inexperience will make one or two throws a game that cause coaches to pull their hair out. When he makes those throws this afternoon. Georgia must make him pay for them. If that doesn't happen, I fully expect a loss and a lot of questions about how we'll come back next week against Arkansas, which I believe to be a better football team than these Tigers. In other words, and you already knew this, this one is a true must win. Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!