The SEC has its share of short-sighted things that it does - one of the highest on my list is the fact that not only is Mizzou in the conference, but the Eastern Division.
If logic existed in the SEC office, a simple Auburn for Mizzou swap would fix a lot of issues. Until sane thinking prevails, however, Georgia has an every other year trip to Columbia, Mo., the next of which is Saturday.
In all honesty, this game is not as daunting as it seemed two weeks ago. The noon kickoff changes a bit of that, taking away the potential for an amped up crowd at night. Seeing Purdue run up all sorts of yards on the Tigers a week ago helps, as well.
That’s not to say Mizzou is not a handful. Here are three keys to a Georgia win.
Contain the tight end
Ok, everyone knows what Drew Lock can do with the deep ball. For goodness sakes, you saw it first-hand if you were there for last year’s meeting in Athens. The x-factor here is defending Mizzou’s tight ends. A lot has been made of Georgia’s ability to replace Davin Bellamy and Roquan Smith from last year’s team. If Georgia’s position players here play a solid game, it takes away that part of the field, allowing the Bulldogs to push the Tigers passing attack to the edge.
Ground and Pound
Georgia needs to control the game from the start, and that’ll begin in the trenches. The best way to lull the home crowd back into a slumber that’ll be in place for an 11 am local kickoff? Eat up time and yards. In all honesty, this is a game that’s taylor-made for Holyfield, Swift and company to have a highlight day with Fromm keeping things off-balance as well.
Press & Lock
Much has been made of Georgia’s lack of pass-rush so far this season. It’s worth noting that part of that is a result of quick-step drops the past two games and a run-first Austin Peay opener. Still, based on what was seen a year ago, you’d like for Georgia to get something going on Saturday to either pressure/sack luck or at a minimum, force sacks due to coverage downfield. Few things can toss a pass-happy team off-balance like a quarterback scrambling around and being sacks or forced into turnovers. If Georgia does that - it’s chances of winning go up on Saturday.