Are your Georgia Bulldogs preparing to take on a sneaky good opponent while looking to avoid a post-Cocktail Party letdown? Then you could probably use a drink. I can help you with that.
There are things about the Missouri Tigers that do not worry me. The Tiger defense for example, which currently ranks 9th in the SEC in scoring defense at 23.3 points per game (though that number is skewed a bit by the 49 they gave up to LSU). I’m not worried about losing the penalty count. The Tigers are the fourth most penalized team in the SEC.
There are however some things I am a little concerned about. You know how the ‘Dawgs haven’t done a great job getting touchdowns in the red zone in 2023? Missouri is actually third in the SEC in red zone defense behind only Alabama and, somehow, Auburn. Mizzou is also third in the SEC in sacks allowed at only 1.68 per game. And the Fightin’ Drinkwitzes are tied with Tennessee and Alabama for 5th in the SEC in turnover margin (UGA is 8th). In short, Missouri does some things well that keep you in football games against good football teams.
But what am I most worried about? Weirdly it’s not Luther Burden. Sure the Tigers’ leading receiver has 905 yards on 61 catches, second in the SEC behind LSU’s Malik Nabers. But I think Georgia will find a way to limit (though not eliminate) his impact. No, I’m worried about the visitors’ second and third leading receivers, Theo Wease (440 yards on 36 catches) and Mookie Cooper (28 catches for 359 yards). Wease in particular has produced 5 touchdowns, one every 7.2 times he touches the ball.
Having three receivers capable of gashing the Bulldog defense is a problem because it increases the odds of at least one bad matchup for a secondary that has uncharacteristically given up some big plays this year.
And what’s the drink for the game where you’re worried about not one but two opposing receivers people aren’t talking about? A Double Jeopardy IPA. It’s by Atlanta’s Scofflaw Brewery, and at 10% ABV it provides a potent, citrusy punch. If the Bulldogs scheme up a way to lock down the Mizzou passing attack you’ll want one to celebrate. If they don’t, well, you may need three. Until later…