No. 1 Georgia visits reeling Missouri
(AP) - Top-ranked Georgia heads to Missouri on Saturday to face the Tigers in its second true road game of the season. The Bulldogs are coming off an underwhelming 39-22 victory over Kent State last week. Missouri is coming off a brutal loss at Auburn, where running back Nathaniel Peat fumbled the ball while reaching for the pylon and what would have been the winning score in overtime. Instead, the Tigers were saddled with a 17-14 loss to open Southeastern Conference play.
No. 1 Georgia (4-0, 1-0 SEC) at Missouri (2-2, 0-1), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Line: Georgia by 28, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Georgia leads 10-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Georgia looked vulnerable for the first time all season in a 39-22 victory over Kent State last week, so the Bulldogs will be trying to get back to their dominant ways before the meat of the SEC schedule begins. The Tigers are coming off the most disappointing loss of Eli Drinkwitz’s tenure in Columbia, when running back Nathaniel Peat fumbled the ball while reaching for the pylon and what would have been the winning touchdown in overtime at Auburn.
Georgia is known to sling the ball all over the field, so expect Missouri to plan to stop the pass. And that makes the Bulldogs’ ground game against the Tigers run defense fascinating. Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards have capably replaced NFL-bound running back Zamir White and James Cook, and will be going against a Missouri run defense that held Auburn to 11 yards rushing in the final three quarters and overtime last week.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Georgia: QB Stetson Bennett should have WRs Arian Smith and AD Mitchell back after both missed last week’s game with injuries. That bodes well for the SEC’s third-best pass offense at 350.5 yards per game. Bennett is completing 74% of his throws for 1,224 yards and five touchdowns with one interception to go with four rushing TDs this season.
Missouri: Peat has been the Tigers’ leading rusher with 47 carries for 258 yards and a touchdown. He’ll need to bounce back from his overtime gaffe against Auburn, and get some help from the rest of the Tigers’ running backs, if they have any hope of keeping Bennett and the potent Georgia offense off the field. The Tigers are averaging 4.5 yards per carry as a team.
FACTS & FIGURES
Missouri’s only win in 11 tries against Georgia came in 2013. The largest margin of victory in the series came last year, when the Bulldogs rolled 43-6. The Bulldogs are averaging 42.2 points per game and have outscored their opponents 106-16 in the first half. Bennett needs 261 yards of total offense to pass Mike Bobo for seventh on Georgia’s career list.
Tigers WR Barrett Banister has caught a pass in seven straight games dating to last season. WR Luther Burden already has become the seventh player in school history with TDs on the ground, through the air and on a punt return.
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