The Missouri Tigers head to Athens, Georgia this week for what could possibly be the biggest game for the Missouri program in several years. Mizzou, who sits at 25 in the AP poll, will have a tough matchup against Georgia, who is ranked 7th. Today’s opponent scouting report will be broken down in four sections:
Quarterback: Aaron Murray- Aaron Murray is quite possibly the best quarterback in the SEC. Murray, after last week, now holds the record for most passing yards ever by an SEC quarterback. That says a lot about Murray’s talent level, because there have been some star quarterbacks in the SEC. It also says a lot about his receiving corps. Murray has always had excellent receivers to throw to, and it has paid off. This season, Murray has thrown for 1534 yards, 14 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. Missouri’s secondary will have a very tough time against this Georgia passing offense.
Running Back: JJ Green- Who? You expected to see Todd Gurley’s name, didn’t you? Well, Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt said this week, that Gurley is ‘doubtful’ against Missouri on Saturday. JJ Green is a true freshman, who played well last week, rushing for 129 yards on 17 carries. Green, at 5-foot-9 and 183 pounds, could be pesky for Missouri’s defense, who already has to contend with Aaron Murray.
Defense: The Georgia defense is not exactly the overpowering, crush the opponent defense that you would expect from an SEC team. With 32.2 points allowed per game, the Bulldog defense sits at 95th in the nation. The Bulldogs have only given up less than 30 points once this season, which was against North Texas. Should James Franklin make smart decisions, the Missouri offense can put up a lot of points on this Georgia defense.
X-Factor-Crowd: Playing “Between the Hedges” in Athens, Georgia is never easy, especially when a top-25 team comes into town. The Georgia crowd is going to be raucous Saturday afternoon, making it very difficult for James Franklin and the Missouri offense to call audibles, hear the snap count, etc.
Recap: Georgia will be severely damaged without their star RB Gurley, so it will be up to Aaron Murray and the passing game to beat Missouri. Should Missouri play good pass defense, the Georgia offense may have to rely much more heavily on freshman JJ Green than they would like. Missouri should be able to capitalize on the Georgia defense with James Franklin, his excellent receiving corps, and the RB trio of Josey, Hansbrough, and Murphy.
Prediction: Missouri comes away with the win between the hedges in a shootout, 42-35.