Missouri Football: Can the Tigers be a thorn in the Bulldogs’ side?

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 17: Ian Simon
ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 17: Ian Simon /

The Missouri Tigers play their second road game of the season at Georgia. The season has been tough sledding for the Tigers. Can they manage an upset? Probably not.

An upset would be special against the undefeated Georgia Bulldogs, but the way their season has gone so far, would be as likely as me hitting the Mega Millions jackpot.

Last week against Kentucky, the Tigers played their best game of the season against an FBS and conference opponent. Against South Carolina, Mizzou started the game strong, but once the Gamecocks got on the board, the Tigers all but gave up.

In order for Missouri to even consider the possibility of beating Georgia, the Tigers would have to play a mistake-free game. That means having their best game through the air, running the ball as effectively as they did at Kentucky, shutting down the ‘Dawgs’ run game, and committing as few penalties as possible.

Missouri Tigers Football
Missouri Tigers Football /

Missouri Tigers Football

Missouri might be able to semi-accomplish a few of those tasks, but since the Tigers are still a growing team, executing such a game plan effectively, would be uncharacteristic of Mizzou.

If I’m playing devil’s advocate, which I don’t enjoy doing, then let’s just call this the weekend of upsets.

The timing for an upset is right; the college football season is at the halfway point, and this is the time of year when upsets occur. The defending national champs lost to Syracuse last night, after all.

A Georgia team is more beatable than a Nick Saban coached Alabama team. In order for the Tigers to at least be a pain in the rear to the Bulldogs, they would have to limit Georgia’s running game.

Limiting the Bulldogs on the ground is no small task, but an aggressive defensive front could at least put pressure on the quarterback in passing situations, which would encourage more rushing plays.

Missouri’s defensive secondary is not winning the Tigers any popularity contests, but if they can manage to at least look like they belong on a collegiate field, then maybe looks can deceive Georgia. Defensive back Terez Hall played well a week ago, after all.

On offense, the Tigers must make better use of their tight ends. The big flashy plays are great, when used sparingly and appropriately. Missouri has a few wide receivers who are coming along, and look good on paper, but when every passing down is a deep route, that can get the Tigers in trouble.

A good mix of short, mid, and long passes would be most beneficial to the Tigers in this game, as well as a good dose of ground attack from Damarea Crockett, and I’m going to say it, Ish Witter. Last week against Kentucky, Witter was phenomenal, even for his ‘best game’ standards.

Next: Previewing Missouri's on the road at Georgia

Finally, Josh Heupel’s playcalling needs to be less predictable for Missouri. If the Tigers were to follow a similar game plan to what my amateur brain thinks would work, then perhaps the Tigers could manage a game to an unlikely upset, if not be a pain in the butt to Georgia.