The no. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (8-0, 6-0 SEC) take on the Missouri Tigers (4-4, 1-3 SEC) Saturday at noon ET in Athens, Ga. The game will air on ESPN as the Bulldogs enter this game with the SEC East clinched for the 4th time in the last 5 seasons following Georgia’s 6th SEC win over Florida and with Kentucky’s last week’s loss to Mississippi State.
Georgia’s top-ranked rushing defense will be put to the test again as Missouri’s lead back Tyler Badie currently leads the SEC in rushing yards and touchdowns with 989 yards and 11 touchdowns. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart mentioned, “He’s got great vision and ultimate toughness. He’s a really good receiver out of the backfield but his ability to run the outside zone play is as good as I’ve ever seen.” The defense is coming off holding Florida’s top-ranked rushing offense to just 4.1 yards-per-carry which would be their worst output of the season so far.
Missouri starting quarterback Connor Bazelak who sits fourth in the SEC in passing yards is listed as questionable after suffering an injury in Missouri’s win against Vanderbilt last week. Freshman Tyler Macon entered the game for the injured Bazelak and took the team’s final snaps. If Bazelak is unable to play, Macon is likely to see Missouri’s quarterback duties and was compared to Florida’s Anthony Richardson by Kirby Smart. Smart described Macon as being, “An athlete with a really strong arm that they could do some different things with.”
The Tiger’s currently hold the nation’s worst run-defense as their opponents are averaging 283 rushing yards per-game. Look for the Bulldogs to continue to establish the run-game early as Georgia lead back Zamir White is coming off his first game going over the 100-yard mark this season.
There is still no answer as to who will start at quarterback for the Bulldog’s with JT Daniels out with a Lat injury. Stetson Bennett is coming off his worst game as a starter in a 34-7 win over Florida in which he threw for 161-yards and a touchdown to go along with his 2 interceptions. Head coach Kirby Smart has not given a definitive answer as to who will be the starter moving forward by only mentioning, “Both quarterbacks have looked good in practice.” The Bulldogs currently sit 6th in the country in passing efficiency regardless of who has played quarterback and look to see increased productivity from injured wide receivers Kearis Jackson and Arian Smith this week. Jackson caught his first touchdown of the season last week while Smith looks to return to action for the first time since the UAB game after dealing with a shin injury.
Georgia is 9-1 all time vs. Missouri and look to improve to an SEC best 9-0 as they currently sit as a 38-point favorite.