October 11, 2013

Gameplan Predictions


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Missouri offense vs. Georgia defense

Missouri is going to do what it does best on offense. The Tigers will spread Georgia out and make the Bulldogs defense the entire field while also making them defend all six skill players. Expect a lot of balance from the Tigers. If Mizzou can get the run game going early, it would create some short yardage situations where the Tigers can mix it up and possibly go for the big play. If the ground game isn't fully clicking right away, the Tigers can always turn to their perimeter screen game to function as a run game until Georgia is worn down a bit. Regardless of whether or not the Tigers can have success running the football, they will take their shots down field to wide receivers Doral Green-Beckham and L'Damian Washington. Gary Pinkel has the weapons to take the top off of the defense and you can bet he will test Georgia's young secondary early with those big, fast wideouts.

Missouri defense vs. Georgia offense

It is no secret that Georgia will be missing some of its top weapons against the Tigers, so expect Mizzou to take some chances on defense in Sanford Stadium. Georgia has been very good at home in recent years and with Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell out, the Tigers could decide to make Georgia beat them deep. Expect tight man coverage early with the cornerbacks pressing on the receivers. The Tigers will look to put Aaron Murray and company into some long yardage situations where the senior signal-caller is more likely to make a mistake. By forcing Georgia to show a new deep threat, the Tigers will also be able to play the run on the way to the quarterback. Mizzou will already have the men in the box necessary to have the numbers advantage and that could make it tough for the Bulldogs to get going on the ground.

Georgia defense vs. Missouri offense

Georgia's front seven has been playing solid football, so expect the Bulldogs to unleash that group on early downs to create some long yardage situations. Georgia had some success in 2012 against the Tigers with bringing stunts and pressure on the inside, and that could be the formula again as James Franklin loves throwing the ball to the middle of the field. If Georgia's defensive backfield can play and maintain proper leverage on the Tiger receivers, then the interior pressure by the Bulldogs should result in some negative plays for the Tigers. The big thing for Georgia will be tackling. There have been some solid efforts by UGA in 2013 when it comes to bringing down the ball carrier, but there have also been some major struggles. If Georgia is tackling well, that should limit Mizzou's rushing attack and screen game, and that would turn James Franklin into a pocket passer. If that happens, Georgia has put itself in a position to mix up blitzes and coverages to confuse that star quarterback. If Georgia can't limit the screen and run game, then Franklin and company will be much tougher to contain.

Georgia offense vs. Missouri defense

This is the most intriguing matchup of the day. Missouri is very similar to Georgia in that its front seven has played well this season but the back end has really struggled. Georgia has one of the best passing attacks in the conference, and Mizzou has struggled mightily to stop the pass. With that said, Murray is missing a lot of weapons in this one and some guys will have to emerge for Georgia to be successful. Expect to see Georgia takes some shots early on with Chris Conley, Rantavious Wooten, and Reggie Davis down the field. You can bank on this if Mizzou is showing a great deal of press coverage. Georgia has the players to stretch the field, but there is a chance they will have to establish that homerun threat forcing the Tigers to adjust. If Georgia is able to stretch the defense and hit a big play or two, Mizzou will have to mix up coverages more and become less aggressive. That will play into Georgia's hand because Mike Bobo will then be able to turn to the run game and attack with balance. Georgia is tough to stop when both the run and the pass game are clicking.

Prediction

Missouri will roll into Athens with a talented offense and one of the best defensive end duos in the country in Kony Ealy and Michael Sam. The Tigers are undefeated for a reason. Pinkel's crew has been rock solid early in the season in terms of balance and turnover margin. Mizzou is healthy, led by a senior quarterback, and looking for that signature SEC victory. There are a number of factors that make one thing the Tigers could pull off the upset in Athens on Saturday. With that said, Georgia has a couple of things in its favor as well. Murray is playing the best football of his decorated career at Georgia, and the game will be played in the friendly confines of Sanford Stadium where the Bulldogs have been tough to beat in recent years. Expect a fairly quick start for both offenses before the defenses settle in. A tight game is almost inevitable with this Georgia team, so both fan bases should be on the edge of their seats throughout. Many believe this one will be a shootout from the opening kickoff, but expect both offenses to start a little slower than expected. Both teams get their balanced attacks going in the second quarter with the team making the better adjustments at halftime proving to be the winner. We say that team will be Georgia as the Bulldogs get the ground game going in the third quarter with Murray and play action being the difference in the fourth. It will be a slugfest, but Georgia prevails. Georgia 37 Missouri 34

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