The No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs sit at 7-1 and in the thick of the College Football Playoff discussion after beating Florida. Next up is a 5-3 Mizzou team that has been awful on the road in 2019.
Here are the three keys.
By Steve Wright
Make Kelly Bryant move
It is not 100% certain that QB Kelly Bryant will even be available in this game. The Clemson transfer hurt his hamstring in the Tigers last game – the loss to Kentucky – pulling the muscle in the first quarter before limping out of the game in the third. He has had a bye week to rest the injury, but as of early in the week he was questionable at best to be in the lineup.
Bryant is a dual-threat quarterback so normally keeping him contained would be key. Instead, Georgia needs to realize that a bad hamstring issue doesn’t go away in a week, and try to make
Bryant beat them with his legs. With Bryant at half-speed, the Bulldogs defense should eat him up on the outside.
Protect the ball
The Bulldogs only loss this season was the four turnover disaster against South Carolina. That is a South Carolina team that Mizzou beat handily earlier in the year. The scars from that loss linger, with Georgia not looking cohesive in warm-up and failing to get anything going on offense for pretty much the whole game.
Missouri isn’t good enough to beat Georgia without big mistakes from the Bulldogs. If the focus is there – and the ball security is where it should be – then Georgia wins this game by a couple of scores at least.
Play this game in Athens
It seems weird to use a location as a key but the difference between Mizzou on the road and the Tigers in Columbia has been dramatic this season. While they haven’t beaten any big names at home, Mizzou looked comfortable in defeating like likes of South Carolina and Ole Miss. The contrast is that away from home – where they seem to forget how to play football – Missouri has lost to Wyoming, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky.
Five wins out of five at home. Three losses out of three on the road. Sometimes a pattern forms that just can’t be ignored.