1. Force Georgia to be one dimensional on offense
We saw Missouri’s defense get essentially torched by the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue’s quarterback, David Blough, threw for 572 yards (a Purdue single-game high record) and three touchdowns. The defensive game plan seemed to revolve heavily around man coverage, at least early before Missouri went to a zone later in the game — and Purdue subsequently found openings underneath.
A big question is whether Missouri will switch their coverages up against Georgia. If matching up against Purdue’s talent in a man-to-man defense was an issue than I expect it to only be worse against Georgia. The Bulldogs boast a better quarterback in Jake Fromm, better offensive line, and far better receiver options, like Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin. If the Tigers elect to play a similar man to man coverage with little help over top the Georgia receivers will have a field day. The pass rush for this Missouri team will need to step up big time to make coverage responsibilities for both the linebackers and defensive backs easier. If the Tigers can force Georgia to run the ball and keep it a low-possession game then it will limit Georgia’s opportunities to score.
The one thing the Tigers can’t allow is for Georgia to become comfortable in both the pass and run.
2. Drew Lock needs to have a great game and it’s up to the offensive line to put him in a position to succeed.
Against Purdue, Drew Lock played a great game.
One thing that came as a surprise was the lack of pass protection at some moments during the Purdue game. Georgia will be far more talented on defense than Purdue. If Missouri wants to win it will need big plays. Lock’s hot start to the season has been greatly helped by his ability to make big plays to wide receivers Emmanuel Hall and Jalen Knox. Georgia’s front seven is more talented (although it only has one sack so far), and Lock may have trouble hitting those big plays we’re accustomed to him making.
The Georgia defense has allowed only two plays greater than 20 yards, compared to other powers like Alabama and Ohio State which have allowed over ten 20-yard plays. A lot of the Missouri offense this year is predicated on that big pass.
For Missouri to put points up on this Georgia defense they are going to need big plays from Emanuel Hall and Larry Rountree.