Any given Sunday, right?
Well, in this case, I suppose it’s any given Saturday. Regardless, they play the games for a reason. That’s the cliche, right? If ever there was a reason for the saying, it’s this series between Mizzou and Georgia.
Sure, Mizzou is just 1-7 overall in the Tigers’ eight games against the Bulldogs since joining the SEC.
But that record really doesn’t tell the whole story of the drama that’s been involved.
To truly understand the series, you need to take a deeper dive to look at how each of the individual game played out.
- 2012 - Mizzou entered the fourth quarter down just 24-20. They would go on to lose the game by a score of 41-20.
- 2013 - Mizzou pulls off a stunning upset in Athens by a final score of 41-26.
- 2014 - Mizzou laid its biggest egg of the season, never looked competitive and ultimately lost 34-0.
- 2015 - Mizzou is tied 6-6 until 1:44 to play when Georgia kicks a game-winning field goal
- 2016 - Mizzou is leading 27-21 until Georgia converts a 4th & 10 with 1:30 to play for a touchdown. J’Mon Moore fumbles on the Mizzou’s next play from the line of scrimmage and the Bulldogs win the game 28-27.
- 2017 - Mizzou gets shredded 53-28 by a Georgia team that would have won the national title if not for Tua.
- 2018 - Mizzou tries to mount a late comeback, but turns it over on downs while trailing 40-29 with five minutes to play. The Tigers ultimately lose the game 43-29.
I say all of that to say this: Missouri may have lost seven of the eight games against Georgia, but they were competitive more often than not. That may sound like a low bar to clear, but it’s a heck of an accomplishment against one of the five best programs in the country over the last decade.
I, for one, have no reason to believe that won’t be the case once again on Saturday in Athens.
For as good as Georgia is, the Bulldogs’ offense has failed to score more than 30 points in five of their six games against power five opponents. That leaves the door open for opponents to stick close.
It leaves the door open for Mizzou to do exactly what’s done in the past in this series.
Do I expect the Tigers to win this game? Of course not. But I don’t think it’s going to be as one-sided as some seem to believe. Vegas has this game projected with a 48-point over/under. Georgia is currently favored by 16.5 points. That means the smart folks in Nevada have this game projected to finish with a score of approximately 32-16.
That sounds about right to me.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a game that finishes with Mizzou fans feeling more confident than they did coming in, even though it results in a loss. The story has been written before. We’ve seen the Tigers be more competitive than expected in this series in the past.
I think we’ll see much of the same on Saturday. I’m not predicting a win. Those are hard to come by for the Tigers in this series.
But a moral victory? Those seem to be all but secured.