Missouri plays Georgia this week.
Just remember: you don’t have to watch if you don’t want to. Self care is important and if watching your favorite college football team get batted around for 60 minutes doesn’t sound appealing...yeah, I get it. Go do something fun.
However, as I’ve said multiple times, even the best college football teams and players are inconsistent at times, and maybe this is the week something weird happens and your favorite football team could win! Maybe? I don’t know!
Here’s the preview I did on Georgia in May. Georgia is one of the best teams in the country and just had a super down week where they got scared by a MAC program and won by 10 anyway.
So, for fun, let’s look at the key factors that could maybe possibly POTENTIALLY lead Missouri to an upset of the defending national champions.
When Missouri Has the Ball
This is what a Top 3 recruiting team defense looks like. And not only are they talented but they have some tremendous defensive minds calling their plays as well. Must be nice.
Perusing Georgia’s defensive advanced stats rankings is an exercise in watching elite people being elite. However, one of red-tinted warning lights in the sea of green competence is that they are allowing a 41.5% success rate in passing defense, 81st in the country. Now, Auburn was also more susceptible to the pass and Drinkwitz insisted on running the ball 34 times so I understand the futility in this concept. However, if Drink does focus on the passing game and maintain a 42% success rate through the air then they should be reliably moving the ball down the field.
The other things that stands out in the Iron Curtain of Georgia’s defense: explosive plays. Specifically, Georgia is 40th in giving up explosive plays on the ground and 70th in giving up explosive plays in passing downs. Kent State was able to capitalize on this by throwing a thousand screens to bypass the dynamic front 7 and get their elite speed guys outside and hope to win a few 1-on-1 battles (which they did). The Tigers should shoot to notch at least 7 explosive plays in order to have a chance against Georgia’s D.
Finish your dang drives
You can’t beat Georgia with field goals, flat out, and Mevis is pretending to be mortal for the past few weeks. If you want to beat the champs you need to be aggressive and make the most of every opportunity you get. Assuming that Missouri will only manufacture 4-5 scoring opportunities this week, they must average 6.5 points per opportunity.
When Georgia Has the Ball
The most annoying thing about Georgia is that, not only do they bring in the best recruiting classes every year, but they also absolutely nail their evaluations of 2- and 3-star talent and those dudes become just as good at their 4- and 5-star brethren. Stop it, you jerks!
Cloud the Passing Lanes
Georgia is one of the Top 5 offenses in the country according to SP+. Surprised? Hold on, you haven’t heard anything yet. Georgia’s offense is focused around the quick passing game, sitting at 1,224 yards passing so far this year to only 525 yards on the ground to date. They have the athletes to do almost anything they want and, apparently, Todd Monken has the ‘Dawgs clicking through the air over the ground. Missouri’s secondary hasn’t really been tested much through the air but currently ranks 12th against the pass and 13th in passing down situations. That will have to hold and Missouri should aim to finish with a 35% success rate or lower against the pass.
Along the lines listed above: Georgia is excellent against the blitz and keeping Stetson Bennett upright and doesn’t turn the ball over. That has to change. Blake Baker and his resurgent Missouri defense need to keep the aggression, create pressure, knock down passes, and generate some turnovers to give their offense a chance. A 35% havoc rate at a minimum is needed to win the day.
Missouri can win but it’s going to have to max out the few skills they have while Georgia absolutely no-shows and freaks-out on the road. Can it happen? Yes. Will it? See above.