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Missouri Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs Preview and Prediction

Greyson Lambert

Greyson Lambert

Missouri and Georgia are both coming off of their second conference loss. With a win on Saturday, either team can position themselves to still make a run at the SEC East title. Last year Georgia went into Columbia and smashed the Tigers right in the mouth with a 38-0 win. The Tigers got the last laugh though as they once again returned to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. Funny how this football thing plays out sometimes.

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Georgia still has a lot of questions to answer, including how will the offense go forward without Nick Chubb and will Greyson Lambert step up and lead this team. Missouri’s offense has looked putrid at times this year and now will go against a defense that is reeling after back-to-back losses to Alabama and Tennessee.

Can Missouri put together an offensive game plan to help them win or will Georgia’s depth once again help them run the Tigers out of the ball park?

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Missouri at Georgia

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)

TV Channel: SEC TV

Spread: Georgia -16

Three Things to Watch

1.  Who does Missouri turn to on offense?

With Maty Mauk out once again this week, the Tiger offense will run through Drew Lock and that’s not a great thing. Lock is barely completing 57 percent of his passes and has as many interceptions, three, as touchdowns. To go along with the lack of good quarterback play the Tigers only have two rushing touchdowns. Two! We all know you still have to be able to run the ball if you are going to be successful in the SEC. As a unit, the Tigers are averaging 3.4 yards per rush this year. Which means the offensive line isn’t getting any type of push up front. Something has to give if Missouri is going to beat Georgia because scoring nine points as the Tigers did in their game against UConn isn’t going to cut it this week.

2. Sony Michel has to step up this week. And so does Keith Marshall.

I said a couple of weeks ago that I thought Georgia had the deepest set of running backs in the nation and it wasn’t even close. Losing Nick Chubb changes that. A lot. But Georgia is still very talented at the position and those guys have to step up this week. Sony Michel has had a great year so far and will need to be even better with the loss of Chubb. Keith Marshall has quietly sat back and watched both Michel and Chubb run circles on defenses this year but here is his chance to step up and make his presence known. Look for both Marshall and Michel to get lots of carries and help regain momentum for an offense who just lost its best player.

3. Greyson Lambert has to play better.

With Florida losing Will Grier to a season ending suspension, it looks like the SEC East is once again up for grabs. If Georgia can win out, the Bulldogs can get back to Atlanta for the first time since 2012. But that journey starts and ends with Greyson Lambert. Don’t jump off a bridge just yet Georgia fans. Lambert has looked great at times and then again he has looked awful. Good Greyson has to show up and stay there if this Georgia team is going to make it to Atlanta. Georgia doesn’t need Lambert to be perfect. But he has to be better. Lambert didn’t play bad at Tennessee but he has to play better. He is still only completing about 62 percent of his passes. The good thing is he isn’t turning the ball over. As long as he continues to play within the system and within himself, the Bulldogs have a great shot of winning this game as they march into the heart of their SEC schedule.

Final Analysis

Sometimes these games simply come down to one team being more talented than the other. And that is the case this week. Vegas has Georgia as a 16-point favorite. That tells you all you need to know about what Vegas thinks about the amount of talent Missouri has. Georgia is just too good and Missouri is not. Georgia gets back to winning games this week.

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Prediction: Georgia 42, Missouri 7

— Written by Justin Nails, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @justinnails.