SEC East rivals meet Saturday as UGA welcomes struggling Missouri. Viewed by many as division-contending dark horses after cracking the top-25, Missouri has since dropped two straight. Meanwhile, Georgia recently re-entered the FBS playoff conversation by upsetting Florida 24-17.
The Bulldogs are listed as 17-point favorites opposite Mizzou. Georgia defeated the Tigers 41-17 last season from Columbia: today’s spread would no doubt lean heavier in UGA’s favor if not for the costly South Carolina loss. Now Kirby Smart’s men must win out to earn FBS playoff considerations. That noted, minus bowl eligibility, Missouri enters this staple SEC clash unburdened.
Georgia clinging to slim playoff chances after defensive gem vs. FloridaCast aside following an abrupt 20-17 double-overtime loss vs. South Carolina, a loss where Jake Fromm threw three interceptions, Georgia recently silenced critics by outlasting the Gators. Behind his mammoth offensive line, Fromm coolly dissected Florida’s #11 FBS defense. The junior quarterback exuded efficiency from Jacksonville completing 20 of 30 for 279 yards, two scoring strikes and zero interceptions. Facing do-or-die SEC East title odds, DeAndre Swift added 86 rushing yards as Luke Cager and Dominick Blaylock broke UF’s pylon to resolve matters.
With two conference games remaining, UGA is heavily favored in both, the Bulldogs lead the SEC East outright. Kirby Smart’s men now own the division tiebreaker vs. Florida. That should remove some pressure from Georgia’s shoulders. Currently #6 in the AP poll, UGA ranks #31 offensively (34.5 ppg) and flexes the nation’s #4 defense (11.4 ppg allowed).
Missouri looks to regain momentumMissouri stood alongside Georgia and Florida in the SEC East hunt after winning five straight. However, consecutive losses vs. Kentucky and Vanderbilt have soured the Tigers’ greater 2019 hopes. Facing Georgia, Florida and Tennessee this month, Missouri will do well to end their bowl restricted campaign 7-5. The Tigers are 5-0 from Columbia in 2019 and 0-3 away.
Before writing off Barry Odom’s group this weekend, even after a recent 29-7 loss vs. Kentucky, remember Missouri owns the Gamecocks’ blueprint for upset success vs. UGA. That blueprint starts with jamming the run and ends with making Fromm attempt more than 30 passes. And Missouri’s 17th-ranked defense (allowing 136.9 ground yards per game) is still relevant, though of late the Tigers have struggled to score. If the Tigers are to end Georgia’s damaged playoff hopes, a massive defensive performance, and Patrick Bryant’s resurgence will be required. Once among the SEC East’s top signal-callers, Bryant gained just 270 yards vs. Vanderbilt and Kentucky. More so, last weekend the Tigers committed two costly turnovers as Lynn Bowden Jr. ran Missouri into Oblivion: UK’s defense also held the Tigers to just 289 total yards.
Trends courtesy of Covers.com
- Tigers are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Tigers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games.
- Bulldogs are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games in November.
- Bulldogs are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 conference games.
- Bulldogs are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.