"It's going to go down in history," Pinkel said. "They'll always point to it, talk about it, look at how it came out." St. Louis Post and Dispatch
In Columbia, Missouri the Tigers have this quote posted in their locker room. Seems so many folks in the SEC are salivating to see Missouri upset Georgia on Saturday. Yes, those pundits will weigh in with talk of the mighty Mizzou and the greatest QB ever to play in the SEC - James Franklin. So I say ignore the pundits and forget your jitters for this game. This is just another road game in a tough conference. Nothing more, nothing less.
It is understood that the Buffalo game concerns you as it does me. Once you watch the film, Buffalo’s offensive line was fairly good, and they have an excellent running back and a quarterback who took advantage of running the football. It appeared that our defense looked unprepared for the quarterback running. I have no doubts the defense will be well prepared for Franklin running the ball.
Let us examine some truths as I see them.
Missouri has little if any quality offensive lineman and that was before the injuries. Oh, I know UGA has issues as on the OL, but nothing like Missouri who struggled in short yardage situations and sustaining drives against the mighty Hornets. If the Tigers can truly block our front seven and Franklin is not being harassed all night, then we will tip our hats to the Missouri offensive lineman for a job well done.
The defensive line of Missouri has size and experience issues. They lost 3 defensive lineman to graduation last season. Gone are the top tacklers, sack makers and tackle for loss guys from the defense line of last year. What separates the SEC from the other conferences is the size of the defensive lines and their athletic ability. The Tigers do not have that SEC type line. They are quick but small and young along the defensive front.
Now Georgia’s defense against Buffalo - Grantham showed nothing to Missouri in that game. He even gave Missouri a throw away play, when the defense played a 1-5-5 on one play. Trust me that was to let Missouri chew on that one for this week.
Of course, Coach Grantham was very displeased at how we played in our base defensive alignments against the Bulls. We rather resembled the Grantham defense of his first year, when players did not understand the scheme well enough to read and react. If we have learned anything about Coach Grantham is that often the defense starts out slow, but with Coach Olivadotti in the press box, the adjustments are coming. Watch out Missouri once Grantham has a bead on what you are doing, it is lights out.
We know Missouri will want to spread our defense, with formations of 4 or 5 WR’s. This will really test our depleted secondary, but that also opens up the throwing lanes for interceptions as well. We can all figure that if Missouri gives Franklin the time, our secondary will be severely tested. However, with the defense in stride Franklin and company will not know what hit them.
Reviewing film of the team of the Tiger's secondary, they need to step up as much as Georgia’s. I viewed a secondary that Murray can pick apart with our receivers. Two of Missouri’s starters are coming off knee injuries. Like most teams they love to play zone, 2 over the top, man to man and have a nickel package. I have so much confidence in our wide receivers that recognition should not be a problem. Wooten is excellent with crossing patterns, Marlon can really find the vertical seem in a zone, Bennett is just gifted at both. King will stretch so many opponents this season that the deep threat with him will be there as well. If Missouri attempts press coverage Conley and McGowen are excellent at getting open. Confidence is high with me for a strong showing by our wide receivers and Aaron Murray.
We must expect with our young offensive line in the “zoos” hostile environment that our running game could sputter. Yet one of those two marvelous freshman (or both) could equally have a very impressive night against an undersized Missouri line.
Did I mention the Middle Linebacker and top tackle Elder is questionable for this game? I am looking forward to seeing Gurley and Marshall getting into that second and third level of the defense.
Despite talk from the pundits on how explosive the Tigers offense is, this will be won in the trenches as most SEC games are we have the bodies and Missouri does not.
Ladies and Gentleman, I guess I just do not buy into the Missouri hype. They are not South Carolina and, matbe, not as good as Vanderbilt, Tennessee or Florida. I view them for what they are, a Big 12 school with a good offense and questionable defense who will finish likely tied for third or fourth in the SEC East After history is written about a UGA victory, the Tiger fans may once again enjoy their partially filled stadium for the rest of the season, and the Missouri fans can realize the fate that awaits them in the SEC.
So, let us enjoy Saturday as our SEC Georgia Bulldogs will welcome and flatten the Missouri Tigers in a very historic game for legacy of Georgia Football.