The No.7 Georgia Bulldogs are one of the best teams in college football, but they’ve been challenged in almost every one of their games. On Saturday, they’ll try to slow down a team that hasn’t lost all season.
The No.25 Missouri Tigers make the trip to Athens this weekend for each club’s second SEC matchup of the 2013 season. The Tigers are 5-0, but haven’t faced a ranked team yet. Their opponents are a combined 15-13. The Bulldogs have one loss, but they’ve played one of the toughest schedules in the country. Through five games, Georgia has faced three top 10 opponents in Clemson, LSU and South Carolina.
The Tigers aren't expected to stay unbeaten, as they opened up the week as double-digit underdogs. However, the point spread has continued to move in their favor with several Georgia players being forced to sit out the game. Running back Keith Marshall is lost for the season with a knee injury and Todd Gurley, the team’s top rusher, likely won’t play with an ankle injury.
"I think we're fine. We're ready to go to battle again. Football is a physical game with injuries, and other teams have injuries," head coach Mark Richt said. "Some guys are very excited about the opportunity to make more contributions."
The onus will be placed on J.J. Green, who should get the bulk of the carries. He didn’t have any trouble against Tennessee when he replaced Marshall. The freshman picked up 129 yards on 17 carries.
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Besides his best running backs, quarterback Aaron Murray will be without receiver Justin Scott-Wesley. Michael Bennett, who has 14 receptions, will also be forced to sit.
While the Missouri defense could take advantage of Georgia’s missing players, the Tigers will look to have a big day on offense. The Bulldogs rank 12th in pass defense in the conference and will start two freshmen in the secondary.
“We’ve just got some young guys, and they’ve gotta stop playing like they’re in high school and grow up,” defensive lineman Garrison Smith said. “It ain’t got nothing to do with coaching.”
Last year, Georgia ran away with their matchup against Missour, 41-20. The Bulldogs ended the contest with 24 unanswered points.
Start Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Betting Odds: Georgia -7.5, 64
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Prediction: Missouri 34, Georgia 31