Run It – The Bulldogs have an excellent stable of backs and Matt Luke’s offensive line has displayed some downright first rate blocking, really grinding in the rushing attack. Last time out, granted it was against a shorthanded South Carolina defense, Georgia was dominant on the ground. When the Dogs can lead and dictate with the running game, it plays right into what Georgia wants to do. Move the chains, work the clock, wear down the opposing defense and get the ball in the hands of outstanding runners, while setting up downfield play-action.
Round Up Rountree – One of the true workhorses in the SEC, Missouri’s running back Larry Rountree carries the load for the Tigers. He is one of the most physical runners in college football. The Bulldogs must tackle consistently strong. The Tigers, with a big and physical offensive line will try and wear down the Bulldogs defensive front. It will take all hands on deck for the Dogs defense Saturday and the rest of the way.
Bother Bazelak – Missouri found its spark offensively early in the season against LSU in redshirt freshman quarterback Connor Bazelak. At 6-3, 220-pound, Bazelak has the measurables and the makings of being the Tigers next outstanding quarterback. They have had a bunch of standouts in the 21st century, including Blaine Gabbet, Chase Daniel, James Franklin and Drew Lock. With all the injuries on defense, the Bulldogs depth will have to continue to shine. Pressuring Bazelak and making him uncomfortable is a must.
Turnovers and Windy kicking – In any game, turnovers and sound special teams play are essential. The way these Bulldogs are built, Georgia can’t afford to squander possessions. Turnovers opened the door for the opposition in wins over Tennessee and Kentucky, two teams that aren’t as good as Georgia. A pair of picks at Alabama were killers. Turnovers were a killer in the Bulldogs losses to Alabama and Florida. The winds blow hard in the midwest. Jake Camarda must be a weapon, and the Bulldogs return men sure-handed. For Jack Podlesny, making the kicks that “should” be made – as in anything under 40 yards and the PAT’s – are a must.
Handle the weather – When this game got pushed back to mid-December, the first thing on this naturally-worried-for-the-Bulldogs mind was the weather. Like all football fans, Kansas City Chiefs games (come to mind) that have been played this time of year with severe winds, lots of snow (or worse, sleeting rain), and all kinds of cold. Certainly Georgia’s boys, especially those from south of the gnat line have had very little if any experience with this sort of stuff. It will be a big challenge.