Top-ranked Georgia hosts Missouri on Saturday Between the Hedges. The Bulldogs head into the game with an overall record of 8-0 and Southeastern Conference mark of 6-0. Missouri is 4-4 and 1-3 in league play.
Both teams are coming in off wins.
In the annual Jacksonville rivalry, Georgia forced three Florida turnovers and exploded for a trio of touchdowns in the final 2:08 of the first half to take a 24-0 intermission lead en route to a 34-7 victory. The win marked Georgia’s fourth in the last five meetings with the Gators.
Missouri defeated Vanderbilt 37-28 in Nashville behind a balanced offensive attack which produced a touchdown in all four quarters.
Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs are in the running for everything, but Georgia’s sixth-year head coach would be the first to tell you that his team is far from a finished product. Most notably, while the Bulldogs cashed in on the aforementioned turnovers against the Gators, Georgia also turned the football over three times in Jacksonville.
The win over the Gators marked the end of a very impressive month of October for the Bulldogs. Georgia’s four opponents were a combined 14-2 when the calendar turned from September. The Dogs beat Arkansas 37-0, topped Auburn 34-10, bested Kentucky 30-13 and then recorded the 34-7 over Florida.
So now the calendar turns to November.
Georgia and Missouri first met on New Year’s Day 1960, as the 1959 Southeastern Conference Bulldogs topped the Tigers 14-0 in the Orange Bowl to finish the season 10-1 with a No. 5 national ranking.
These two would not meet again until 2012, as Missouri and Texas A&M joined the SEC. In the Tigers first intra-conference game as a league member, Georgia defeated Mizzou 41-20 in Columbia. Fran Tarkenton was the star in the first meeting, Jarvis Jones the second.
The next season, Missouri came into Athens and rolled to a 41-26 win en route to the first of two straight Tiger trips to the SEC Championship Game.
Those two straight trips to Atlanta sent shockwaves throughout the league.
Georgia handed Mizzou its lone league loss in 2014, winning 34-0 in CoMo. That started what is now a seven game winning streak for the Bulldogs in the series, which Georgia now leads 9-1, 8-1 since Missouri joined the SEC.
Most of those games have been tight and tough, including Georgia’s 28-27 win in 2016 in Smart’s first season as the head man at his alma mater. The Bulldogs pulled away to win 49-14 last season, but the game was tied 14-14 late in the first half. Then JT. Daniels and George Pickens connected on touchdowns to end the first half and start the second, sending the Bulldogs on their way.
Georgia is heavily favored, but there is tremendous respect for the Tigers program and their second year head coach Eli Drinkwitz. And as Smart likes to say, humility is only a week away. The Tigers will put everything they have into pulling off the upset Between the Hedges, while the Bulldogs will try and continue their march to something special.