Jeff Dantzler’s Missouri vs Georgia Preview

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Jeff Dantzler’s Missouri vs Georgia Preview

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Missouri vs. Georgia (Graphic by Bob Miller)
(Graphic by Bob Miller)
[su_spacer size=”20″] Where does Georgia go from here? A promising September — granted the four teams the Bulldogs beat are likely the four weakest on the schedule — has been followed up by a two game losing streak to Alabama and Tennessee. The Crimson Tide annihilated the Bulldogs 38-10 in Sanford Stadium. Then last Saturday, Georgia had a 24-3 lead late in the first half, but Tennessee came storming back to topple the Bulldogs 38-31 in a bitter, bitter Knoxville loss for the red and black faithful. On the game’s first play from scrimmage, standout tailback Nick Chubb suffered a knee injury.
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Missouri also dropped its second game of the season (along with a September loss at Kentucky) this past week-end, falling to red hot Florida in Columbia.
[su_spacer size=”40″] For the fourth time since Missouri joined the South-eastern Conference in 2012, Georgia tangles with the Tigers. It is the fifth all-time meeting between the two; with SEC champion Georgia defeating Mizzou 14-0 in the 1960 Orange Bowl to finish No. 5 nationally with a 10-1 record. In conference games, the Bulldogs won 41-20 in Columbia in 2012, the Tigers rolled to a 41-26 triumph in Athens the following year and then Georgia responded with a 34-0 pounding of Mizzou last season. So the home team is seeking its first win in the series.
[su_spacer size=”40″] To have any shot at an outstanding season (i.e. winning the rest of this season’s games), this is a game that Georgia absolutely must have. The Bulldogs also need another big win at home. The regular season finale against Tech and the October 3rd date with Alabama have left bitter tastes in the mouths of the red and black faithful leaving the hallowed grounds of Sanford Stadium.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Then the lost 21-point lead in Knoxville. It has been a rough two weeks for Georgia.
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Big Match-up

[su_spacer size=”20″] Georgia pass rush vs. Mizzou O-Line
[su_spacer size=”40″] [NOTE: Jeff Dantzler wrote this article for the Bulldawg Illustrated weekly print edition and articles are due before Sunday evening; so, at the time of the writing, it was not known that Jordan Jenkins would be out for the Missouri game]
[su_spacer size=”40″] For the big games, top players have to deliver. Missouri has a big offensive line, and giving the signal caller time to throw means big trouble for the Bulldogs secondary. True freshman Drew Lock stepped into the starting spot behind center and the highly touted prospect has been good. Whether its Lock or Maty Mauck, who has been suspended, or both, it is essential that Georgia’s pass rush is in top form. Granted it’s a new defensive staff, but the Bulldogs didn’t get to James Franklin or Mauck, and the Dogs got eaten up. For the Bulldog defenders like Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd, who were present for that 41-26 beat-down by the Tigers, Saturday night should serve as a huge personal challenge. Same for Lorenzo Carter, who is looking for that breakout game.
[su_spacer size=”40″] This past Saturday, Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs was a dual threat dynamo. Georgia’s defense had what second year coordinator Jeremy Pruitt would likely consider the Bulldogs poorest tackling performance of his tenure.
[su_spacer size=”40″] When the Bulldogs defense has been at its best, the big tackles have gotten it going. Chris Mayes is having an excel-lent campaign, and highly-touted true freshman Trenton Thompson will be charged with getting the big push up the gut, and turning loose those aforementioned outside line-backers and defensive ends to get after the passer.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Gary Pinkel has done an excellent job at the Tigers helm, guiding Mizzou to the last two SEC Championship Games. While a defensive line that has turned out a slew of standouts has been a headlining facet of the Tigers in their brief SEC days, their offense has shown the ability to light up the scoreboard and chew up yardage. It’s a great bet that Pinkel have had this one circled, hoping to exorcise some of the Tigers demons from last season’s 34-0 shutout administered by Georgia in Columbia, Mo.
[su_spacer size=”40″] With Georgia’s inconsistencies at quarterback and struggles at quarterback, the defense must shoulder much of the Bulldogs load to have a highly successful season. Jenkins, Floyd and Carter are at the top of the list.
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[su_spacer size=”20″] Jarvis Jones 2012
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia and Missouri first met January 1, 1960 in the Orange Bowl, with a fierce defense and Fran Tarken- ton leading the Bulldogs to a 14-0 victory over the Tigers in Miami. The victory capped off a 10-1 Southeastern Conference championship campaign with a No. 5 national ranking. This was also the first game Georgia played in that was televised.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The two teams would not meet again until Mizzou joined the SEC in 2012. Georgia was scheduled as the Tigers first ever intra-conference contest on the second Saturday of the year. The Tigers raced to leads of 17-9 and 20-17, but over the final 16 minutes of the game were overrun by the Bulldogs.
[su_spacer size=”40″] In the final minute of the third quarter, Aaron Murray connected with Marlon Brown for the go-ahead touchdown. The defense stood tall, Todd Gurley had a long run and freshman kicker Marshall Morgan put the Bulldogs ahead 27-20.
[su_spacer size=”40″] With the Tigers backed up deep in their own territory, All-American linebacker, who was in the midst of a brilliant game, came up with the play of the game. Jones pulled in an interception and returned it inside the Tigers one, setting up another Bulldog touchdown that put Georgia out in front 34-20. On Mizzou’s next possession, Jones forced a Tiger fumble, and the Bulldogs answered with the put-away touchdown to post a 41-20 victory.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Jones, who was All-American the year prior, showed that he was well on his way to a second straight year. His sterling performance against Mizzou was one of the top performances by an SEC defender in the entire campaign. Jones would have another in the Bulldogs 17-9 win over Florida in Jacksonville later in the season. He would go on to become the first Bulldog since David Pollack (2002, 2003 and 2004) to earn All-American honors in consecutive campaigns
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[su_spacer size=”40″] Make sure to check out Bulldawg Illustrated’s latest print edition: Don’t Jump Ship, digital issue available for free online click HERE.
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