Tigers To Watch: Georgia vs. Missouri 2020

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Tigers To Watch: Georgia vs. Missouri 2020

Missouri Head Coach Eliah Drinkwitz walks on the field during warm ups before a game between Tennessee and Missouri at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.
Missouri Head Coach Eliah Drinkwitz walks on the field during warm ups before a game between Tennessee and Missouri at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.

Eli Drinkwitz  (Head Coach)

Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz has become one of the SEC’s most likable coaches with his keen sense of humor on social media. He was named the program’s 33rd head coach in December of 2019. Drinkwitz took over at Mizzou following an impressive 2019 season at Appalachian State, where he led the No. 20 Mountaineers to a 12-1 record and a Sun Belt Conference Championship. Drinkwitz’s offensive plan has been a key element in his teams winning five conference championships while compiling a perfect 8-0 bowl game record in 10 seasons at the FBS level. The combined record of his teams from 2010-19 is 98-34 overall (74.2%), including a 57-22 conference mark (72.2%). The 2019 season saw Drinkwitz turn in one of the most impressive FBS head coaching debut seasons ever. App State set a Sun Belt record with their 12 wins, and also set the mark for the best regular season in conference history (11-1). They claimed the Sun Belt championship with a 45-38 win against Louisiana on Dec. 7.

Connor Bazelek (QB, #8)

Missouri redshirt freshman Connor Baselek is finally getting his toes wet at the collegiate level this year. So far the former four-star has completed 69 percent of his passes for 2002 yards and five touchdowns. As the season has progressed, Bazelek’s been entrusted to throw the ball more, except it doesn’t seem like he can find the endzone. He will be facing a Georgia secondary and could potentially have a field day against the Bulldogs. Bazelek redshirted in his first year with the program, but showed flashes of why he could be the heralded recruit out of high school as a player that could potentially help build a future in Columbia.

Larry Rountree III (RB, #34)

Missouri senior running back leads the team in rushing with 835 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards per attempt. He’s also third all-time in Missouri history for rushing yards and is close to taking over the No. 2 spot. Look for Rountree to come into this game motivated and to exploit Georgia’s weaknesses on the defensive line. He didn’t reach the 1,000-yard mark last season, so he will be looking for opportunities, especially against a banged up Georgia defense. The Raleigh, North Carolina native displays a lot of speed and can hit the second or third level in just a short amount of time. His size doesn’t affect his play because he’s about as shifty as they come out of the backfield.

Trajan Jeffcoat (DE, #18)

Missouri talented defensive end, Trajan Jeffcoat, started his career in Columbia in 2018 where he saw action all 13 games. So far this season, Jeffcoat ranks seventh on the team in tackles with 19, but he leads the defense in sacks with five. The 6-3, 265-pound defensive end has lightning speed to get off the line of the scrimmage and create havoc in the opposing team’s backfield. He also has seven quarterback hurries this season as well. Expect to see Jeffcoat try and attack Georgia’s offensive line to impose his will on them. He matches up well against the Bulldogs interior line.

Nick Bolton  (LB, #32)

Missouri’s Nick Bolton was named to a ton of preseason watch lists, including the Butkus and Nagurski Awards. He currently leads the team with 80 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, four pass breakups and one fumble recovery. He’s a force to be reckoned with in Missouri’s front seven. At 6-foot, 230-pound, Bolton has the size to be able to compete well against SEC opponents. Bolton will be Missouri’s primary target to try and stop a Georgia rushing attack that has had a player rush for 100-yards plus in consecutive games. He will need to figure out how to get around the Bulldogs big front-five and additional two tight ends sets.

Harrison Melvis  (PK, #92)

Missouri placekicker Harrison Melvis is one of the top kickers in the SEC so far this season. The freshman has nailed 16 of 19 field goals this year with a long of 52 yards. In fact, he’s made three from 50-plus. If Missouri’s offense can’t get the ball moving, look for them to turn to Melvis for points. The Warsaw, Indiana native has been money inside 30-yards this season, which is a plus. Melvis was a three-star kicker out of high school ranked by all the major recruiting services. According to Kohl’s, he was a five-star kicking prospect and the nation’s No. 2 kicker and No. 10 punter. He will continue to improve as his career goes on, so the Bulldogs’ defense will have to make some major stops to avoid giving up points.

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.