Saturday, December 12, 2020, Memorial Stadium, Columbia, Missouri, noon ET
Bulldogs at Tigers Betting Preview: Bulldogs (-13.5), Tigers (+13.5)
No. 9 Georgia continues its quest for a New Year’s Day bowl game with its visit to Missouri. The Bulldogs (6-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) have made a key change at quarterback with USC transfer JT Daniels getting the last two starts. .
Daniels has thrown for 540 yards and six touchdowns in victories over Mississippi State 31-14 and South Carolina 45-16.
“He’s added a really good element in the throw game,” Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “Their offensive line is really big and physical. George Pickens was one of the better wide receivers in the country last year as a true freshman, and he’s playing well as a sophomore right now.”
Pickens and fellow receivers Kearis Jackson and Jermaine Burton have combined to catch 77 passes for 1,067 yards and nine touchdowns. There is also the Georgia ground game, which pounded out 333 rushing yards against South Carolina.
Zamir White leads the way there with 614 yards and nine rushing touchdowns.
Georgia hopes to get nose tackle Jordan Davis, running back Kendall Milton, and safety Richard LeCounte back from multi-game injuries.
No. 25 Missouri is coming off a wild, 50-48 victory over Arkansas that marked the fifth win for the Tigers (5-3, 5-3 SEC ) in their last six games. To keep rolling the Tigers will have to tighten their defense.
Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson attacked the Tigers’ secondary for 274 yards and three touchdowns in his first start of the season.
“We’ve got our hands full against a really good offense and, obviously, we didn’t play the way we wanted defensively, so that’s going to be a tremendous challenge,” Drinkwitz said.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart has respect for Mizzou’s defense.
“Their defensive personnel is one of the best we have probably played against,” Smart said. “They do a lot of different things than people in our conference, defensively, and create a lot of problems.”
Missouri piled up 653 yards of offense while outlasting the Razorbacks. Connor Bazelak passed for 380 yards, giving him 2,002 yards for the season.
“Their quarterback is playing at a high level,” Smart said. “He understands coverages and looks. Eliah does a great job of having passing-game situations where based on the look he gets he can get really easy soft-zone throws.
“He does a good job completing those and they get yards after the catch. He does a good job of shots down the field, which they have been able to hit off their play-actions.”
The Tigers have set up their passing game with a ground attack featuring powerful Larry Rountree III (835 yards, 11 touchdowns rushing) and speedy Tyler Badie (553 yards, six TDs rushing and receiving).
“Any time you’ve got the backs they’ve got, they’ve got the run game built in to where they can take shots downfield,” Smart said. “They do a great job. I just have a lot of respect for the quarterback because he’s got great composure and accuracy. He just does a really good job in the pocket. He throws a very catchable ball.”
Missouri will play without linebacker Tre Williams, who left the team this week, and injured defensive back Jarvis Ware. Wide receiver Tauskie Dove and defensive lineman Kobie Whiteside are questionable with injuries.
Bulldogs at Tigers Betting Pick for December 12, 2020
Georgia has won eight of nine meetings with Missouri overall and seven of eight since the Tigers joined the SEC in 2012. The Bulldogs blanked the Tigers 27-0 in Athens last year. Mizzou’s only win in the series was 41-26 in Athens in 2013.
Bulldogs at Tigers Betting Pick:
Bulldogs 35, Tigers 21
Bulldogs at Tigers Best Bet for December 12, 2020
The Bulldogs’ offense has gotten new life since Daniels moved into the starting role at quarterback. He has completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 540 yards and the Bulldogs have scored 76 points in wins over Mississippi State and South Carolina in his two starts.
Bulldogs at Tigers Best Bet: OVER 53.