It goes without saying, but I’ll say it: this will be a tough game for the Missouri Tigers to win. It also goes without saying that a win over the No. 1-ranked Georgia Bulldogs would be the biggest SEC win in Missouri Tigers football history. No shortage of near-perfection is needed to defeat champions. At a minimum, three of the following five must occur.

Midfield Attack: The Georgia Bulldogs have allowed their opponents just three touchdowns in the first four games of the season. It’s easy to get caught up in the red zone score and what the teams are doing inside the 20-yard line. A measure of Mizzou’s success on Saturday will be just reaching the red zone. Of course, once you’re there, you need to score, but the toughest challenge will be offensive efficiency from the Tigers’ own 30-yard line to Georgia’s 30-yard line.

Special teams: The Missouri Tigers have proven they can be a threat in the rematch, especially when point guards like Luther Burden are back. Coach Eli Drinkwitz wants to limit the damage and blows on Burden, that’s understandable. The gift and the curse. Burden showed us what he can do on special teams against Abilene Christian University. It seems unwise to overwork him there when his scheduled duties are stretched to the limit. Some would say it’s reckless not to bring him back against the best team in the country. Mizzou will need every perk possible. It’s safe to say Georgia can’t kick much, so why not?

Protect the quarterback: Unless he’s injured, Brady Cook should start and finish the game. If Mizzou gets blown up, he might not be under center at the end, but if they get blown up, nothing here matters anyway. The cook needs time. Just enough to make short, safe casts. I screamed to let Brady rip deep, but Georgia is one of the best at capitalizing on bad throws, ranking 11th in the nation in interceptions and 7th in opponent completion percentage, so the word safe saturday is safe. Over time, Brady Cook can find receivers in the middle and on shorts. Missouri has the receivers to make long wins on short plays. More on that next.

Dominic Lovett and Luther Burden: When the clicks click, life is good. We need to see a game where both star receivers get it. Is this game? These guys are both very fast, elusive, and dangerous with any amount of open space. I hope Drinkwitz gets creative and puts them in motion, aligns them on the same side, gets Luther out of the Wild Cat formation, and experiments with crossing them in the middle at least a few times. Weapons are a requirement when you are at war.

Turnover: The margin of error is zero. It is literally non-existent. The Georgia Bulldogs make few mistakes. If the Missouri Tigers have a +2 ratio in the turnover battle, I like their odds. Missouri will face the best passing rush they’ve seen to date, protection Brady Cook (see bullet 3) will ultimately tell whether Mizzou will be competitive or fold.

Game: Georgia Bulldogs vs Missouri Tigers

Date: Saturday, October 1, 2022

Time: 7:30 PM ET

Location: Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium

Odds/Point Spread: Georgia (-29) FanDuel Sportsbook

Over/Under: (54) FanDuel Sportsbook

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