The Tigers (5-3, 2-2 SEC) now face a difficult game on the road against the current best team in the SEC East: No. 6 Georgia. The Bulldogs (7-1, 4-1) have bounced back since an upset loss to South Carolina, including a victory against Florida. With just one loss, if Georgia wins out, a College Football Playoff berth is likely.
At this point, should the coach Barry Odom’s team pull off an improbable upset, it’ll change the mood of the season. However, a likely defeat is a three-game losing streak, all of them coming on the road.
Here’s a look at this week’s game.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia
Betting line: Georgia by 14 1/2
Radio: KMBZ (98.1 FM)
Five things to know
Shades of a trap game: This isn’t to say Mizzou automatically has a chance to upset Georgia. But Saturday is a potential trap game for the Bulldogs. Georgia is coming off a rivalry game against a top-10 Florida team, then after playing MU, it faces No. 12 Auburn next week. For scheduling purposes, it’s a fortunate spot for Mizzou, sandwiched between two heavyweight opponents. Of course, had the Tigers taken care of business against Vanderbilt and Kentucky, they’d be 7-1 and likely around a top-15 ranking. It would’ve meant Georgia couldn’t ignore the Tigers. Now, the stakes are different.
King of November: Through Odom’s first three years as coach, he’s picked up a ton of wins in the final month of the regular season. His teams are 10-2 in November. The last time an Odom-coached team lost a game in November was Nov. 19, 2016, his first year. Aside from the trap game aspect, that’s another positive for the Tigers.
Bulldogs still a contender: Yes, Georgia stumbled in a 20-17 home overtime loss to South Carolina, the same Gamecocks team Mizzou picked apart at home. But the Bulldogs are still competing for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Jake Fromm-led offense is averaging 34.5 points per game, 31st in the nation. The quarterback brings a wealth of experience as a junior and has a trusty running back in D’Andre Swift. But Georgia’s defense is what stands out this year. The Bulldogs allow just 11.4 points per game, tied for fourth-best in the nation. For a Mizzou offense struggling to put points on the board, Saturday will likely be a grind.
Struggles against Georgia: Mizzou hasn’t defeated Georgia since the Cotton Bowl season in 2013, which adds up to a five-game losing streak. Since the Tigers entered the SEC in 2012, they’re 1-6.
Road game after bye: The Tigers 42-10 win over Troy earlier this year improved Odom’s record to 1-7 against FBS teams when he has more than a week to prepare, including two bowl games. But this time, the Tigers face a tougher opponent in Georgia and on the road. The Tigers are 0-3 away from Faurot Field, a major point of concern. Odom said after the loss to Kentucky he hasn’t seen the same team on the road compared to at home, where the Tigers are 5-0.