The prize of a second place finish in the SEC East will be determined Saturday when No. 25 Missouri plays host to No. 9 Georgia in a game originally scheduled for Nov. 14 until COVID-19 issues forced it to be postponed. The teams are a combined 5-0 since the postponement and have separated themselves from the lower tier of the SEC East, although both were soundly defeated by division-leading Florida earlier in the season.
Georgia leads the series 7-1 since Missouri joined the SEC in 2012 and is favored by 13, but the Tigers are one of the hottest teams in the conference and are 4-1 at home this year, with their only home loss coming in the season opener against then-No. 2 Alabama. A win over a top-10 opponent would add quite the exclamation mark to Eli Drinkwitz's first season at Missouri, but taking down a resurgent Georgia team that is loaded with talent will require his best coaching job yet.
The Bulldogs are no longer in the College Football Playoff picture and won't be playing for an SEC title. But they have one of best rushing defenses in the country, which should make life hard on Missouri star running back Larry Rountree III, who is averaging 7.2 yards per carry over his last two games.
Georgia: Georgia has only played twice since a 44-28 loss to Florida on Nov. 7 that effectively eliminated the Bulldogs from SEC title and College Football Playoff contention. But the Bulldogs have won both their games since in different ways that showcase how talented they truly are. In a 31-24 win over Mississippi State on Nov. 21, USC transfer JT Daniels made his debut at quarterback and infused much-needed life into the team's passing game by throwing for 401 yards and four touchdowns. But after struggling to run the ball in that game, Georgia followed up by running for 332 yards in a win over South Carolina the following week.
Missouri: Missouri has won five of its last six games and is coming off a dramatic 50-48 win over Arkansas last week that improved the Tigers to 5-3. If they win one of their last two games, they will equal their win total from last year's full 12-game season. That would be an especially impressive feat for Drinkwitz, who started out 0-2 and did not have the benefit of a spring practice session to implement his schemes. Much of the success can be traced to quarterback Connor Bazelak, a redshirt freshman who attempted his first collegiate passes in last year's loss to Georgia. Bazelak has demonstrated a firm grasp of Drinkwitz's system since earning the starting job with a 400-yard, four touchdown outing in the Tigers' third game of the season against LSU.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 12 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Faurot Field -- Columbia, Missouri
TV: SEC Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Georgia at Missouri prediction, picks
Missouri is playing with a ton of confidence after picking up its third straight win last week. Though running the ball will be tough against this Georgia defense, Bazelak should be able to have enough success against the Bulldogs' secondary to keep the Tigers within striking distance. Motivation could also be an issue for a Georgia team that is nearing the end of its season without championships to play for. Pick: Missouri (+13)
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