NCAA Football – Week 2
Welcome to the SEC Missouri. In the Tigers first SEC game, they must host the favorite in the SEC East. The Georgia Bulldogs are loaded with talent, but they didn’t get on track in a lackluster win over Buffalo last week. Missouri has a great home field advantage, and you can bet the crowd will be fired up for this night game against a top ten opponent. Let’s take a closer look at this game.
Mark Richt has been on the hot seat a few times in his career at Georgia, but he has done a very good job with this football program. The Bulldogs won the SEC East last year and finished with a 10-4 record. Interestingly, the team lost its first two and last two games of the 2011 season, and won 10 in a row in the middle of the year.
Aaron Murray set the Georgia single-season record with 35 touchdown passes a year ago. Murray is a four-year starter at quarterback, and he has really matured into a very good player. He has all the tools to be a NFL quarterback in the coming years. Losing Isaiah Crowell hurt the running game, but the Bulldogs brought in another star freshman back for this year. Keith Marshall should do a great job picking up the slack. Marshall looks like a guy who can be a real workhorse in the backfield. Georgia lost three offensive linemen to the NFL Draft at the end of last year, and that could be a weakness this year.
The Bulldogs defense is stacked this year. John Jenkins is a 350 pound nose tackle who clogs the middle as well as anyone in the SEC. Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones finished second in the nation in sacks last year, and the whole linebacking crew is great. The secondary is great when Rambo is here, but he is serving a four-game suspension at the beginning of the season. Teams need to take advantage of the Bulldogs secondary at the beginning of the year.
Missouri takes a major step up as they move to the SEC. The Big 12 may be the second best league in the nation, but the SEC is leaps and bounds better than anyone else right now. Many are questioning whether the Tigers can hold their own in this conference, and this will be a great test right away.
James Franklin stepped in and starred in the quarterback role for Missouri last season. Franklin is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. He ran for nearly 1,000 yards last season. He also threw for 21 touchdowns. Kendial Lawrence is the team’s top running back. He gained 131 yards on just 10 carries in the team’s opening week blowout of Southeastern Louisiana. The offensive line replaced three starters from last year, and that is a big question mark for the team this year. This game will be a good test of whether the Tigers offensive line can hold up against top defenses in the SEC.
The Tigers defensive front is a major weakness in 2012. They replace three key starters from last year’s team. The team is short on depth along the defensive front. The secondary should be good with star corner E.J. Gaines leading the way. Missouri has tons of experience at the linebacker spots. The key to the defense will be whether the defensive line can become a formidable group.
The Bulldogs defense is one of the best in the nation. Missouri will be very fired up for this one, but Georgia does have more overall talent and team depth. Look for a very close game that stays below the posted total.
Georgia 24 Missouri 21