COLUMBIA, Mo. – Third-ranked Georgia has looked every bit the national championship contender through three games - although two were against overmatched opponents – but is wary of what awaits at Missouri on Saturday. Tigers quarterback Drew Lock is one of the more prolific passers in the nation and showed that last season against the Bulldogs by throwing for four touchdowns in a defeat - and Missouri has not lost a regular-season game since, recording nine straight victories.
TV: Noon ET, ESPN. LINE: Georgia -14
“He can get the ball out so quick, and he does such a good job of keying your defenders and knowing where to go with the ball,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart told reporters on Monday. Lock certainly has lived up to his reputation through three games, passing for 1,062 yards and 11 touchdowns to fuel the Tigers' 3-0 start. The challenge for Missouri will be slowing down a Georgia offense that has run roughshod over the opposition thus far, averaging 488.3 yards of total offense, and dealing with a defense that has surrendered a total of 24 points in three games. “The bigger we make this game, the tougher it can get,” Lock told reporters on Tuesday. “Why not just come in and do your job?”
ABOUT GEORGIA (3-0, 1-0 SEC)
Jake Fromm fired three touchdown passes and Elijah Holyfield rushed for a career-high 100 yards in a 49-7 rout of Middle Tennessee State last week, and now the Bulldogs begin a stretch of seven consecutive conference games. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman found the end zone twice, making a 5-yard touchdown catch and returning a punt 70 yards for a score. Cornerback Deandre Baker has made two interceptions and a fumble recovery in his last two games.
ABOUT MISSOURI (3-0)
The Tigers squandered a 17-point lead against Purdue last week but survived, escaping with a 40-37 victory on Tucker McCann’s fourth field goal of the game as time expired. Lock completed 26-of-43 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns as Missouri rolled up 608 yards of total offense, including a career-best 168 rushing on 23 carries by Larry Rountree III. Safety Adam Sparks recorded a career-high 11 tackles last week, but Missouri allowed 572 yards passing.
1. Missouri WR Jalen Knox earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors after catching five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown against Purdue.
2. Fromm leads the nation in completion percentage (80 percent), while freshman QB Justin Fields is 14-of-17 for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
3. Missouri WR Emanuel Hall (groin/hip), who leads the SEC in receiving yards per game at 143.3, and CB DeMarkus Acy (concussion) practiced Tuesday and could return to the starting lineup versus Georgia.
PREDICTION: Georgia 38, South Carolina 21