A hobbled No. 7 Georgia team returns home to take on a crafty No. 25 Missouri Tigers squad that features one of the nation's elite offenses.
The Bulldogs survived a scare last week in a 34-31 victory over Tennessee but paid the ultimate price in the form of injuries.
Star running back Todd Gurley is doubtful, and backup Keith Marshall and receiver Justin Scott-Wesley are out for the season per ESPN's David Ching, while Michael Bennett can return late in the year. Another star receiver, Malcolm Mitchell, is also out for the year.
Things have been better for the Tigers, an undefeated team that has yet to be truly tested but touts an offense that scores 46.6 points per game behind the arm of senior quarterback James Franklin.
The following is everything fans need to know about the exciting SEC matchup that could swing either way.
When: Saturday, October 12 at noon ET
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Over/Under: 63.5
- Spread: Georgia (-8)
Tigers Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Ernest Payton||CB||09/01/2013||is expected to miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
Bulldogs Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Collin Barber||P||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Missouri||Questionable||concussion|
|Michael Bennett||WR||10/06/2013||is out indefinitely||Out||knee|
|Paris Bostick||S||08/08/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||toe surgery|
|James DeLoach||LB||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Missouri||Questionable||concussion|
|Todd Gurley II||RB||10/09/2013||is doubtful for Saturday's game against Missouri||Doubtful||ankle|
|Quayvon Hicks||FB||10/08/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Missouri||Questionable||ankle/knee|
|Austin Long||T||08/17/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||academics|
|Keith Marshall||RB||10/07/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Tray Matthews||S||10/09/2013||is doubtful for Saturday's game against Missouri||Doubtful||hamstring|
|Malcolm Mitchell||WR||09/01/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee|
|Connor Norman||S||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Missouri||Questionable||concussion|
|Ryne Rankin||LB||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Missouri||Questionable||illness|
|Jonathon Rumph||WR||10/06/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Missouri||Questionable||hamstring|
|Justin Scott-Wesley||S||10/07/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Tramel Terry||WR||08/31/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee|
|Reggie Wilkerson||CB||08/08/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee|
Can Aaron Murray Overcome the Injuries?
Georgia allows a little over 30 points per game, so Missouri and its high-flying offense will have little trouble scoring enough points to win.
In order to match, Georgia needs senior quarterback Aaron Murray to be on top of his game. Murray could not ask for a better opponent at this juncture given the fact the Tigers have the worst pass defense in the SEC as confirmed by Bulldogs' beat writer Radi Nabulsi:
Missouri has two seniors at the cornerback positions, a senior & junior at the safety spots, but has the worst pass defense in #SEC. 293 ypg— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) October 9, 2013
Missouri has given up the most passing yards in the SEC, despite 4 other teams having played 6 games to Mizzou's five.— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) October 6, 2013
Murray is playing the best ball of his career with over 1,500 yards passing, 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions in five games.
Unfortunately thanks to injury, he will have to rely on freshman running back J.J. Green (17 carries for 129 yards versus Tennessee) and receiver Chris Conley as his best weapons.
Now is the perfect time for Murray to show he has an ability to elevate the play of those around him. If he cannot, the Bulldogs will have a difficult time keeping up.
Missouri is led by James Franklin, a man who has 1,685 yards, 15 touchdowns and just three interceptions to his name in five games.
The dual-threat senior has the ability to drive the Bulldogs' defense mad, much as he did last season when the Tigers gave Georgia a game behind Franklin's 294 total yards and two scores:
Which team wins?
Last year saw Murray lead the Bulldogs to victory as he tossed three touchdowns, but he was backed by the combo of Gurley and Marshall, who rumbled for 97 yards and a score while keeping the Tigers' defense honest.
This year will play out differently but with the same result. Murray has the talent to rise above the injuries and exploit the conference's worst pass defense at home as the Tigers are blindsided by their first taste of real competition in 2013.
Bulldogs win 44-34
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling.