Missouri's SBNation site, Rock M Nation, is one of the best around. I had the pleasure of exchanging emails with CapnCribbs to see just what Mizzou fans are thinking as we get closer to Saturday's noon showdown between top 25 teams in S...
Missouri's SBNation site, Rock M Nation, is one of the best around. I had the pleasure of exchanging emails with CapnCribbs to see just what Mizzou fans are thinking as we get closer to Saturday's noon showdown between top 25 teams in Sanford Stadium. I somehow broke two fingers and badly sprained my right hip in the process, but still managed to finish the drill. Can the Dawgs do the same come Saturday? (and no, I didn't really get hurt. My couch isn't made from Neyland turf after all)
1) Missouri sits at 5-0, but because of the schedule, they didn't crack the top 25 until this week (and that's the AP poll, as the coaches poll sits them just outside at 26). How much does the early season schedule contribute to the Tigers' success, and how much is finally having key players healthy?
I think a lot of what is being said about Mizzou's early schedule has been overplayed. No, the Tigers did not start the season with an extremely difficult schedule, but Toledo and Indiana were great early season tests for a team that needed to rebuild some confidence after a season of injury and disappointment. (The Hoosiers actually walloped Penn State this week for what that's worth.) Mizzou fans are already getting sick of hearing "Well, let's see how they do against a real test this week" immediately followed by "Well that was a cupcake game, when will they play a real team?" I'm not going to sit here and tell you we expect Mizzou to win the SEC after beating Murray State, Indiana, Toledo, and Arkansas State, but the way Mizzou beat them is what's giving Tiger fans hope. The offensive line has developed some cohesiveness and the QB play/running game has greatly benefitted from that. The overall health of the team has been the biggest reason for the turnaround this season, so we feel for the Dawgs and their plague of injuries. James Franklin is finally back to 100% for the first time since his freshman season, Henry Josey recovered completely after he tore everything he could possibly tear in his knee, and after a year when only one offensive lineman (Evan Boehm) played in every game, we're seeing some consistency up front. This is a different Tigers team because our playmakers are finally back.
2) Averaging over 46 points per game, what should Georgia fans be most concerned with in the Tiger offense? Is it the aerial attack of Franklin, Washington, Green-Beckham, etc? Or the rushing attack of Hansbrough, Josey, and Murphy? And can you get us a little more familiar with what Missouri will try to do offensively now that Franklin is back and fully healthy (which he wasn't when we played last year)?
As far as what Georgia specifically should be most concerned with, it's James Franklin (boring answer, I know). Yes, our receivers are extremely talented, but Franklin is back in full force and will beat you with his arms AND legs. From what I understand, Richt's defenses have struggled with mobile QBs throughout the years so Franklin could make him lose some sleep this week. He also does a fantastic job of distributing the ball to all of the playmakers at his disposal, so the Georgia defense won't be able to zone in on any one player. The rushing attack of our three-headed monster does a great job keeping things balanced as well, so this offense keeps defenses guessing which is what convinces me it is for real. The factor that makes this offense look so much different than last year is Franklin, mainly because we have a QB that can get the ball downfield. He's thrown a couple of picks this season that make you wonder what he was thinking, but other than that he's looked like one of the top QBs in the league.
3) What is going on with Missouri's pass defense? I see they sit last in the conference in yards allowed, but lead the league in sacks per game and interceptions per game. Georgia, even with losing some strong receivers, has the ability to do a lot of damage through the air, so which stat is to be believed, the yardage allowed probl