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Can UGA Cover this Massive Spread against Mizzou?

Can UGA Cover this Massive Spread against Mizzou?

ATHENS, Georgia – Did you think this would be a top 15 match up at the beginning of the year? I sure didn’t.

I thought Missouri and Eli Drinkwitz would struggle with mediocrity for years to come. Now, a win over Georgia puts them in the driver’s seat to win the SEC East. Feels like 2013 again. 

Related: Dan’s Week 9 College Football Predictions

The Odds







(7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS)






(8-0 SU, 3-5 ATS






When: Saturday, November 4th at 3:30 EDT

Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA


Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of November 4th, 2023


Last year the Tigers gave the Bulldogs all they could handle, but a 4th quarter comeback in Columbia kept the Dawgs’ perfect season alive. Surely, after last year’s performance Mizzou would have Kirby Smart and Georgia’s full attention this year.

Add in the fact that Mizzou’s only loss was a narrow escape by the nation’s top offense in LSU, and you know Kirby’s got everyone dialed in to face off against the Tigers. 

Under the list of things I didn’t see coming, Brady Cook’s emergence as a legit QB definitely fell under that list. The junior QB is completing passes just under 70% with 15 touchdowns and 3 INTs on the year.

He’s mobile enough to make you pay attention to him, with 5 rushing TDs on the year. He’s leading Missouri to be one of the nation’s most lethal red zone offenses. He has begun to push the ball further down the field and improved his accuracy to make his game a true threat to any team. 

Beast of Burden

Receiver Luther Burden III is already nearing the 1000 yard mark for the season with a good chance of surpassing it against the Dawgs. Behind Marvin Harrison Jr, Burden is the most dynamic receiver in the nation. He’s a guy Georgia desperately wanted, but he ultimately chose to stay home and play for the Tigers.

His 61 catches are close to double the next highest on the team, Theo Wease Jr. Add in Mookie Cooper’s explosivity, and you have a 3-headed monster at the receiving corps for the black and yellow.

Drinkwitz and the Tigers will shift and motion these guys around to create mismatches on the defense. Burden can be in the backfield, slot, or out wide on any given snap and he has to be identified each down. Plus, they will use bunch formations to create confusion for defenses. 

Cody Schrader is a physical back at 5’9, 215 lbs. He’s averaging almost 6 yards per carry with 9 scores to his name. He’s not much of a threat out of the backfield. Yet, his best game this year came against LSU (shocker) where he tallied 114 yards on 13 carries for 3 touchdowns.

He managed 159 yards last weekend against Carolina. UK was able to bottle him up the week before, holding him well under his season average with carries. LSU and Carolina’s defensive lines don’t exactly strike fear into anyone’s hearts at the moment. UK shut down of Schrader may be closer to what UGA can do against him. Mizzou runs because they have to, but they really want to let it rip and find explosive plays through the air.

Defensively, Missouri has a strong corner in Kris Abrams-Draine. They will bring pressure and will put a lot of bodies near the line of scrimmage while bringing some for pressure and dropping others in coverage. This team does not stop the run effectively at all. UGA should be able to run the ball against them.

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Tykee Smith is key for the Dawgs this week. As the nickel corner, Burden will be his man many times, unless Georgia decides to change things up and put Malaki Starks on him. It wouldn’t shock me.

Tykee has had a big year so far, but this will be his toughest test. The Dawgs should be able to make Missouri one-dimensional because they should be able to stuff the run.

However, the Dawgs have not faced a passing offense this potent so far. Mizzou’s 3 receivers can punish you, with Burden being a true game-breaker. The only good news for the Dawgs is that Missouri has not faced anything close to a good defense thus far. The best defense they have faced is somewhere around 70th in the nation. UGA will bring much more to the table. 

Even still, Missouri will likely move the ball and score against this team.

They just have too many weapons and Georgia is vulnerable defensively. They will get the ball out fast unless they are in 3rd and long. If Missouri keeps their 3rd down reasonable, they’ll keep the sticks moving because UGA’s pass rush that they featured against Florida won’t have time to get to Brady Cook before he gets the ball out. 

If UGA will get scored on some this game, they’ll need to be ready to score points to outpace Missouri. Unless they shoot themselves in the foot, they should be able to do so.

Carson Beck is dealing and Ladd McConkey seems to be back. With their playmakers at receiver, UGA should move the ball. I think UGA will look to use Dom Lovett in a way that rubs it in the face of the Tigers that he’s now on the Dawgs. Perhaps it’s a whip route for a score, I don’t know. But UGA will try to send a message with him if they get the chance. 

Run, Run, Run, Run

Since everyone can run against Missouri, Daijun Edwards should feast in this game. Which means Georgia, with a balanced attack, should put up plenty of points in this game. Look to see if Amarius Mims makes his way back to the field this week after recovering from his high ankle sprain. He should get some playing time this week. Regardless, the O line is gelling and Edwards is at the top of his game. 

Where UGA can get sideways is if Missouri is able to successfully get in Beck’s face again and again. Most teams haven’t repeatedly blitzed the Dawgs. Missouri just might to see if they can get Beck off his game. 

Oh, and Brock Bowers will be out. It sucks. 


I think UGA starts slow and exchanges some punches with UGA during the game. Both teams should be able to hit explosive plays through the air and UGA may find some on the ground too.

This UGA secondary will get its first real test and I think they’ll show some vulnerabilities. Yet, I don’t see Missouri keeping up with the Dawgs for 4 quarters. I think in the second half, barring stupid turnovers, UGA beings to pull away. Logic says you should not pick UGA to cover the spread. I’m doing it anyways, but just barely in game that only stretches out in the second half. 

Dawgs win and cover: 42-24

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