Missouri Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs: 5 things to know for Saturday’s game in Columbia

John Bazemore/AP

Neither Missouri nor Georgia is thrilled about the outcome of its most recent football game: the Bulldogs because they looked ordinary against Kent State but got the victory, the Tigers because they found ways to lose at Auburn.

Now, the Tigers must somehow forget about the bizarre loss in which they missed a chip-shot field goal at the end of regulation and fumbled into the end zone in overtime, and find a way to match up against the nation’s top-ranked team.

It’s Mizzou’s biggest challenge this season, facing the nation’s top-ranked team. Georgia has won eight straight in the series, including last year’s 43-6 rout at Athens, Ga.

Here’s a bit more about Mizzou-Georgia this time around.

The details

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Faurot Field, Columbia

TV: SEC Network

Radio: KMBZ (98.1 FM)

Betting line: Georgia by 27 1/2

Five things to know

Mizzou fans see this past weekend’s game as a heartbreaking loss, but UGA coach Kirby Smart sees great effort given in a road game: “We talk about it all the time,” Smart said. “It’s tough to win on the road in the SEC. And I have a lot of respect for Eliah (Drinkwitz), the job he’s done, what he does offensively and defensively.” Smart went on: “They do a good job. I’ve always thought a lot about the job he does offensively and the issues they create defensively, as well. This year, they have big personnel up front. They play physical. They just played a really tough game against Auburn. A tough way to lose a game.”

Playing the best: Georgia is ranked No. 1, and that means Missouri will have played the nation’s first- or second-ranked team in four of the past five seasons. In 2018, they played No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Georgia. But that’s life in the SEC fast lane. Last year, the Tigers went to Athens, Ga., and fell to the top-ranked Bulldogs, 43-6. Tyler Macon started at QB for MU and shared time with Brady Cook.

Nathaniel Peat won’t forget how the last game ended: But he shouldn’t forget how he played before that, either. Peat had the second-most productive rushing game of his four-year career with 110 yards. Only one other time, for Stanford against Southern California last season, had Peat topped 100 rushing yards. But his fumble to end the game while going into the end zone is the memorable moment from the Auburn loss.

Dominic Lovett is the go-to wide receiver: At Auburn Saturday, Cook found Lovett for a pair of explosive plays, completions covering 40 and 39 yards. The Tigers have a solid receiving corps. Lovett, who averaged 17.9 yards per reception, is the biggest threat.

So much NFL talent: Georgia had 15 players selected in the 2022 NFL Draft — including five in the first round, all on defense This season’s Bulldogs could have four players taken in the first round of the 2023 draft with tackle Jalen Carter leading the way. Cornerback Kelee Ringo, tackle Broderick Jones and edge Nolan Smith are among UGA’s first-round prospects.