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Georgia all set for Mizzou
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ATLANTA — From the perspective of Georgia coach Kirby Smart, the only thing that has stopped Missouri's big-play offense has been the Tigers' turnovers.
Thus the big concern for the No. 4 Bulldogs on Saturday: Can Georgia continue its dominant defensive play if Missouri's offense, led by quarterback Drew Lock, protects the ball?
Georgia (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) is favored to post its first 7-0 start since 2005, the year it won its last conference title. The Bulldogs lead the SEC East, and while there has been increased chatter about Georgia's path to the College Football Playoff, players have talked this week of maintaining focus with an important game against Florida next on their schedule following a bye.
Missouri (1-4, 0-3) has been hurt by 14 turnovers. The Tigers lost two fumbles, leading to 14 points for Kentucky, in last week's 40-34 loss to the Wildcats . Missouri lost despite holding a 568-to-486 advantage in total yards.
"To be honest, offensively, they have only stopped themselves," Smart said. "Not many people have really stopped them as far as yardage."
After losing quarterback Jacob Eason to a sprained left knee in a season-opening win over Appalachian State, Georgia has leaned on its running game and defense to keep winning with freshman Jake Fromm. Eason has returned but Fromm has kept the starting job.
Georgia ranks second in the nation with its average of 10 points allowed.
Lock threw for 355 yards, with three touchdown passes of more than 50 yards, against Kentucky. He ranks sixth in the nation with his average of almost 16 yards per completion.
"He has incredible arm talent," said Georgia defensive back Aaron Davis. "I think this is the third year that I've seen him. Every time he can make any throw that he possibly wants to on the field. We definitely need to be on our cues when we go against him."