Missouri may face a make or break point in their season, during just the second game of the season. If the Tigers want to show they will be a major player in the SEC in 2012, they will get a strong test on September 8th when the Goergia Bulldogs come to Faurot Field to take on Gary Pinkel's club in the first conference game as members of college football's strongest conference.
The Bulldogs return 15 starters from a 2011 squad that went 10-4 last year, capping off the season with a triple overtime 33-30 defeat at the hands of Michigan State in the Outback Bowl.
Georgia is lead by junior quarterback Aaron Murray. The 6'1" Florida native threw for 3,149 yards last year and 35 touchdowns with 14 interceptions. The 35 touchdowns set a single season Georgia record.
The top two wide receivers from last season, Tavarres King and Malcolm Mitchell return as well. The duo combined for 92 receptions, 1370 yards receiving, and 12 touchdowns.
Georgia will be looking for new found production at tight end, and will be looking to 6'5" 272 lbs junior Arthur Lynch to fill that void.
When it comes to running back, the Bulldogs appeared set with Isaiah Crowell, after he gained over 900 yards last season. However after a recent felony arrest, Crowell has transferred to Alabama State. Thus the starting running back nod goes to 5'6" 174 lb Brandon Harton who rushed for 255 yards and a touchdown last season. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry last fall.
Along the offensive line, Georgia returns two starters while the defensive line features two defensive tackles who are over 350 lbs each.
Returning All-American, junior Jarvis Jones, returns at outside linebacker. The 6'3" 241 lb junior had a conferenced leading 13.5 sacks last year.
Georgia averaged 32 points per game last season, and racked up 408.5 yards of offense per game. Defensively the Bulldogs allowed 277.2 yards a game. The staunch rush defense only gave up 101.2 rushing yards a game.
So as you can see, the Tigers will get an immediate test in the second game of the season. Missouri should be able to provide enough defense to stay with Georgia, but the question will be how Mizzou adapts to a high level SEC defense. With what should be a raucous home crowd in Columbia, look for this one to go down to the wire.