Who: at Missouri
When: 7:45 p.m. Saturday
TV; radio: ESPN2; 750, 95.5
Record: 1-0 (0-0 SEC)
Last time played: The only previous football game between Georgia and Missouri came in the Orange Bowl at the end of the 1959 season. Georgia won 14-0 on two long touchdown passes by quarterback Fran Tarkenton.
Offense: Missouri’s spread offense revolves around dual-threat quarterback James Franklin, a 6-foot-2, 228-pound junior who last season passed for 2,865 yards and ran for 981. Starting tailback Kendial Lawrence, a senior, ran for 121 yards in a season-opening 62-10 victory over Southeastern Louisiana last week. The Tigers’ top receiver is T.J. Moe, who caught 146 passes in the past two seasons. Freshman Dorial Green-Beckham, a 6-foot-6, was the nation’s No. 1-rated high school receiver last year and caught three passes for 32 yards in his college debut.
Defense: Missouri allowed 380 yards per game last season, which ranked No. 61 in the nation but No. 4 in the offense-oriented Big 12. Outspoken defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, well-known for his comment that Georgia plays “old man football,” is a highly regarded player who transferred to Missouri from junior college last year. Cornerback E.J. Gaines was first-team All-Big 12 last season, when he had 16 pass breakups. Linebacker Zaviar Gooden has started 27 consecutive games.
Special teams: Sophomore Marcus Murphy returned punts 70 and 72 yards for touchdowns last week, becoming the first player in Missouri history with two two kick-return TDs in the same game.
What you should know: Missouri (8-5, 5-4 Big 12 last season) has won eight or more games in each of the past six seasons.
Coach: Gary Pinkel is in his 12th season at Missouri (86-54 record) and 22nd as a head coach (159-91-3, including 10 years at Toledo).
– Tim Tucker, AJC
THE AJC’s COMPLETE COVERAGE OF GEORGIA’S SEASON OPENER: