No. 13 Georgia hosts Mississippi St with something to prove

Mississippi State (2-4, 2-4 SEC) at No. 13 Georgia (4-2, 4-2), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST (SEC Network).

Line: Georgia by 25.

Series record: Georgia leads 18-6.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Pride, mainly. Georgia still has an outside shot at reaching the Southeastern Conference championship game, but would need to win out and hope Florida loses two of its last four games — highly unlikely with the Gators’ remaining opponents sporting a combined record of 7-17. Mississippi State is looking ahead to 2021 after a stunning upset over defending national champion LSU in the season opener was followed by a four-game losing streak.

KEY MATCHUP

Georgia’s defense vs. Mississippi State QB Will Rogers or K.J. Costello. Coach Mike Leach wouldn’t announce a starting quarterback, but whoever gets the nod will have his hands full against a Georgia defense that has something to prove after giving up 571 yards to Florida — its worst showing of the Kirby Smart era.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mississippi State LB Aaron Brule. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound sophomore leads the team with 20 total pressures (16 hurries, two quarterback hits, two sacks), which is tied for sixth in the SEC and leads all linebackers. He posted a career-high 12 tackles against Vandy.

Georgia QB JT Daniels. Smart also declined to reveal his starting quarterback, but it seems likely that Daniels will finally get a chance to take snaps for the Bulldogs. A transfer from Southern Cal, he missed all but one game last season with a knee injury. He has fully recovered and could give a boost to Georgia’s anemic passing game, which ranks 12th in the SEC in yards per game (209.3).

FACTS & FIGURES

Georgia has won 10 straight meetings at Sanford Stadium since Mississippi State’s last victory in Athens, a 19-7 triumph in 1956. … Both teams are coming off unexpected off weeks. Georgia’s game at Missouri was postponed by COVID-19 concerns, while State’s game against Auburn was called off for similar reasons. … This will be Georgia’s first home game since a 44-21 win over Tennessee on Oct. 10. … Mississippi State RB Jo’quavious Marks ranks second nationally among freshmen with 38 receptions. That’s a school record for both freshmen and running backs. … If Daniels gets the call, he would be Georgia’s third starting quarterback of the season. Redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis started the opener at Arkansas, while former walk-on Stetson Bennett held the job in the last five games.

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