Ole Miss has issues with finishing games after squandering 20-plus point leads in its first two losses.
To put the Rebels' woes into proper perspective: the rest of the FBS has only two losses after holding a 20-point lead.
Georgia has concerns about a running game that produced only 101 yards rushing in last week's comeback win at Missouri.
Such is the situation as the No. 23 Rebels (1-2, 0-1) host the No. 12 Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0) at noon ET Saturday in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.
"It is going to be another great challenge for us," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. "We knew September was going to be this way, and it is time for us to get back out and find a way to finish a game."
Freeze's Rebels led Alabama 24-3 at last week before losing 48-43 to the top-ranked Tide. That collapse came two weeks after they built a 22-point cushion against Florida State before losing 45-34 to the Seminoles.
Interestingly, Georgia has demonstrated its comeback ability in all three of its wins to date, even against Nicholls State in the second game of the year.
The Bulldogs trailed 14-13 in that one before pulling out the 26-24 win over the FCS foe. The week before they trailed North Carolina 24-14 in the third quarter before rallying for the 33-24 victory.
Last week in their SEC opener, they trailed 27-21 at Missouri with less than four minutes left before freshman quarterback Jacob Eason led a drive that produced the decisive score with just 1:29 to play on a 20-yard completion to wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie.
Asked about that hookup this week, Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart preferred to put it in the past.
"To be honest with you, that play's done," Smart said. "We've got to worry about Ole Miss. They're going to have some really fast guys rushing. I'm really worried about what they've got rushing."
Also of concern for Smart is a running game that suddenly has turned stagnant for the Bulldogs. Tailback Nick Chubb has run for 365 yards for the season, but 222 of that came in the opener against the Tar Heels. He rushed for 80 yards against Nicholls State and only 63 against Missouri.
"We have to be able to run the ball better," Smart said. "Effectively, we talked about run efficiency. We were only run-efficient in the first game.
"Efficiency for us is success at which you run it at first down, second down and third down. We haven't been run-efficient that last two games.
"When you ask how do we do that better, we have to create opportunities for our kids to be successful in. That's the challenge we have as coaches, and that's the challenge we're going to issue to our players."
Ole Miss, on the other hand, has struggled to stop the run. The Rebels are next-to-last in the SEC in run defense, allowing nearly 243 yards a game to opposing rushers.
"They're going to be a tough run team to stop," Ole Miss defensive tackle Issac Gross said of the Bulldogs. "They throw the ball, too. I see more of a play-action team. They're going to pound the ball."
The Rebels also have had problems dealing with turnovers. They rank last in the SEC with a minus-5 turnover margin, having coughed it up seven times with quarterback Chad Kelly being responsible for six of the giveaways. Two of those resulted in defensive touchdowns for Alabama last week.
"We have to make sure every series ends in a kick, whether it's an extra point, a field goal or a punt," Kelly said. "I have to take it upon myself to keep putting it in my head to take care of the ball."
The Rebels hope to exploit Georgia's apparently vulnerable defense. The Bulldogs have allowed over 214 yards a game to opposing passers. Kelly has passed for 953 yards, an average of nearly 318 a game.
Georgia has had Ole Miss' number in the series as of late with 10 straight wins in the series, though the teams haven't played since 2012. But with their season at an early crossroads, the Rebels have more pressing reasons to get this one.
"It's a game that we have to win for sure," Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram said. "That's what's special about it."