This Homecoming Game would be a little
different for those alum making the trek back to Athens...the first time UGA has had a Homecoming Game at night. Made planning
all of the extracurricular events a bit tougher.
It also would be a game of significant importance. Both Georgia
(4-2, 2-2 SEC) and Missouri (4-2, 1-2 SEC) are SEC East opponents. The
loser can pretty much table any hopes of making it to Atlanta for the
SEC Championship Game. The winner, though not in the driver's seat, at
least is still in contention needing to win out to be in the running.
For the Bulldogs, that means win here, then beat Florida, Kentucky and
Auburn. Do that and you might be in. It still depends on what Florida
does at LSU. Mizzou has one less conference loss but still has games at
Vanderbilt and Arkansas and home games with Mississippi State and
Georgia must do it without the services of their star running back,
Nick Chubb, lost for the season last week at Tennessee. That moves
Sony Michel, Keith Marshall and Brendan Douglas up a notch
in the RB pecking order. All have shown they're capable of handling the
Missouri is coming off a 21-3 home defeat to the Gators. UM has a
talented QB in Drew Lock who was thrown into the starting role
earlier than expected when Maty Mauck was suspended indefinitely
for violating team rules before Missouri's game against South Carolina
three weeks ago. Making his case for reinstatement worse, Mauk was
caught favoriting a series of tweets slamming Lock's performance during
last Saturday's loss against Florida.
The talented redshirt freshman shows tons of promise but
is still adjusting. At least their fans who make the trip south don't
have to worry about missing the Cardinals in the playoffs. Just a little
jab. I'm from St. Louis and spent five summers as an usher for the
Cards. Missouri is one of my alma maters.
Talk about bad starts. Georgia got the ball first at their 28. On the
very first play, Grayson Lambert was picked off on a deflection
by FS Ian Simon who ran it all the way to the one yard line. But,
to their credit, the defense did some damage control and didn't let them
in, forcing a short field goal to put MU up 3-0.
UGA would try again from their 25. A short pass to Terry Godwin
and the freshman broke a tackle draped around his ankles and turned it
into a ten yard gain. On a third and eight Godwin converted again
with a 12 yard catch at the MU49. Michel got his first carry for seven
yards for a third and three at the 42. Another handoff to the back and
another first down at the 37. The drive stopped there and the Tigers
took over after an intentional short 26 yard punt at the 14.
the defense held them to a three and out. After a 59 yard Corey
Fatony punt, the Bulldogs got the ball at their 21.
Lambert hit Reggie Davis for a six yard gain. Malcolm Mitchell
got his first catch for 16 yards at the 46. Douglas caught another for
seven more into Missouri territory at their 47. Mark Richt
decided to go for it on fourth and one but saw Douglas get stuffed at
the line. The ball went over on downs with the Tigers getting great
Then, even better position after Lock found Nate Brown wide open
for 33 yards to the UGA20. Lock was sacked for a seven yard loss to the
28 for a second and seventeen. TE Sean Culkin got nine back but
still a third and eight. This time Andrew Baggett's field goal
went wide right leaving the score at 3-0.
The Dawgs took over at their 20. Michel broke free for ten for a first
down at the 35 then caught short pass to the right and the back moved
it nine yards up field to the 44 as the first quarter came to an end.
The 33 yard catch by Brown had accounted for all but ten of his team's
yardage in the quarter.
Mitchell brought down a catch on a third and eight for a first down at
the MU34 then got another first at the 21. Michel took a short
toss and averted a loss for a five yard gain. On a third and nine
Lambert tossed it to Douglas who got all but one. Marshall Morgan
came it and tied it up from 29 yards.
The big screen showed former Bulldog RB Todd Gurley sitting on the
sidelines. With the St. Louis Rams having a bye week, it was a perfect
time to come and see his old team play his new zip code's fan favorite
An on sides kick by Georgia failed to surprise giving the Tigers the ball
at the UGA44. Richt took the chance probably thinking his defense could
stop Missouri if the kick failed. He was right. Three and out again and
Georgia got it back after a 31 yard punt at their 13.
Godwin got back into the thick of if with a nice 35 yard catch and run to
the 48. Keith Marshall had a nice nine yard gain but saw half of it come
back on the next play on a false start by John Theus to bring up
a third and six at the MU48. Even more in the wrong direction as Lambert
was sacked by Terry Beckner forcing a punt to the ten.
Lock took over the next drive starting with a 24 yard completion to TB
Russell Hansbrough. On third and three from the 41, Lock showed a
flash of what has fans so excited about. As he was falling back to avoid
a sack, he heaved a perfect 14 yard pass to TB Ish Witter, then
hit Cam Hilton 29 yards downfield at the nine for a first and
goal. Gary Pinkel called his first time out with 0:47 to go in
the half. The Georgia defense, which had been so stingy through most of
the game was suddenly leaking big yardage.
Mizzou called a time out at 0:16 and settled for a go ahead field goal to
make it 6-3 at the half.
What is it with these baseball scores? This was my second game of the
day. Earlier, I covered the Kennesaw State Gardner-Webb game in Kennesaw
with a 12-7 win for the KSU Owls. Now, just nine points combined in the
first half. UGA had controlled much of the game with 177 yards of
offense to Mizzou's 127 and lead time of possession by seven minutes.
Eighty four of the Tigers' 127 total yards came on that last drive. Even
with all of the control, UGA was still down by three. The difference so
far was that first play interception and field goal.
John Gibson took the opening kickoff and could only bring it back
to the 17. But, the defense held again and forced a punt to the 22.
Michel got eleven on a pair of carries. But, still UGA could not produce
a sustained drive, punting the ball away to the 24.
Of course, Missouri couldn't get a first down and punted with Godwin
taking it at the UGA 40 and returning it to midfield, the best starting
position of the day for the Bulldogs.
Michel got things started with eight up the middle to the MU43. A first
down carry by Michele was nullified on a holding call on Theus moving it
back to the UGA47 for a second and 13. Escaping a rush, Lambert got
eight of it back on a pass to Mitchell. But, nothing more except another
punt, this pinning the Tigers at their 7.
On a third and ten, an incomplete pass drew a foul on Dominick Sanders
giving Mizzou a first down at the 23 and a Sanders ejection. On the
sidelines defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt blew his top at
Quincy Mauger shoving him and screaming in his face. After the punt,
he sought him out on the sidelines and continued being held back while
Mauger taunted him.
Again, no offense as Charles Harris sacked Lambert for a ten yard
loss back to the 15. If no one else would do it, special teams decided
to as Mitchell knocked the 40 yard punt loose from Hilton with the
fumble recovered at the MU43 by
Malcolm Parrish. It had been
quite awhile but the Dawgs finally got another first down on a four yard
carry by Douglas. The back got eight more to the 13, then broke free
from a tackle for another first at the five. To the Tigers' relief,
Georgia pulled Douglas out and got nothing but an interception by
Anthony Sherrils at the two. A lot of yards, a lot of nothing on the
scoreboard. But more relief, this time from the fans in red and black as replay reversed the call giving Morgan
a chance to tie it again. He did it again, this time from 44. Tied again
Gibson took the kickoff at the ten. But a block in the back call moved it
back to the MU7 as the game moved into the final quarter.
Lock got his team out of the hole with an 18 yard pass to Brown to
the 28. But, Davin Bellamy sacked the QB for a loss bringing up a
third and eleven. They had to punt again. Special teams came through
again as Godwin took the punt at the 24 and returned it 19 yards giving
Georgia the ball at their 43. UGA took a time out then got two more
first downs on a pass to Godwin and a carry by Michel, moving the ball
to the MU34. A big 16 yard catch by Michel had them at the 15. They
would only get four more before turning it over to the normally reliable
Morgan, who missed wide left from 26. Game still tied with 5:40
Mizzou took over at their 20 but could do nothing and punted to the
UGA32. Godwin, showing some promise on kick returns, brought it out to
An eight yard pass to Mitchell got a first down at the MU39. On the next
play, a big MU pass interference call on Aarion Penton advanced
the ball to the 24. Michel got eight more on the ground as the Tigers
called a time out at 1:53 to go. Michel got one more as MU took another
time out. Morgan, after some encouragement by Richt, came in and put his
team ahead for the first time 9-6 from 34 yards.
Morgan kicked it 64 yards to the MU1 with Gibson taking it out to the 17
needing just a field goal to send it to overtime. But, Lock was sacked
for a five yard loss by Leonard Floyd followed by an intentional
grounding call moving it back to the ten. On a fourth and 17, Missouri
took their final time out with just over a minute left. An incomplete
pass and the game was history. The first time that Georgia had won a
game with less than ten points since 1971.
Next up, the Bulldogs get a bye week before heading south to Jacksonville
for an enormous date with the Gators, who lost at LSU. The winner likely
going to the SEC Championship Game.