On paper, this
looks like another mismatch. Georgia has been on a roll bulldozing
everyone they've faced, with the exception of the one point win at
Notre Dame. In the other five wins, they outscored their opponents
by a combined score of 190-41. And that's with Kirby Smart,
for the most part, playing mostly second and third stringers in the
fourth quarters to give them some playing time.
Missouri, on the other hand jumped all over Missouri State 72-43 to open
the season, then lost the other four. In the losses to South
Carolina, Purdue and Auburn, they only averaged 10 points a game.
Then, last week at Kentucky, they scored 34 but gave up 40.
The Bulldogs are ranked #4 in the nation and certain to go up after #2
Clemson lost Thursday night. For those that keep track of such
things, UGA is a 30 point favorite in this game. Friends back in the
Show Me State have been grumbling about a bad ref call that may have
cost them the game last week to the Wildcats. But, if you give up40
points in a game, you probably shouldn't have won anyway.
But, a shot of reality before kickoff. Apart from the road win over the
Fighting Irish, who have the Bulldogs played? A Mississippi State
team that beat Charleston Southern, Louisiana Tech, LSU and BYU but
lost to UGA and Auburn.
Georgia beat lower level Appalachian State and Samford teams, then
trounced pretty bad Tennessee and Vanderbilt teams who are winless
in six tries in the SEC and last in the East with the exception of
one team... Mizzou, who still will be a better test. But, a better
one will come in two weeks in Jacksonville.
The Tigers got the ball first after a nice return by Larry Rountree
to their 48. But the opportunity was squandered with a three and
out. Georgia took over after a 42 yard punt at their nine.
On a third and 8, Jake Fromm hit Terry Godwin for 38 yards
to the 39. Another third down completion to Javon Wims gained
21 to the MU35. Then Mecole Hardman swung around the left
side eluding a few defenders to put UGA up 7-0. The drive went 91
yards in 7 plays and 3:04.
Missouri's second drive began at their 25. After QB Drew Lock
overthrew a wide open receiver 50 yards downfield, the offense had
another three and out. Another nice punt put UGA at their 15.
Godwin caught one for 7 to the 23. But on a third and three, Fromm was
picked off by Cale Garrett, who took it back 21 yards for a
first and goal at the five. A shovel pass to Albert Okwuegbunam
tied the game at 7. The raucous crowd got a little quieter.
Georgia took over at their 25. Another third down completion to Wims
picked up 30 to the MU40. Another third down and another clutch
catch at the 18, this time for 22 with the first catch by Riley
Ridley. Third down and 11 and Ridley pulled one down from 19 in
the end zone for a 14-7 lead.
The Tigers tried to even things up again from their 25. A toss right to
Damarea Crockett picked up a first at the 38. J'Mon Moore
caught one for an 8 yard gain to the 47. But, an unsportsmanlike
conduct call against Moore pushed it back to the 31. Then, on a
third and seven, Lock threw a 63 yard bomb to Emanuel Hall,
who got the tie at 14.
UGA took over at their 25 with a Brian Herrien 7 yard rush, trying
to get a running game established with just 45 so far as the game
moved into the second quarter. The running game is what made the
next 75 yard scoring drive happen starting with Nick Chubb,
who leaped over a defender for a 20 yard gain to the MU48. A 10 yard
catch by Godwin took it to the 36. Then Sony Michel exploded
down the right sideline for a 36 yards TD making it 21-14.
Mizzou started at their 16. Lock converted a third and 7 with a 16 yard
pass Okwuegbunam followed by another TD bomb to Hall, thos
one for 65, tying it for the third time at 21. Clearly, an
adjustment by the defense had to start accounting for Hall, who came
into the game with just 9 catches for 233 yards and already had two
for 126 here.
From hit Charlie Woerner who did a Chubb impression and leaped
over a defender for a 50 yard gain to the MU20. A block in the back
call on Ridley made it third and 20 from the 30 followed by a sack
by Chris Turner for a third and 22. A catch by Hardman got it
back to the original line of scrimmage making the 37 yard field goal
by Rodrigo Blankenship a bit easier. For the first time by
either team, points were put up that wasn't a touchdown. UGA lead
After a touchback, Mizzou had the ball at their 25. A couple of nothing
plays brought up a big third and 8. This time, Lock's bomb went into
the hands of a red shirt as Dominick Sanders returned it 18
to the MU41. That was his 14th career interception, setting a new
school record of 329 yards after the INT. He also passed Kirby Smart
in team career picks, who had 13 from 1996-99..
Wims caught one for 19 to the 22. Fromm kept it for nine to the 13 and a
third and one. D'Andre Swift converted on an 8 yard carry for
a first and goal at the five. Fromm faked a handoff and took it in
on the left side to provide some cushion 31-21.
Back at the 25, the Tigers had to play catch up again, but from 10 behind
for the first time. Their cause wasn't helped by a three and out
giving UGA the ball back at their 30 with 2:29 left in the half.
Herrien was upended after an 8 yard run for a third and one at the 40.
The Dawgs were able to keep the ball with another conversion by
Swift at the 43. Less than a minute remained. DeMarkus Acy
was leveled by Michel at the 48 and had to be helped off the field.
Third and five with 34 seconds left. Converted again with a 16 yard
catch by Woerner at the MU36. Smart took a time out to stop it at 20
seconds. UGA got it close enough for another Blankenship field goal
from 43 extending the lead to 34-21 at the half. Stats showed the
Dawgs out rushing the Tigers 157-27. Because of the pair of 60 +
yard TD bombs, the passing stats were a bit closer with UGA still
ahead 250-173. But, apart from those two big gainers, they only had
47 yards through the air. The one pick of Fromm that resulted in a
score made the game closer than it should have been. But, give the
Tigers credit, they had been hanging tough.
Of course, Georgia got the ball to start the second half at their 20.
Wims caught one and added several yards after the catch for 17 to
the 42. Chubb took it up the middle for nine then broke free up the
Georgia sideline for 19 more to the MU30. Michel bounced off a
tackle and got another 17 to the 14. It was announced the Godwin had
an injury to his ribs and was out for now. But the drive fizzled
there with three more added by Blankenship from 29 extending the
lead to 37-21.
The Dawgs defense got another three play stop. Then disaster for the
visitors as a bad snap on the punt giving UGA a first and goal at
the 10 to start their drive. They could get nothing. The Missouri
defense had stiffened somewhat holding Georgia to a field goal in
their last four drives. Now 40-21.
Starting at their 25, Crockett carried for 8 and injured his right
shoulder on the play removing him for the rest of the game. The
couldn't get any more and had to punt again, this time for 49 yards
to the 18.
On the first play, Swift broke free and motored until he was brought down
71 yards later at the 10. The longest run from scrimmage so
far this year. An illegal substitution call moved it back to the 16.
No problem as Michel took it to the house adding seven for the Dawgs
instead of three and a commanding 47-21 lead, the most points they
had scored in a game to date. Since the game was tied at 21, UGA had
scored 26 unanswered points.
Another touchback put it at the 25. Lock hit RB Ish Witter for 8
then kept it for 12 to the 35. The defense held at midfield. Another
nice punt backed the Dawgs up at their six. A 36 yards rush by Swift
was nullified by an illegal motion call. Then a false start put the
ball at the two as the game went to the final quarter. Swift made it
out to the ten bringing up the first UGA punt of the night as
Cameron Nizialek boomed it 55 yards to the 32.
A combination of backups and the defense giving the offense short yardage
resulted in points. Lock found Johnathon Johnson for 26 to
the UGA42. Completions of six an nine to Hall got a first. Then,
Jason Reese was open up the middle for the first Missouri points
since 11:34 in the second quarter. 47-28.
On the kickoff, Hardman was taken down on the 24 with a direct hit to the
helmet that, upon review, resulted in a targeting call on Tavon
Ross, disqualifying him from the game. The ball was moved up to
the 39. Boos reigned own on the visitors. On a third and 8, Fromm
hit Hardman at the MU45 and the sophomore sprinted for the rest.
Smart decided to go for a two point conversion, not to run up the
score but more likely to practice the play. It didn't work. But the
lead was stretched to 53-28 with 10:27 still left.
Missouri started at their 25. Several handoffs to Rountree got them to
midfield but no more. The Dawgs had the ball again at their 21 with
7:43 to go. And that's where it ended. Final score 53-28. An unusual
game in that UGA had scored more points than in any game this season
finishing with 696 total yards, the second most in school history.
And unexpected on the other end with the defense giving up 28, the
most of any game this season.
Georgia gets a bye week to rest up for Florida, who lost earlier to Texas