A chilly but
clear night in Athens promised temps to dip into the upper 30s by
the end of the game, carried nationally by ESPN.
This was a very important matchup in the SEC East. UGA was already in the
driver's seat with a clear path and a third straight trip to Atlanta
within view. But, they still needed to win out with three tough
conference games ahead. At Auburn, at home with Texas A&M and here
with the Tigers, who had won 9 consecutive November games dating
back to 2016.
With Florida having already won, Mizzou came in knowing that a win would
make it a three way tie for first.
Georgia won the toss and deferred with Missouri starting their drive at
their 24. Taylor Powell was in at quarterback replacing an
injuried Kelly Bruant. Tyler Badie caught a 8 yard pass but
that's all they got. The punt was returned back by Dominick
Blaylock 18 yards to the 40. On a third and six, Laurence
Cager went deep with a 32 yard catch at the MU24. The Dawgs were
12 for 18 last week on third downs against Florida, one of the keys
to their 24-17 victory. After connecting on the third down pass to
Cager, Jake Fromm did it again. This time needing 11, he hit
George Pickens up the middle for a 25 yard touchdown and the
first points of the 7-0 game. The first drive went 60 yards in just
Mizzou began their second drive at their 25, but were again stopped on a
three and out.
UGA took their second turn at their 27. Brian Herrien got some
tough yards to the 36. And, for the third time, his team converted
on third down as he took it for 7 more to the 43. Zamir White
with his first carry got five. But the drive stalled there with the
punt fair caught by the dangerous Richaud Floyd at the MU14.
Larry Rountree gained six, but the 20 yard line was their limit.
After a 50 yard Tucker McCann punt, the Dawgs got the ball at
their 30. After a three yard James Cook rush, Trey Hill
had to be walked off the field with an ankle injury. After a
five yard D'andre Swift run, Fromm converted another third
down with a nice run for 15 up the middle to the MU47. They needed 8
for this third down and got twice that with another Cager catch at
the MU28. A third and six came up short but was given after a big
roughing the passer call moving it to just outside the 10. Cager
caught another for five for a first and goal at the five as the
first quarter came to an end. Being from Missouri and an alum, I
know the smattering of fans clad in gold and black in the northwest
end zone were used to this weather. But, they couldn't like the ice
cold offense their team had shown being held to just 23 yards so
Rodrigo Blankenship added three to the lead from 20 to
extend their lead to 10-0.
An 11 yard Powell pass to Barrett Bannister got his team their
first first down of the game at the 35. The QB kept it for 9 to the
45. Facing a fourth and one, Barry Odom took his first time
out and wisely decided to punt. Dawgs ball at their 23.
But UGA's drive got off to a slow start with a nine yard sack of Fromm by
DeMarcus Acy at the 14. Too big a hole to dig out of. The
punt landed and took a Mizzou bounce back to their 41.
Albert Okwuegbunam moved the drive with a pair of catches for 17
to the UGA37. Kam Scott caught another for 10 to the 27. But,
the defense rose up and stopped the promising drive in its tracks as
Richard LaCounte leaped up at the 10 yard line and picked
Powell off running it back 71 yards to the 18. An errant snap lost
12 as Fromm fell on it at the 30. A delay of game made it third and
27 at the 35. A short four yard pass moved it to a more makeable 48
yard field goal, which Blankenship took care of for a 13-10 lead.
The Tigers gook over at their 25 with a false start bringing up a third
and 11 at the 24 with a punt following fair caught at the 36.
Up by just 13 after dominating the first half, UGA could have used more
points but went three and out. Giving the visitors the ball back at
their 11 with 2:31 left before halftime. The moved it a bit. But, an
unsportsmanlike conduct call on Scott moved it back to the 14. After
a 42 yard punt, Georgia had the ball at their 37 with just 36 to
That was enough as Fromm hit Cager for 30 yards to the MU30. The star
receiver was banged up on the play and wouldn't return.
A few plays later, Blankenship put one through for the third time from 47
to give his team a 16-0 halftime lead. Mizzou had been held to just
99 yards of total offense. UGA lead in time of possession 18:24 to
11:36. The Dawgs had only put up 164 yards themselves but made it
count for the 16 point lead.
How times have changed. For Veteran's Day, they've been honoring several
UGA cadets on the field, each appropriately greeted with lots of
cheers. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure, when I was in college, they
would have been booed. Vets were treated very poorly in the early
70s in this country.
I don't drink coffee but got more than a few cups of decaf (and a nice
hot chocolate) in me to ward off the chills.
Georgia began the second half at their 25 with a 47 yard burst from Swift
sprinting to the MU28. But, that drive came up empty as
Blankenship's attempt went wide left. Tigers' ball at the 26.
A third and 11 resulted in a sack at the 20. Blaylock took the 47 yard
punt at his 37 and escaped a few defenders to add 16 to his 47 for
great starting field position.
Fromm quickly got a first with a nine yard toss to Pickens at the MU36.
Demetris Robertson took a reverse handoff and motored 16
yards around the edge to the 19. Herrien added six more to the 13.
Cook carried it to the 11, two yards shy for another third down.
But, they couldn't put it in again, settling for the fifth time for
a field goal with Blankenship connecting for the fourth time to pad
the lead to 19-0.
Temps had dropped to 38. But, fans didn't seem to mind with the
comfortable three score lead.
Another touchback and Missouri had the ball again at their 25. Powell was
swarmed by several Bulldogs for a nine yard sack at the 16. Nolan
Smith was given credit. The QB made u for it wit a 20 yard pass
to Jonathan Nance to the 36. That's all they could get. The
visitors from the Show Me state had pretty much been sitting on
their hands all game with little to cheer for with their team only
mustering 109 yards of offense so far.
Georgia got the ball back pinned back at their 14 after a 45 yard punt.
Another third down conversion as Pickens got 11 on a catch at the
31. Herrien looked like he was stopped but refused to go down as he
moved the pile for 11 more to the 42. Then, the ball got a bit
slippery as two straight plays had it come loose with both plays
ruled dead. Redshirt freshman Kearis Jackson got his
initial catch with a 14 yarder and another third down conversion
into Missouri territory at their 44.
A great tradition as everyone pulled out their IPhones on flashlight to
usher in the final quarter. The fantastic red LED light show
restarted as punctuation. Herrien ran out of bounds at the 34 yard
line, a half yard short of what he needed. Swift got enough for a
new set of downs at the 33. Cabe Mays hobbled off the field.
A deep ball to Pickens in the end zone drew a flag on Jarvis Ware
putting it in the red zone at the 18. On the next play, he went back
to Pickens who made an outstanding catch for six. Kirby Smart
went for two and got it on a completion to Cook. If it wasn't
already, the game was comfortably in hand at 27-0. That was enough
for most of the Tiger faithful who began to hit the exits.
Mizzou got the ball back at their 15 after an amazing 62 yard kickoff by
Blankenship. Backed up on their 16, the Tigers again went three and
Mizzou's next drive was their best of the night as they took the
ball from their 20 all the waydown to the UGA 4. But, the defense
continued doing an amazing job and stopped them as Odom was forced
to go for it on fourth and goal. The Bulldogs remained the only team
in the nation at any level to have not allowed a single rushing
touchdown. The final 27-0 score gave UGA its third shutout of
Missouri in their last nine games and was also the third shutout
this season in nine games. They had held the Tigers to just 198
yards of total offense, 50 of it on the ground.
The Dawgs can lock in the SEC East Division title and a return trip to
Atlanta to probably face the #1 ranked LSU Tigers, who just knocked
off Alabama in Tuscaloosa. A win next Saturday at a very tough
Auburn would cement that goal. Kickoff is at 3:30pm on CBS.