Missouri Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs: Many a Missed Opportunity


The Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Missouri Tigers 9-6 on Saturday night. The Missouri Tigers’ offensive woes continued in Athens. Despite starting off with an Ian Simon interception, the Tigers settled for a field goal on their first drive. The Tigers could not recover from the opening drive, as QB Drew Lock failed to push the running game even while completing 42.3% of his passes. Missouri’s run game took a further hit as RB Russell Hansborough left in the third quarter with a right ankle injury.

The Tigers made multiple blunders throughout the game; WR Cam Hilton fumbled a punt return in the third quarter, eventually leading to a Georgia field goal; the defense, despite having a good read on Bulldogs QB Greyson Lambert, had only two interceptions. The defense tipped multiple passes, including a goal line pass in the 3rd quarter but could not convert those into interceptions. The greatest missed opportunity belongs to kicker Andrew Baggett; the redshirt senior missed a 38-yarder at the end of the first quarter.

Missouri’s offense succeeded, relatively speaking, in the air game. QB Drew Lock went 11-for-26, throwing for 143 yards. Lock looked liked he was finally getting comfortable; Lock threw a few deep passes into the red zone, but the offense could not convert the opportunities. This was not Lock’s fault, but more so the fault of the paltry running game, which continually got stuffed by the Georgia defensive line.

Despite the running game’s obvious deficiencies, offensive coordinator Josh Henson kept calling for runs in the red zone; the result was the same each time: run it up the middle, get stuffed by the defensive line. There was no variation in the runs, no going left or right, purely up the middle. The Bulldogs picked up on this early, and stacked the box, neutering the Missouri run game entirely.

Drew Lock and company were lucky that Georgia’s deep running back corps faltered without Nick Chubb; the Bulldogs only ran for 120 yards, forcing QB Greyson Lambert to rely on his air game. Lambert went 21-for-30 and threw for 154 yards, relying mainly on WR Malcolm Mitchell. Georgia had further troubles; S Domonik Sanders was ejected after being called for targeting with a helmet-to-helmet hit on WR Emmanuel Hall, wasted a crucial timeout with 10:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, and shanked a 26-yarder with 5:40 remaining.

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It was all for naught however, as Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan nailed a field goal with 1:49 remaining, and Missouri could do nothing with the remaining time. A catch by J’Mon Moore was ruled out of bounds, and the game ended in a Georgia victory.

Once again, the Missouri offense faltered in the face of a stout defense, and now bowl eligibility is a question in and of itself.

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