Missouri ends Dawgs’ national title hopes

Rob Saye

The seventh-ranked Georgia Bulldogs suffered their first SEC loss of the season, a 41-26 defeat to No. 25 Missouri Saturday in Sanford Stadium.


In this contest, a couple of tenured streaks were broken. Georgia’s 15-game home winning streak was snapped, meanwhile, Missouri accomplished something that the Tigers had not done in 32 years; beat a top-10 opponent on the road.


In the first half, the Bulldogs committed two turnovers, was 25 percent on third down, and trailed 28-10. The first half was also filled with penalties, especially pass interference, which was called several times by the officials.


Missouri had a field day in the first half, scoring touchdowns on four consecutive drives after being forced to punt on its first two. Georgia led in total yards at the half (230-225), but couldn’t get the running game going, averaging 3.2 ypc and rushing for 48 yards on 15 carries. Mizzou gained 91 yards on 19 carries.


On the first play of the Dawgs’ fifth drive, Missouri struck gold with the “trifecta” (sack, fumble, score). Shane Ray sacked Murray and forced the ball out. Michael Sam recovered the fumble and ran it back 21 yards for the score that put the Tigers up 28-10 with 5:46 remaining in the first half.


On the next drive, the Dawgs drove 69 yards in 10 plays but failed to execute when freshman tailback Brendan Douglas coughed up the ball at the Missouri 8-yard line, diminishing any hopes of the Bulldogs cutting the Tigers’ lead to 11 before the half.


The Bulldogs opened the second half with 10 unanswered points and the defense stepped up in the third quarter, limiting the Tigers’ potent offense to only 35 yards.


A costly missed PAT by Missouri kicker Andrew Baggett kept the Dawgs’ hopes alive, only trailing by one score (34-26) with 9:22 remaining in regulation. However, Murray and the Dawgs couldn’t take advantage of the Tigers’ miscue. With 4:25 remaining in the game, Murray threw a back-breaking interception on the first play of the drive, and Mizzou turned the miscue into another Tiger touchdown.



Georgia didn’t suffer any major injuries and are one week closer to the return of Todd Gurley. Freshman tailback Douglas showed the team that he can contribute. He became the team’s workhorse in the second half, toting the rock with confidence.


Murray was not his normal self today, throwing two interceptions. The Bulldogs will go back to the drawing board and get ready for the next game in Nashville against the Vanderbilt Commodores.


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