Bulldogs Put The Bite On The Tigers SEC Debut

On Saturday night, the #7 Georgia Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0) defeated the Missouri Tigers (1-1, 0-1) by the final score of 41-20 as the first SEC game by the Tigers gets away from them in the 4th quarter.

On Saturday night, the #7 Georgia Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0) defeated the Missouri Tigers (1-1, 0-1) by the final score of 41-20. 

"Georgia's a very good football team,"  said Missouri's Coach Pinkel.  "I give them a lot of credit."

Early in the game, both teams appeared to be overly psyched up for the game, and both offensive teams played nervously, and made numerous mistakes.  The defenses dominated in a scoreless first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, a Donovan Bonner interception gave Missouri the football on Georgia's 25-yard line, but the Tigers had to settle for a 38-yard Andrew Baggett field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

Georgia answered with a field goal of their own.  After that, both teams began to settle down a little.

Late in the first half, Missouri took a 10-3 lead on a 41-yard TD pass reception from James Franklin to Marcus Lucas.

Georgia came right back again, and drove 71 yards in 5 plays in less than a minute, as Aaron Murray found Marlon Brown in the right corner of the end zone from 2 yards out.   But, the Bulldogs' failed to convert the PAT, making it a 10-9 game at the half.

The player of the game was Georgia's Jarvis Jones, who kept Georgia in the game during the first half with a convincing Lawrence Taylor impression.  Jones was all over the field, and he was as disruptive to Missouri's offense as any Bulldog fan could have hoped for.

Early in the second half, the Tigers extended their lead to 17-9, as James Franklin found L'Damian Washington behind the defense on a post for a 69-yard TD pass reception.

But Georgia came right back, and drove 75 yards on 12 plays.  Murray found Tavarres King on a 7-yard slant for a score, then he hit Michael Bennett in the right corner of the end-zone for the 2-point conversion to tie the score at 17-17.

Missouri drove 63 yards on 13 plays, but had to settle for a 25-yard field goal to give the Tigers a 20-17 lead with 2:39 remaining in the third quarter.   

Georgia drove 72 yards on 5 plays, as Murray hooked up with Brown in the front center of the end zone from 11 yards out for the score, and Georgia took the lead for good at 24-20 with 51 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

As the fourth quarter got underway, Missouri found themselves facing fourth and eleven from their own 35-yard line.   Missouri faked a punt, but failed to convert, and Georgia took over at the Missouri 38-yard line.  The Tigers defense stiffened, and Georgia had to settle for a field goal that extended their lead to 27-20 with 11:17 remaining in the game.

Later, Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt would refer to stopping that faked punt as the game's "biggest play".

It was at this point in the game that Missouri turned to Franklin.  It was Franklin's time to be great and lead the Tigers from behind for the win.   But, it was Jarvis Jones who was great, and who took over the game, as he intercepted Franklin and returned it to the Missouri 1-yard line, setting up a Todd Gurley TD run. 

Then, on Missouri's next possession, Jones sacked Franklin and knocked the ball out of Franklin's hand.  After a mad scramble for the loose ball, Georgia's John Jenkins, another outstanding Bulldog defensive lineman, fell on it inside the Missouri 5-yard line.  Three plays later, Ken Malcome ran it in to make the score Georgia 41 - Missouri 20.

"We just made a lot of mistakes,"  explained a disappointed Coach Pinkel.   "It was a 7-point game, and we turned the ball over twice inside our own 5-yard line.  You're not going to beat anybody like that!"

Missouri outgained Georgia, 371 yards to 355 yards of total offense, but Jones had left his mark on this game.  He was dominant early in the game, disrupting Missouri's offense and keeping Georgia in the game.  Then, when it was time for Missouri's Franklin to step up and take charge of the game, Jones was even more dominant, and he and Jenkins simply slammed the door on the Tigers.

"We've got the whole season left,"  said Coach Pinkel.  "We lost a tough game and we'll come back and battle next week."  

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