Mizzou held its ground against No. 2 Georgia in the initial stages of the game, but the Bulldogs surged ahead in the second half at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. Despite their best efforts, the No. 12 Missouri Tigers succumbed to penalties and turnovers, resulting in a 30-21 loss to UGA on Saturday.
It Was a Difficult Second Half for Mizzou
The second half proved to be a tough challenge for MU, with UGA racking up 20 points and the Tigers getting penalized five times for 34 total yards. Those penalties exacted a heavy toll on Missouri during the final two quarters.
In the third quarter, Mizzou’s defense was hit with two penalties during Georgia’s first offensive possession. Linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper was penalized for a rare defensive delay of game, resulting in a five-yard penalty. However, the most costly penalty occurred on third-and-seven. Defensive back Dreyden Norwood was flagged for pass interference, awarding UGA a crucial first down. A few plays later, running back Kendall Milton rushed for a 15-yard touchdown, giving the Bulldogs a 17-13 lead.
Photo Cred: UGA Today
Kirby Smart’s team continued to build momentum in their next possession. Quarterback Carson Beck connected with wide receiver Ladd McConkey for a 33-yard reception, positioning his team at Missouri’s 9-yard line. Beck concluded the drive by rushing for a five-yard touchdown, extending UGA’s lead to 24-13 with just 38 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Tigers mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, but errors proved costly. Hopper was penalized again, this time for pass interference on Beck’s pass intended for tight end Oscar Delp. The infraction resulted in a first down due to the automatic 15-yard penalty, placing Georgia in the red zone. After gaining only five yards, Bulldogs kicker Peyton Woodring drilled a 30-yard field goal.
MU’s most significant mistake of the day occurred with less than eight minutes remaining in the game. QB Brady Cook threw an interception to defensive lineman Nazir Stackhouse, shifting the momentum back in favor of UGA. Georgia capitalized on the extra possession with a 48-yard field goal by Woodring, extending their lead to 30-21 with just 3:57 left in the matchup. In the following possession, Cook threw another interception with a little over a minute and a half left. DB Javon Bullard secured the victory at his own 17-yard line.
Photo Cred: YouTube- Georgia Bulldogs Football
Missouri Did Not Make It Easy for Georgia
Eliah Drinkwitz’s team fought tenaciously throughout the game on the road against the two-time defending national champs. Missouri remained within striking distance of the Bulldogs in the first half and continued to do so the rest of the game.
The Tigers’ offense scored two touchdowns on Saturday. Cook threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to WR Luther Burden III on their opening drive, giving them an early 7-3 lead. RB Cody Schrader also found the end zone at the start of the fourth quarter, a critical moment for MU. Missouri followed this up with a successful two-point conversion connection from Cook to Burden, reducing their deficit to 24-21 with 12:41 remaining.
Photo Cred: Yahoo Sports
Cook concluded the contest with 212 passing yards and a touchdown, along with 39 rushing yards. Theo Wease Jr. led the way among MU receivers with 90 yards on five receptions. He made several crucial plays, including a 15-yard reception on fourth-and-14 late in the game. Burden also had a solid performance, contributing 53 yards and a touchdown. Schrader stood out in the running game, accumulating an impressive 112 yards and a touchdown.
Blake Baker’s defense showcased some standout moments as well. Hopper (10 total, seven solo) and Joseph Charleston (seven total, six solo) led Missouri in tackles. The Tigers managed to sack Beck three times, a remarkable feat considering that the Georgia QB had been sacked only five times prior to this game. Defensive tackle Kristian Williams, defensive lineman Darius Robinson, and Hopper all recorded a sack each.
Missouri will return to Faurot Field next Saturday as they host No. 19 Tennessee. The game will be broadcast on either CBS, ESPN, or SEC Network.
Photo Cred: Tennessee Athletics