On media day Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel predicted that this debut game “will go down in history” and it sure did, except not in Missouri’s favor. The Tigers fell to the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday 41-20, but don’t be fooled by the headline score. This one was a game to remember. QB James Franklin connected on 25 of 41 passes for 269 yards, 2 TDs, and a pick.
The beginning of this epic battle was absolutely horrid. Balls were hitting the ground like they were playing dodgeball back in high school. With 6 fumbles total between the two teams. Missouri with 3 and 2 of them lost. Georgia also had 3 with 1 fumble lost. Aaron Murray completed 22-of-35 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns, as the seventh-ranked Georgia Bulldogs held off the Missouri Tigers, 41-20.
The score was tied 0-0 going into the second quarter with consecutive failed third down attempts by both schools. Finally, Missouri caught a break when Donovan Bonner picked off Georgia’s QB Aaron Murray, whom completed 22-of-35 passes for 242 yards, 3 TDs, and a pick, which Missouri kicked a field-goal off of making it 3-0 at the beginning of the 2nd quarter. Both of the defenses were stepping up and they were stepping up in a big way. Only 3-3 in the second quarter when Missouri finally found the endzone. WR Marcus Lucas broke free and Franklin found him hooking up for a 41-yard TD to give the Tigers the lead 10-3. That play got the ball-rolling in this tough SEC match-up. Georgia drove the ball down the field and Aaron Murray hit WR Marlon Brown on a back-shoulder fade in the end-zone to make it 9-10. (Kicker Marshall Morgan failed extra point.) Mizzou headed into halftime with a 10-9 lead feeling good about their SEC birth.
At the start of the third quarter Georgia recieved, and they ended up with a 3 and out. The Bulldogs punted the ball away. QB Franklin had an incomplete pass to the left, Lawrence had a 1-yard rush to the right, then out of nowhere Missouri broke another big play with a 69-yard reception from WR L’Damian Washington (17-9 Tigers). Big plays were the story for the Tigers in this debut game, but the Bulldogs would not have Missouri waltzing into the SEC and taking them down for their first game in the conference. The next drive Georgia went 12 plays for 75 yards with 4:02 TOP Aaron Murray led Georgia to another score by slinging the ball to Tavarres King for a touchdown and then converting the 2-point conversion to WR Michael Bennett. The assuming drive Mizzou went 13 plays, 63 yards, (4:48 TOP) with a 25-yard field goal from K Andrew Bagget making it 20-17 Missouri and that was it. Georgia scored a touchdown before the end of the 3rd quarter making it 24-20.
Mizzou did not score again. Georgia’s defense dug their foot in the ground and wouldn’t budge. With consecutive 3 and outs by the Tigers, Georgia went on to demolish them 42-20. The game was closer then score leads you on to believe and I think that for the most part the guys played their hearts out. This is only the beginning to the Missouri Tigers and their path to glory in the SEC. M-I-Z! Z-O-U!
Missouri has a long season ahead of them and I think that if they keep their effort up as they did in this game that we will win many games and that our talents will come to fruition. DGB was a non-factor in this one, we will see as the season goes on how he progresses.
Other game notes
-James Franklin had 20 rushes for 65 yards, Kendial Lawrence also had 8 carries for 63 yards.
-Marcus Lucas hauled in 6 passes for 88 yards and a score, while L’Damian Washington had 2 grabs for 81 yards and a TD.
-Todd Gurley carried the ball 10 times for 65 yards and a score for the Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 SEC), who beat Buffalo by a 45-23 margin last week. Ken Malcome rushed for 33 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
-Marlon Brown had 106 yards on 8 receptions and two touchdowns for the victors. Tavarres King caught two passes for 41 yards and a score.