Georgia vs. Missouri score, takeaways: Concerns arise as No. 1 Dawgs escape upset bid with late touchdowns
The top-ranked Bulldogs didn't find the end zone until the final 10 minutes of the game
No. 1 Georgia received an unexpected scare Saturday before grinding its way back for a 26-22 win at Missouri. The Bulldogs entered as four-touchdown favorites but trailed 13-0 in the second quarter after a sluggish offensive start marked by two fumbles. The Dawgs didn't find the end zone until there was 9:39 left and only assumed the lead with 4:03 remaining.
Nevertheless, Georgia improved to 5-0 behind the resiliency of quarterback Stetson Bennett IV and accuracy of kicker Jack Podlesny.
The SEC East showdown devolved into a field goal kicking contest during the second and third quarters as both defenses repeatedly stiffened in the red zone. Podlesny and Missouri's Harrison Mevis each went 4 for 4 on field goal tries in the game.
With pressure from the Dawgs mounting late in the game, the Tigers finally broke in the fourth quarter as Georgia capped two long scoring drives with 1-yard touchdown runs. It was UGA's first comeback from a double-digit halftime deficit since the 2018 Rose Bowl, which ended in double overtime.
Bennett started 10 of 25 through the air but hit 14 of his next 19 passes. He finished with 312 yards as running backs Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards did a lot of the heavy lifting helping move the Dawgs on the ground.
Georgia outgained Mizzou 299-100 in the second half with a 23-6 scoring run to end the game starting with the final play of the first half.
Missouri fell to 0-17 all-time against No. 1-ranked opponents. This was only the third such game that the Tigers lost by single digits. Georgia improved to 15-1 all-time as a No. 1-ranked team against an unranked opponent.
Dawgs come out flat ... again
A week after some uncharacteristically sloppy play in a 39-22 win against overmatched Kent State, Georgia looked like that same flat version of itself in the first half. The Bulldogs received the opening kickoff and promptly went three-and-out as Missouri's Trajan Jeffcoat sacked Bennett on third-and-14.
The Tigers found success rushing Bennett throughout the first half as the Bulldogs failed to score on their first five possessions. Included in that stretch were a pair of fumbles that gave Missouri good field position. Georgia was particularly ineffective running the football in the first half, entering the break with just 33 yards rushing. That mark was also inflated by a 35-yard run from Kendall Milton that ended with a fumble.
Failure to capitalize
Missouri's failure to capitalize with more than just three points on those two Georgia turnovers may haunt the Tigers as they review the loss. Another instance of Missouri failing to capitalize on a golden opportunity came when the Tigers settled for a field goal after a 63-yard run from Cody Schrader set the Tigers up with a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line on their last possession of the first half.
A false start penalty moved Mizzou backwards and gave Georgia's defense some life, resulting in a 22-yard field goal from Mevis. While the 5-for-5 night from Mevis included four makes of 40 yards or more, the Tigers needed a better finishing punch from their offense to beat the nation's top-ranked team.
Big loss for Georgia defense
Georgia star defensive lineman Jalen Carter left the game in the first half with a knee injury and did not return. Carter ranks No. 6 in CBS Sports' 2023 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings and is a force on the interior for the Bulldogs. If he's out for an extended period of time, it could take a toll on a Georgia defense already replacing nine drafted players from last season's national championship squad. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound junior was considered questionable entering the game and has been limited throughout the beginning of the season.
Nice series from the Georgia defense, which forces a three-and-out. Tigers choose to punt since they have three timeouts remaining, but the Bulldogs will have a chance to put it away.
Bulldogs take first lead
It took a while, but Georgia finally has its first lead of the game as the Bulldogs cap a 7-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run from Daijun Edwards. A 12-yard screen pass to Brock Bowers set up the score. We're not done yet, though. Missouri will have 4:03 on the clock and all three timeouts.
These guys are making some really nice plays at the skill positions for Missouri. Unfortunately for the Tigers, a 15-yard hands to the face penalty just wiped out a big first down grab from Barrett Bannister. As a result, the Tigers faced a third-and-22 and went nowhere. So Georgia will get it back trailing by just three points.
Georgia's offense is rolling, with Darnell Washington making a seriously insane catch in double-coverage down the left sideline as he got crushed. Big-boy play. But the problem is that anytime it goes into the red-zone, it just collapses. Kendall Milton was just stuffed on a third-down carry, forcing UGA to go for it on fourth down. The Bulldogs converted though and Milton punched it in from a yard out.
Harrison Mevis just drilled a 56-yarder. Man is on an absolute heater right now after playing the role of GOAT last week at Auburn. The pass interference penalty gifted Mizzou new life on that drive. What a wild game.It's gotta be touchdown time if you're Georgia.
Bulldogs on the ropes
Start 4Q: Missouri 19, Georgia 12
The Tigers have he football in Georgia territory to start the fourth quarter after getting bailed out on a third-and-17 by a pass interference call on Georgia. Big defensive sequence coming to start the fourth quarter.
Missouri stands again
There have now been eight field goals as Missouri's defense makes yet another stand following a fast start for the UGA offense on that possession. Jack Podlesny hits from 29, and Georgia is within 19-12. Just amazing how solid this Mizzou defense has been in the red zone.
With a 15-yard run from Kendall Milton that came with an extra 15 yards due to penalty and a 30-yard completion from Stetson Bennett to Darnell Washington, the Bulldogs are quickly in business. Georgia can't keep settling for field goals but Missouri's defense just hasn't broken yet. Big sequence coming here late in the third quarter.
Brady Cook hit Mookie Cooper for a gain of 46 to put Missouri quickly back into Georgia territory, but the Tigers quickly stalled out from there. Yet, once again, Harrison Mevis comes through. This time, it's a 52-yarder. Mevis is 4 of 4 with three makes of 40+ yards. Tigers back ahead by two possessions.
Methodical FG drive
Georgia converted a third-and-7 with a huge 14-yard connection between Stetson Bennett and Ladd McConkey to keep its first drive of the second half alive. Then, on third-and-goal, Bennet was sacked by Darius Robinson, leading to a 28-yard field goal. This Missouri defense has been excellent tonight. Huge win to limit UGA to 3 after a 16-play drive that ate half the third quarter clock.