By: Nate Gatter, KCOU Sports
On an overcast Saturday afternoon, the Georgia Bulldogs reminded the Missouri Tigers why they had not missed the quality of the Southeastern Conference. While the Tigers had managed to avoid playing any teams in the upper echelon of the SEC through their first five games, Georgia traveled to Memorial Stadium and shut out Mizzou 34-0 in Columbia.
After the news broke Thursday that Georgia running back Todd Gurley had been suspended indefinitely due to NCAA rules violations, Georgia’s hopes on Saturday and at an eventual playoff berth seemed dashed. On the turf at Faurot Field, however, Nick Chubb and Brendan Douglas proved otherwise. The duo combined to rush for 208 of Georgia’s 210 yards on the ground and scored a touchdown each. Chubb had mixed feelings about replacing Gurley as the Bulldogs’ starting running back.
“Coming in behind Todd made me a little nervous… so I just kept doing what I was doing. Everybody just told me that they believed in me and to play hard,” the freshman said.
UGA kicker Marshall Morgan got things started with a pair of field goals in the first quarter of 47 and 29 yards, respectively.
The ‘Dawgs offense finally broke through early in the second quarter when Hudson Mason ran in Georgia’s first touchdown, an 11 yard scamper to give UGA a 13-0 lead. It was one of two total touchdowns for Mason; the senior quarterback also completed 22 of 28 passes for 156 yards.
Mason’s only touchdown through the air came later in the second quarter when he connected with fellow senior, wide receiver Michael Bennett, in the back corner of the end zone to give Georgia the 20-0 halftime lead. Mason felt the Georgia offense had something to prove on Saturday.
“Todd is a big part of our offense, and I know he is one of the best players in the country. But we had a chip on our shoulder as far as we don’t have Todd and everyone thinks that the world is falling apart,” he said.
The Bulldogs continued to pour it on in the second half with Brendan Douglas and Nick Chubb both notching touchdown runs. Douglas gave UGA a 27-0 lead in the third quarter with his 15-yard saunter while Chubb tacked on Georgia’s final touchdown in the fourth quarter, diving for the pylon to cap a nine-yard score.
For Missouri, quarterback Maty Mauk struggled mightily, turning the ball over five times, including four interceptions. Mauk completed only 9 of 21 passes for 97 yards and finished with a quarterback rating of 0.9. But despite Mauk’s rough afternoon, Missouri senior running back Marcus Murphy has not lost faith in his quarterback.
“I’m with him. Every game is not going to be your best game. One game could be your worst game, but we’re out in this together,” Murphy said.
The Tigers possessed the ball for just 17 minutes and 37 seconds, leaving its exhausted defense to be continually assaulted by Georgia’s array of downhill runs and quick passes.
Missouri punter Christian Brinser got extensive action, turning in another stellar performance. The redshirt senior from Liberty, Mo. punted six times, averaging 44 yards per punt with a long of 57.
Georgia will take on Arkansas in Fayetteville next week.
The Tigers return to action next week when they travel to Gainesville for another SEC East matchup, this time against the Florida Gators. Gametime is at 6 p.m. with KCOU’s coverage starting at 5 p.m. with Tigers Pregame Live presented by El Rancho.