By: Joshua Waitsman
The Missouri Tigers squared off against the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday night and by no means deserved to win the game… And they didn’t.
Initially, the Tigers jumped to an early ten to zero lead, but they managed to squander it and fell behind 14-10 due to two Bulldog touchdowns. By the half though, the Tigers managed to pull closer to the bulldogs, down 21-20 once halftime started.
Both teams made several very good plays in the first half. Missouri’s Drew Lock was passing like he had been a starter for years.
Then the second half came along. Both the Tigers and Bulldogs would add 14 more to each of their scores as the Bulldogs took the game 28-27. The second half was plagued with mistakes by both teams. For the Tigers, Drew Lock never looked comfortable under center and could not seem to get into the rhythm he was in during the first half. His throws were riskier and he coughed up two interceptions in the second half.
Drew Lock however was not the only one with turnover problems for the Tiger offense. There were also two fumbles, including a late game fumble by J’Mon Moore that was recovered by Georgia while the tigers were driving with just over a minute left in the game with a chance to win.
Mizzou’s offense also could not manage to get the running game going at all. The offensive line seemed to play decently so this burden falls onto Ish Whitter and the rest of the running back core.
It was not just the players’ fault thought. There was some very questionable play-calling on the offensive side of the ball for the Tigers. One play really stands out. With about ten minutes left in the game, the Tigers were in field goal range and had come up on a third and five. Rather than run the ball and then kick the field goal, they opted to put the ball into the struggling hands of Drew Lock who coughed up his third interception of the game. A field goal would have put the Tigers up two possessions. One final note on mistakes made by the tigers was the penalties on defense that kept Bulldog drives alive.
The Tigers were not the only team to make mistakes in this game. The Bulldogs were never able to get their running game with Nick Chubb going, which was not only Nick Chubb’s fault, but the entire offensive line who allowed major penetration all night. The play calling also seemed predictable all game for the Bulldogs’ offense. When you throw in two missed field goals, both of which were chip shots they really could have done better on the offensive side of the ball.
Both teams did things right though during the game. Starting with the Bulldogs, they managed to prove that without a functioning ground game, they can win through the air if they need to. The Bulldogs also played a very disciplined football game as they were able to keep the penalties to a minimum. Their defense forced five turnovers, including the game-clinching fumble to win in the final minute.
The Tigers were able to come up with some plays of their own. That included pressure all night from Mizzou’s defensive line which had been extremely lackluster up to this point in the season.
The Tigers’ next game is another home affair against Delaware State on Saturday, September 24. That game will kick off at 3:00 pm CST.
The Bulldogs’ next game is another road bout at Ole Miss on the 24th. The game kicks off at 11:00 am CST.
(Featured Image: Alexzandria Churchill, The Maneater)