The Missouri Tigers started sluggish out of the gate, and while they showed some fight before halftime, Georgia dominated the second half in beating Mizzou 49-14 on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 turnover-aided lead, threatening to blow out the Tigers. While No. 25-ranked MU scored a pair of touchdowns to tie the score — using a blocked punt to do so — No. 9 Georgia scored 35 straight points to slam the door on any comeback attempt.
“We’re not there right now with our program and able to compete every down,” MU coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “Need your best stuff in order to beat a team like that. We didn’t have it today. We gotta get it back.”
It was an ugly game for the Tigers (5-4) — especially in the trenches against the Bulldogs (7-2). Georgia was dominant on the ground, bleeding clock and running for 316 yards and four touchdowns.
On the other side, it was a subpar rushing performance from the Tigers. Larry Rountree III was shut down, rushing for 16 yards as there wasn’t much running room, though he added one touchdown. The Bulldogs finished with a 316-22 edge in rushing yards.
Georgia’s pass rush was a problem for the Tigers all game as it lived in the MU backfield and caused quarterback Connor Bazelak to scramble. Bazelak had the worst game of his career since taking over as Mizzou’s full-time starting quarterback this season. He threw 17 for 28 passes for 139 yards and an interception on the game’s second play.
It was the George Pickens show Saturday as the Bulldogs wide receiver feasted against a depleted MU secondary. With starter Jarvis Ware out and Adam Sparks opting out, the Tigers were relying on plentiful youth, which Pickens picked apart for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
“I was proud of the way our guys fought,” Drinkwitz said. “Everybody was still trying to encourage everybody on the sideline to keep on going. We don’t have enough depth. We’re playing with 59 scholarship players right now.”
The Tigers close out the 2020 season with a road game at Mississippi State on Dec. 19. That game is being made up from Dec. 5 after COVID-19 postponements had to juggle the schedule. The early signing period also opens Dec. 16 as the Tigers will sign the bulk of their 2021 recruiting class.