Recap: Missouri vs. Georgia
Columbia, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - No Todd Gurley, no problem.
Georgia went to Missouri without its Heisman Trophy candidate, but a stout defensive effort and a 143-yard rushing performance from freshman Nick Chubb lifted the 13th-ranked Bulldogs to a dominating 34-0 victory over the 23rd- ranked Tigers in an SEC East showdown on Saturday at Faurot Field.
Gurley was suspended by the school earlier this week while an investigation into possible extra benefits is conducted. The running back reportedly was paid for signing items and memorabilia.
Chubb ran the ball 38 times with a touchdown to lead a Georgia ground attack that racked up 210 yards. Brendan Douglas also rushed for a score, as did quarterback Hutson Mason, who threw for 156 yards with a touchdown on an efficient 22-of-28 passing for the Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 SEC), who have won four in a row since a 38-35 loss at South Carolina.
"Todd is a big part of our offense, and I know he is one of the best players in the country," said Mason. "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. So we took it upon ourselves that we need to show everybody that there are 10 other guys on our offense that are making this thing go, and 11 other guys on defense. It was a very big inspirational win, and a lot of emotions went into it."
The Georgia defense intercepted Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk four times, twice by Quincy Mauger, and also forced him to fumble. Mauk finished the contest just 9-of-21 passing for 97 yards.
Missouri (4-2, 1-1), coming off a bye after a 21-20 win at South Carolina, managed just 147 total yards and only 10 first downs. The Tigers had a stark differential in time of possession, holding the ball for just over 17 1/2 minutes, while Georgia controlled it for nearly 42 1/2 minutes.
"We turned the ball over five times," said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. "I don't ever remember in my career if we've turned the ball over five times before. That magnifies things tremendously and obviously puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your defense. With a combination of all those things, it wasn't a very good day."
Georgia posted a road shutout of a ranked team for the first time in school history and blanked a ranked team away from Athens for the first time since a 44-0 rout of a No. 20 Florida squad in Jacksonville in 1982.
Marshall Morgan kicked a 47-yard field goal to cap Georgia's first possession and Mauger intercepted Mauk a few plays later. The Bulldogs could not take advantage of the turnover, but Damian Swann picked off a tipped Mauk pass on Missouri's next series and Morgan converted with a 29-yard field goal.
The Bulldogs then forced a Missouri punt and drove 71 yards for the game's first touchdown. Mason finished the 13-play set with an 11-yard run to the end zone for a 13-0 edge just over four minutes into the second quarter.
Missouri followed with a three-and-out and Georgia again answered with a touchdown. Mason completed 5-of-6 passes on the 10-play series, finishing it with a perfect 9-yard scoring toss to Michael Bennett in the back right corner of the end zone for a 20-0 cushion.
The Tigers couldn't manage much offense on their final three possessions of the second quarter. The second of the three ended when Georgia's Leonard Floyd knocked the ball out of Mauk's hand for a fumble at midfield. The Bulldogs, though, were unable to move the ball and punted it back to Missouri in the final minute of the half.
Mauk was intercepted in Georgia territory on each of Missouri's first two possessions in the second half. The second pick led to a 15-yard touchdown run by Douglas, capping a nine-play series exclusively on the ground.
Chubb finally reached the end zone on Georgia's next series with a 9-yard run midway through the fourth to account for the final margin.
"Coming in behind Todd made me a little nervous, but I've been playing football my whole life so I just kept doing what I was doing," said Chubb, who also had four catches for 31 yards. "Everybody just told me that they believed in me and to play hard. It kind of just hit me in the face Thursday. We all got the news at the same time and we had to just keep practicing hard to come out here and do what we did today."Game Notes
Missouri was shut out for the first time since 38-0 loss to Kansas State at
home on Nov. 23, 2002 ... The Tigers were 0-for-7 on third down ... The
Bulldogs began a string of four straight games away from home Saturday. They
will play next week in Little Rock against Arkansas and will then have a bye
before the annual trip to Jacksonville against Florida. A visit to Kentucky
follows before Georgia finally returns home for a Nov. 15 matchup with Auburn
... Missouri visits Florida next Saturday ... Georgia improved to 3-1 all-time