No. 23 Missouri embarrassed at home by Georgia
College Contributor Network
It wasn't supposed to be like this.
Playing for a national audience on CBS in a game that would decide who is in the driver's seat for the Southeastern Conference East Division title, No. 23 Missouri wasn't supposed to play this poorly on Saturday.
Yet, the Tigers did.
Missouri suffered its first home shutout in over a decade, losing to No. 13 Georgia 34-0.
"Obviously we're remarkably disappointed," Tigers coach Gary Pinkel said. "I'm responsible. We've had good weeks of practice and I thought our preparation was good. I didn't see anything different. Obviously we had our struggles."
The Tigers didn't do much of anything right, going zero for seven on third-down conversions with starting quarterback Maty Mauk throwing four interceptions on the day. And even though Georgia was without star running back Todd Gurley, the Tigers still allowed the 'Dawgs to rush for 210 yards with true freshman Nick Chubb stealing the show and running for 143 yards himself.
"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," Chubb said after the game. "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."
Georgia announced on Thursday that Gurley was suspended for NCAA violations of profiting off his likeness, leading many to believe the Tigers and their defense would have an easier task ahead of them. Chubb had other plans, causing the defense problems all day and keeping them on the field for an astounding 83 plays over the entire game.
"It's real tough," said senior defensive end Markus Golden. "If our offense ain't doing too good, we got to go out there and they had our back a few times when we weren't too good."
On the flip side, the Georgia defense did the opposite, keeping Missouri out of the red zone for the entire game. The furthest the Tigers ever got into Bulldog territory during the game was the 34-yard line.
Georgia's first two scores came on field goals while their four touchdowns were a trio of rushing ones from quarterback Hutson Mason, Chubb and Brendan Douglas -- with the other six points coming on a nine-yard pass from Mason to Michael Bennett.
While the 'Dawgs control their own destiny in the SEC East, the team still has to play Arkansas and Auburn among other teams, which is why you can't pencil them into the SEC championship game just yet.
Missouri is also still alive in the SEC East but will likely have to win out and have a few things go its way.
Georgia improves to 5-1 on the season while Missouri drops to 4-2. The Tigers play at Florida next Saturday with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. EST.
Alex Schiffer is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Missouri and hails from Westfield, New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter: @TheSchiffMan