Faurot Field was electric Saturday night; a packed house of 71,004 came out to watch the Missouri Tigers officially open their SEC season against the Georgia Bulldogs.
The first quarter was a bit slow for both teams, as both the Tigers and Bulldogs were trying to get a feel for each other. The action picked up in the second quarter as Mizzou and Georgia traded field goals, and later in the quarter, James Franklin connected with Marcus Lucas for a touchdown to put Mizzou ahead 10-3. However, Aaron Murray led the Dawgs down the field in nearly less than a minute for a touchdown of their own. Georgia did miss the extra point, so the Tigers were up 10-9 going into the break.
In the third quarter, Franklin connected with wideout L'Damian Washington for a 69-yard score, but once again Murray countered with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tavarres King (and converted the two-point conversion). After another Baggett field goal for the Tigers gave them the lead 20-17, things began to unwind.
Georgia scored 24 unanswered points with a lot of help from the Tigers. Franklin struggled in the 4th quarter, turning the ball over twice (1 interception, 1 fumble) to Bulldogs linebacker Jarvis Jones. The Tigers would go on to lose 41-20, but the game was much closer than the score indicated.
Note: LT Elvis Fisher went down midway through the second quarter. The senior redshirt suffered a knee injury, apparently serious enough that his availability for the remainder of the season is in doubt.
- James Franklin was ineffective: Franklin struggled heavily in this game. He had trouble getting any velocity on throws over 10 yards, he ran with no intensity, and he showed no grit in the 4th quarter when his team was down. If he wants to live up to the hype, he needs to become a leader.
- Sheldon Richardson played like an Old Man: Dear Sheldon, if you are going to talk trash on one of the SEC’s elite, please back it up. You and the rest of the defensive line could not penetrate that Bulldogs front.
- MIZ-DGB?: Freshman Dorial Green-Beckham had one catch for 5 yards in the loss. While he was on the field, he was only targeted this one time. The 6-foot-6 wideout cannot make an impact if nobody throws him the ball.
- The Zou held its own: The atmosphere of the game was equal to the Oklahoma game two years ago. The place was rocking from start to finish. Tiger Nation showed that going into Faurot would not be a cake walk and Georgia would have to earn it.
- S.W.A.G: Mizzou’s team motto for the season is “Sacrifice Will Achieve Greatness”. Not so much this game - demonstrated by Franklin’s inability to convert a 4th and inches in the 4th quarter. Follow this up with letting Georgia's players stomp on your logo to end the game, and maybe it's time for a new motto.
The Tigers play Arizona State on Saturday at home. Look for Coach Pinkel to get his guys motivated for a must needed W.