Oct 12, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Markus Golden (33) hits Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) as he releases the ball during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Missouri defeated Georgia 41-26. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The Sports Xchange
Missouri 41, Georgia 26
ATHENS, Ga. — Critics might have chortled to themselves at Missouri’s non-conference schedule, but after Saturday’s 41-26 upset of No. 7 Georgia, who’s laughing now?
Certainly not the Bulldogs, who saw their home winning streak snapped at 15, while Missouri defeated a top-10-ranked team on its home field for the first time in 32 years.
The Tigers are 6-0 overall, 1-0 in the SEC, while Georgia slipped to 4-2, 3-1.
Missouri was already playing with house money before Saturday’s game.
Georgia kicked off already without running backs Todd Gurley (ankle) and Keith Marshall (ACL), along with Malcolm Mitchell (ACL), Justin Scott-Wesley (ACL) and Michael Bennett (MCL), the Bulldogs’ top three wide receivers.
Fortunately for Georgia, quarterback Aaron Murray was feeling just fine.
The Bulldogs were trailing, 28-10, at halftime, but Murray brought them back with two touchdown passes, including a 10-yarder to Chris Conley with a little more than 12 minutes to play.
The two-point conversion attempt failed, but after being seemingly out of it, Georgia found itself back in the game at 28-26.
However, the Tigers would find an answer, scoring on their next possession on a 40-yard pass from wide receiver Bud Sasser to L’Damian Washington, his second touchdown of the game.
On Georgia’s next possession, Murray’s pass was intercepted by Randy Ponder. Moments later, the Tigers tacked on a final touchdown to escape with the victory, despite an injury to quarterback James Franklin, which knocked him out of the game.
Missouri couldn’t have asked for a better first half.
After the Bulldogs opened the scoring midway through the first quarter on a 6-yard pass from Murray to Brendan Douglas, the Tigers answered by driving 79 yards in nine plays to tie the game, 7-7, on Franklin’s five-yard touchdown run.
The second quarter was all Mizzou.
A 17-yard pass from James Franklin to Washington preceded a beautiful 36-yard run by Marcus Murphy that enabled the Tigers to push the lead to 21-10.
It was about to get even worse from a Bulldog perspective.
On Georgia’s next possession, left tackle Kenarious Gates and tight end Arthur Lynch were beaten by defensive end Shane Ray, who sacked Murray, resulting in a fumble.
Defensive end Michael Sam scooped up the fumble and ran 21 yards to a touchdown with 5:46 left in the quarter.
It appeared the Bulldogs were about to answer three minutes later, but after driving 65 yards, Douglas fumbled at the Tigers’ seven-yard-line, enabling Missouri to go into halftime with a 28-10 lead.
NOTES: Tailback J.J. Green and linebacker Reggie Carter made their first career-starts for the Bulldogs. … With their two fumble recoveries in the first half, Missouri has caused a turnover in 36 straight games, the longest active streak in the BCS. … With his three touchdown passes Saturday, Aaron Murray has 112 for his career, two behind Danny Wuerffel’s SEC record of 114.