COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Both defenses dominated for nearly the entire first half of Saturday night’s Georgia-Missouri game. And then all of a sudden, the Tigers and then the Bulldogs launched lengthy touchdown drives and needed a minute or less each to reach paydirt.
Missouri marched 63 yards in 31 seconds to go up 10-3 with 1:31 left in the first half, and then Georgia responded with a five-play, 71-yard drive that lasted 1:01. Georgia freshman Marshall Morgan missed the PAT, making it 10-9.
The late fireworks added a jolt to a first half in which both offenses were purely inept. Those hoping for a shootout were certainly disappointed, as Missouri had 130 total yards and Georgia had 148. But perhaps the two late drives will spark the offenses in the second half.
Stat of the half: 0-7 and 1-10. Georgia’s sputtering offense failed to convert any of its seven third-down opportunities in the first half. Missouri was not much better, converting just one of its 10 tries on third down.
Player of the half: Jarvis Jones. Georgia’s All-America outside linebacker has been a terror for Missouri’s offense, lining up in multiple positions to lead a defense that is the only reason the score is as close as it is at halftime. He has six tackles at halftime, trailing Amarlo Herrera (10 stops) by four for the team lead.
What's working for Georgia: The Bulldogs’ defense is bottling up Mizzou quarterback James Franklin extremely well. The Tigers’ vaunted offense has accounted for just 10 points, despite starting with promising field position a handful of times. The Tigers moved the ball well late in the first half, however.
What's not working for Georgia: Georgia has not moved the ball well on the ground or through the air and already has committed four penalties that negated a couple of first downs. The Bulldogs have rushed for only 44 yards on 17 attempts and Aaron Murray was shaky for most of the half before recovering to go 4-for-5 for 71 yards on the late touchdown drive, capping it with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Marlon Brown.