Observations from the Cheap Seats: Georgia Bulldogs dominate Missouri


I’ll admit that I was doom and gloom walking into today’s game. I thought our Georgia Bulldogs would put up a fight, but I did not see a shutout coming, and I did not see the defense balling out like they did.

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For the first time this year, I was not at the game. Unfortunately, a flight to Missouri wasn’t in the cards for my bank account, so I sat at the bar at Dantanna’s to watch today’s game (as well as Auburn-Miss St and Texas-OU, which is not the marquee matchup it used to be). It was 90% red and black, with a lone Mizzou fan in one corner.

Some pregame thoughts I had: Will Mizzou join the ranks of Vandy and Troy as teams that didn’t score on opening possession or South Carolina, Clemson and Tennessee as teams that did? Will Hutson Mason prove that he is still the starting quarterback? Will any of our receivers step up to help him out? And of course, the question everyone was wondering, will Nick Chubb & Co. be able to replace the hole left by Todd Gurley’s absence?

Opening drive by Missouri – Dawgs got good pressure on QB Maty Mauk throughout the drive, awful late hit by Leonard Floyd and good tackle by Brendan Langley on the following play. Langley got the start on defense, by the way. Impressive, and in hindsight, I wish we had done that earlier in the season.

Dawgs were lucky to get the 3 on the first drive after a fumble by Isaiah McKenzie on the punt return and a catch by Chris Conley that was fumbled, both recovered by Georgia.

Some good decisions by Mason, but again, an intentional grounding call. Take the sack and save a down.

The second interception of the game was also the second of the season for Damian Swann. Mason made a nice 3rd down dump pass to Chubb to get the first down, then we decided to go Wild Dawg in the red zone. Maybe it’s just me, but the best place for that play is when you have an open field in front of you, between the 30s, not in the red zone. So we settle for a 29 yard field goal when the defense gift wrapped the ball for us at the 25 yard line.

We finally got a touchdown, but it was a close call when the Mizzou defender ripped the ball out of Mason’s arm just after he crossed the goal line. Mason recovered his own fumble. Three fumbles, three recoveries if you’re keeping score.

Georgia Bulldogs. HUTSON MASON. B+. Overall Mason had a nice game against Missouri. As in previous weeks, nothing that really sets the stat sheet on fire, but he was solid and made no mistakes to put the Georgia win in jeopardy. Another intentional grounding call that could have been avoided lower his grade, as well as the fumble that could have cost Georgia a touchdown in the end zone. Mason is proving to be serviceable, and at the least a good team leader... QB

Amazing stat I saw in the second quarter: Georgia had 25 plays in Mizzou territory, and Mizzou had none in UGA territory. Mizzou was 0-5 in 3rd downs in the first half, culminating the sack by Toby Johnson and the DL. Mizzou made it into Georgia territory with two minutes left in the half, but Mauk quickly coughed it up.

Punting on 4th and 1 with 30 seconds proved that Richt and I were thinking the same thing: our defense looks better than the offense for a change. We got lucky that their wide receiver couldn’t hang on to the ball. Ray Drew was held anyway, but talk about giving us a heart attack! The gentleman from Cordele sitting next to me almost fell off the bar stool. The offense was showing signs of brilliance in the second quarter.

Mizzou defense played with some fire on the first drive of the second half, but they couldn’t stay hot that long. The next possession, they seemed poised for a score after a first down by Missouri WR Jimmy Hunt.

Thank Dawg Hunt can’t catch, and handed the ball to Mauger for his second interception of the day the very next play. Four turnovers for Mauk today, so far.

All of Mizzou’s promising drives were ruined by turnovers. Case in point: Mauk’s fourth interception, this one by Dominick Sanders. Coming into the game, Georgia had a +4 turnover margin. Georgia is now +9 for the year.

Mason looked his best today. My favorite was the over the shoulder fade touchdown to Michael Bennett. Think Murray whispered that one into his ear on the sideline?

Air Douglas – what a joy to watch!  And just like the South Carolina game last year, once we got a lead, Brendan Douglas took over and wore out the defense. I almost had to give my bar neighbor from Cordele the Heimlich after that play.

Lorenzo Carter got his first sack. Check this out – he loves West Side Story and wants to be a rocket scientist.

Courtesy of GeorgiaDogs.com

Even with Gurley, I didn’t think Georgia would dominate like it did. Pregame, I said if we can get Chubb the ball and he can get around defenders, we have a chance. If Mason can get his passing game going and escape Mizzou’s pass rush, we have a chance. And it turned out, the combination of those two gave us more than a chance.

Random observations:

Maty Mauk needs to shave the stache.

Anyone else notice the Mizzou fans jingling their keys? Don’t you do that when you’re winning, and late in the game? Chalk it up to things Mizzou fans still need to learn.

We got the Missouri that lost to Indiana at home. The team that beat South Carolina never showed up.