Georgia football didn’t have a great game against Missouri, and for the second straight week, the Dawgs made fans feel uncomfortable for far too long. However, the stats once again tell us a different story. Yes, Georgia’s offense fell flat so many times, and punter Brett Thorson got plenty of kicks, but the Dawgs still found a way to win.
That defense held Missouri to five field goals and one touchdown, which should be noted — if their kicker didn’t have a monster leg, who knows how it would have looked. Georgia’s offense underperformed but put together two drives when it mattered.
Should we feel the pain that we do after this Week 5 matchup? Sure, we’re passionate fans that love to see Georgia blow out opponents on a weekly basis, but right now, a win is a win. Fixing the problems moving forward will be key, and Auburn will be a perfect test. Who cares what Missouri or Auburn’s record is — both of them are formidable SEC opponents.
Missouri is much better than people give the Tigers credit for, and Auburn always comes ready to play the Dawgs. Before we get too into our coverage of the Auburn matchup with Georgia, let’s look at three stats from this past week that should help ease the pain. Georgia fans should have negative feelings, but hopefully, they will understand that tight games happen, and we got slightly spoiled with last year’s wins.
Georgia football saw its offensive line have a really bad game
The Dawgs saw its offensive line give up nine tackles for loss, seven quarterback hurries, and two sacks against Missouri. That performance is 100% not up to the Dawg standard set for that unit, but at the same time, it is the first time all season they have given up that much.
In the previous four games, Georgia’s offensive line gave up seven tackles for loss, two sacks and three quarterback hurries. Missouri threw everything at Georgia but the kitchen sink. That defense had to blitz Georgia because that is how they were able to get the offense out of sync. They did a great job at that, but it also showed how weak this offensive line can be if they do get challenged.
The stat here is that the Missouri game could be the anomaly because the first four games show what normally happens. Maybe teams from now on will blitz non-stop, but Georgia’s offense will adjust to that and find ways to get the ball out quicker.
Georgia football edged out Missouri in the third down battle — barely
Against Missouri, Georgia converted just 4-of-13 third downs, which is atrocious compared to the first four games, but the Tigers are the No.2 SEC team in third down conversions. Georgia did one more than Missouri as the Tigers went 3-of-13 on third down. The Dawgs also went 2-of-2 on fourth down in this game.
While this may not seem like a stat to brag about, it is something we felt like Georgia needed to do to win, and they did. Missouri is a great third-down team, so kudos to them for holding an offense like Georgia to just four conversions, but the Dawgs still saw 28 total first downs compared to Missouri’s 14.
Georgia football saw a great passing stat to note
The Dawgs saw starting quarterback Stetson Bennett complete 54% of his passes and throw for 312 yards, but that isn’t the stat we are worried about right now. What stood out to us was the average yardage per completion.
Georgia averaged 13 yards per completion against the Missouri Tigers, and the Dawgs averaged 7.1 yards an attempt, so they were almost doubling their yardage when the receiver or tight end did catch it. If we think about that, it means Georgia was doing something right. So while the offense was stalling a lot, the Dawgs still made moves.
Bennett connected with the right guys down the stretch, and guys like Darnell Washington’s yards after completion were truly something to gawk at because it’s what Georgia needs from him.
This stat may not impress everyone, but it is noteworthy because that offense did move when they were able to call the right plays. Georgia wasn’t nearly as bad as the game made it seem.
The Dawgs squeaked by Missouri, and this week against Auburn will be when fans want to see a better game. It’s time to see the Dawgs manhandle someone again, so this team can continue to gain confidence each week. These stats made us feel better about the win over Missouri, and hopefully, they do the same with the rest of the fanbase.