Georgia Football: Sunday thoughts on Georgia vs Missouri

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 4: Kendall Milton #2 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball during a game between University of Missouri and University of Georgia at Sanford Stadium on November 4, 2023 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 4: Kendall Milton #2 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball during a game between University of Missouri and University of Georgia at Sanford Stadium on November 4, 2023 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

Georgia football is 9-0 after beating the Missouri Tigers 30-21. It was closer than what Vegas thought it was, but a win is a win. Georgia will not get the credit they deserve, but Mizzou is a good team. They will likely win ten games. Also, the narrative that Mizzou lost at home by double digits to LSU is misleading. Mizzou was down three with a minute left in the game, and a freak college football play happened, and the LSU defense scored. Mizzou could have very easily been undefeated coming into Athens on Saturday.

I am saying that because I came away more impressed by Mizzou than I was by Georgia. Mizzou played a nearly perfect game, but a few mistakes were the reason they lost this game. But Mizzou probably played better than any visiting team between the hedges in a long time.

Mizzou took that bye week, and you could tell they worked on their game plan and self-scouted very well. While they did all of that, they still lost by two scores, and if Georgia’s offense did not get bogged down in the red zone, this game would have been closer to the point spread. But as Kirby Smart said in his post-game press conference, he coaches to win games, not cover spreads.

Before we get into the game, I would like to address the crowd at Sanford Stadium. I was at the game, and I am still sore and hoarse as I write this post. We, as Georgia fans, need to do better at creating noise. Some people will get upset at me for saying this, but it was not up to standard. I was there last year when we played Tennessee, and that was up to standard. If you are not yelling and being a cheerleader, fix it!

Ole Miss is coming into town with a great offense and a top-10 team. The game is at night as well. So show up and make some noise, please. The crowd against Mizzou was good, but it was not great. The crowd performance was much like the Dawgs on the field: good, not great.

Let’s start with the offense. The offense moved the ball on Mizzou’s defense, which most people thought would happen. But, I came with two concerns—one, the lack of touchdowns in the red zone, and two, the ability to run the ball effectively. The red zone has been a significant concern of mine all season. The offense seems to bog down there and settles for field goals. My more significant concern is that there was not one shot into the endzone when the Dawgs were inside of the twenty.

Every time the Dawgs got down there, they went sideways rather than vertically. Why? Why not take a shot there? Hopefully, it was just a game plan, and we will see the Dawgs throw the ball vertically in the red zone next week. But when the offense traded touchdowns for field goals, that was the problem. So I do not know what to make out of that.

I know Georgia ran for 131 yards, but it was a struggle all game long. They averaged 4 yards a carry for 33 attempts. It’s not as bad as I thought it was. But if Georgia ran the ball more effectively, this game would have been over in the third. Daijun Edwards was the leading rusher for the Dawgs with 77 yards on 16 carries.

However, Georgia will have to find a way to run the ball better. When the Dawgs play Alabama in the SEC Championship, it will be tough sledding. Is our Offensive lineman enough to get the job done? Will our backs be able to run through tackles? Right now, I am worried that the answer is no. If the Dawgs make it to the CFP playoffs, being unable to get pushed up front and being predictable in the run game will get them beat, and I don’t want to write about the Dawgs losing in the playoffs. So, that has to be worked on for the remainder of the season.

Carson Beck is the real deal; I want everyone who doubted him to say they are sorry. The guy did not have a great game and still put Georgia in a position to win. That is the actual test of a great quarterback.  Beck looked off after the first two drives of the first half but came back in the second half and did a good job.

Carson Beck was 21 of 32 on pass attempts. Beck threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns. Again, Beck keeps putting up great numbers and doesn’t hurt the Dawgs. I have not been this high on a Georgia QB since Aaron Murray. Carson Beck has all the intangibles. Also, Beck should be in New York City for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. If you disagree with me, argue with a wall. Beck should be in the Heisman race.

Defensively, it was meh. Is that descriptive enough without saying it wasn’t good?  Look, the defense held an outstanding offense to 21 points; anytime you do that in modern-day college football, it is pretty good. But Mizzou was able to run the ball all too well on the Dawgs. The Dawgs cannot contain the perimeter on outside runs. When we play Alabama, that is going to be an issue.

To me, that has been the most significant difference from this year’s defense to the previous two years’ defense. I do not think it is a linebacker issue because it is the same linebacker as last year. I think the issue is the defensive line. We do not have Jordan Davis or Jalen Carter, so it makes more sense. But this defensive line is good; they need to play a little better. Hopefully, improvement like we saw against Florida.

Before I finish, I want to brag on the defensive backs. Kamari Lassiter, Malaki Starks, Javon Bullard, Tykee Smith, and Julian Humphery had great days. The back end of the defense is fantastic. They held a great passing offense to only 200 yards and shut down one of the better wideouts in college football. So, shoutout to the DB’s!

This game was closer than I expected, but I always believed Georgia. It felt like the Dawgs were in control the entire time. Georgia played a B- game, while Mizzou played an A game and still won by two scores. Many people in the media are comparing the Dawgs to a Boa constrictor. I like to compare them to an Avalanche. Once that heap of snow is coming down the mountain, there is nothing you can do. You can run as fast as you can, but it will get on top of you, and there is nothing you can do.

The Dawgs are the number one team in the country, but I am sure the CFP committee will keep them at two. Whatever. This Georgia team is flawed, but they can win a national title. They have to keep surviving and advancing. They look to do that again next Saturday against a top-ten team in Ole Miss.

Hot. Dawgs escape Tigers 30-21. light