Missouri lost a stupid, no-good, and worst of all winnable game to Georgia. I’m too angry to write a lede, so let’s just get to the takeaways
Drew Lock was once-again otherworldly in the first half, slinging the ball all over the field for 3 touchdowns and more than 300 yards. But something happened at half-time that isn’t so much concerning as it was inevitable. Drew Lock turned into a sophomore again and threw three criminally bad interceptions to keep Georgia in the game. It truly was a tale of two halves for the young quarterback who has, for the most part, looked unbeatable this year. Mistakes are to be expected, but the timing of them tonight was critical. And the fact that the three mistakes were all so similar...
Darn those youths
The young playmakers on offense have proven they are absolutely electric (ex: that J’Mon Moore touchdown rocked my world). But tonight we saw a whole lot of mistakes born of inexperience. Johnathan Johnson’s fumble problems look a whole lot worse when he’s not breaking punt returns open and racing down the field for 80+ yard touchdowns. See above for Drew Lock. And Moore - an upperclassman making an underclassmen mistake - put the icing on the cake with a fumble to kill the last drive that never was. The mistakes will become fewer as the players grow, but they really hurt tonight.
Signs of life
Early in the game, some imbecile tweeted this nonsense.
I think it's time to say it. #Mizzou's defense isn't good anymore.— Josh Matejka (@joshmajika) September 18, 2016
That clown ate his words when the Mizzou defense promptly shut down the Georgia offense in the second half, only letting them score... anyway. Georgia only averaged 5.6 yards per pass and 2.7 yards per carry. Nick Chubb was a non-factor rushing 19 times for 3.3 yards. Charles Harris made a triumphant (!!!) re-entry into the statbook with 3 sacks and 4 TFL. Really the only complaint was the early third down success Georgia mustered up early on. But this game isn’t on the defense.
About that fourth quarter...
It’s become a theme for me to question Josh Heupel post-game. Perhaps I’m alone - hopefully not - but I found Heupel’s play-calling in the fourth quarter almost offensively boring. I understand the hesitance to put the ball back in Drew Lock’s hands after 3 INTs, but you ride or die with your stars. Heupel sat on 6 point lead for the entirety of the fourth quarter, and it came back to bite him in the [redacted]. The killer instinct wasn’t there, instead replaced by drives that eventually stalled because 3 yard stumbles by Ish Witter don’t add up to first downs. In the end, the hesitance killed Missouri’s sure win.
There are only so many ways you can say it: Missouri had this game - a surefire confidence builder and statement win - in the bag, and simply let it go. The lack of ability to finish, the questionable coaching decisions, the avoidable mistakes, the inability to capitalize on Georgia’s poor play. All of these added up to a massively disappointing result. My mind wants to say, “Well, young teams have these kind of games. They’ll learn, and come back stronger for it.” And maybe’s that’s true. But it sure doesn’t make me feel any better right now.
Onward and upward. See you next week for Delaware State.