With Kelly Bryant sidelined and the offense struggling to move the ball, the Missouri Tigers scrapped their way to a 27-0 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday night.
MU collected 189 total yards as backup quarterback Taylor Powell made his first career start. Bryant was considered a game-time decision, his playing status up in the air all week after a strained hamstring he suffered two weeks ago at Kentucky.
“We knew we would have some struggles moving the ball in certain situations,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said of Georgia. “They’re better up and close and in person. I knew they were good, but I think they’re a little bit better they may get credit for nationally.”
The Tigers failed to generate much offensive rhythm. Their first three drives ended in three-and-outs, finishing with six total Saturday evening. They didn’t earn a first down until the second quarter.
When Powell and the offense moved the ball, they were forced to do so through the air. After a week of emphasizing the ground game, the Tigers ran for 50 yards as they struggled to impose their will.
By the time Mizzou showed life on offense, it was too late. It also came from true freshman quarterback Connor Bazelak. He was 8 for 12 for 64 yards, leading a 17-play, 76-yard drive that ended in a turnover on downs in Georgia’s red zone. It was far and away MU’s best drive of the night. Powell completed 10 of 22 passes for 84 yards with an interception.
The defense carried MU for much of the game. When it looked like Georgia would bust the game open, Mizzou stood strong allowing a field goal instead of a touchdown. Georgia settled for five field goals, making four. The Bulldogs put the game away when Jake Fromm hit George Pickens for their second touchdown of the night in the fourth quarter.
The third straight loss dropped Mizzou to 5-4, all four defeats coming on the road.
It was also MU’s sixth straight loss to Georgia in the series.
The Tigers have a home game next Saturday against Florida, their first home game since Oct. 12 vs. Mississippi.
“We got three opportunities now, two at home and one away or neutral site,” Odom said. “I’m going to focus on those, and I’m going to coach and pour it into those guys. I know we’re anxious to get back home and get back on track.”