Takeaways: Tigers can’t pull off upset against Georgia
Missouri led throughout the game but surrendered a late score to lose 28-27.
Sep. 17, 2016
It was heartbreaking.
That is the only way to describe Missouri football’s 28-27 loss to No. 16 Georgia (3-0) on Saturday night. The Tigers (1-2) had their chances to put away the Bulldogs, but they could not manage to close it out in crunch time.
The game proved a thriller as the Tigers put up a solid fight in their underdog role. Here are a few takeaways from Saturday night’s loss.
Charles Harris is back
Before the season, Charles Harris said he wanted to break records with his 2016 performance. Those wishes did not look feasible after the first two games, as Harris failed to record a sack in either.
But Harris made up for his lack of production in the first two games with a monster performance against the Bulldogs.
Harris made his presence known by recording his first sack of the season in the second quarter. He continued to menace Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason throughout the night, racking up three sacks.
“It seemed like he was pretty active,” coach Barry Odom said postgame. “He’s a game-changer, and we’ll continue to build on that one.”
In all, the Missouri defensive line recorded four sacks and seven tackles for loss.
Lock excels early, stumbles late
Drew Lock picked up right where he left off against Eastern Michigan in the first half.
The sophomore quarterback looked unstoppable, unleashing everything in his arsenal to lead the Missouri offense. He threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns, including one 79-yard scamper by J’Mon Moore.
In the second half, Kirby Smart’s vaunted Georgia defense made key adjustments to counter Lock.
Lock threw for only 36 yards and one touchdown while also throwing three interceptions.
“It was on us,” Lock said. “Just some little things we need to fix.”
One interception came after the Tiger offense drove into field-goal range and had a chance to go up two scores. Lock and the offense were bailed out at the time by the Missouri defense. Unfortunately, the red-zone turnover would later come back to bite the Tigers.
Special teams come up big
Both teams had questions on special teams going into Saturday’s game.
Missouri kicker Tucker McCann was inconsistent in Missouri’s first two games, making only one of his three field-goal attempts while converting five of his six extra-point attempts.
On Saturday, McCann showed why many considered him the top kicker in his high school class. The freshman made both of his field-goal attempts, including one from 46 yards out.
Meanwhile, Georgia kicker William Ham struggled. He missed both of his field goal attempts, each of which was within 40 yards.
Missouri punter Corey Fatony reminded Missouri fans of his monster leg when the Tigers were not within field-goal range. The sophomore averaged 50.4 yards per punt, including one that pinned the Bulldogs inside their own 20.
Edited by Theo DeRosa | firstname.lastname@example.org