ATHENS — Momentum was in the balance midway through the second quarter when Georgia safety Richard LeCounte stepped up and made the play of the game.
The Bulldogs’ junior stepped in front of a Missouri pass for a pivotal interception that he returned 71 yards to the Missouri 18-yard line, setting up a field goal. It was potentially a 10-point swing for Georgia.
The No. 6-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) took another step toward winning the SEC East Division with the 27-0 win over the Tigers (5-4, 2-3) on Saturday night at Sanford Stadium.
Missouri had its best drive of the game going, driving to the UGA 24-yard line on six plays, with quarterback Taylor Powell building confidence.
Temperatures were cool and the offenses were even colder with the teams combining for just two touchdowns.
It made LeCounte’s interception and return all the more important.
It was only the second interception in SEC play for Georgia this season and its sixth overall.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart talked about the need for more turnovers earlier this week.
“We’ve got to do a better job getting turnovers, there’s no doubt about that,” Smart said last Monday. “That comes with forcing them, havoc, tipped balls, batted balls, strip outs, knocking the crap out of people, ripping the ball out.
“Those things all effect turnovers, but we’ve been short on interceptions, for sure.”
LeCounte also had 5 tackles, coming up aggressively in run support and helping to ensure Missouri’s longest play of the game was just 20 yards.