COLUMBIA, Mo. — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart gave Missouri credit for stepping up and playing a good football game, but the Tigers say the Bulldogs didn’t see their best game.
“If we play our A-game, we can compete with anyone in the country, and that’s something I believe in my soul,” Missouri quarterback Drew Lock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The No. 2-ranked Georgia football program (4-0, 2-0 SEC) never trailed, taking a 20-7 lead into the halftime despite not getting an offensive touchdown until the second half.
Missouri (3-1, 0-1) failed to cut the Bulldogs lead to single digits in the second half, and Lock struggled.
Lock, who entered the game leading the SEC in passing, failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in a game in more than a year, finishing 23-of-48 for 221 yards with an interception and a lost fumble.
Lock’s longest completion went for 25 yards, as Georgia All-American cornerback Deandre Baker erased previous SEC receiving leader Emanuel Hall, holding him without a catch.
Still, the Tigers came away convinced they should have beaten the defending SEC champions.
“It stings because it feels like we gave the game away,” Missouri offensive guard Kevin Pendleton told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “All the credit to Georgia. They’re a hell of a team, and they capitalized on a lot of opportunities. But it’s one that’s going to sting and one that we have to carry through the rest of the year so we can’t let this happen again.”
Georgia finished with 445 total yards to Missouri’s 393, and quarterback Jake Fromm was 7-of-9 passing for 194 yards and three touchdowns in the second half alone.
The Tigers’ defense said much of the Bulldogs’ success had to do with their errors.
“We leave the game with a sour taste in our mouth just because of the self-inflicted wounds we put ourselves through,” Missouri linebacker Cale Garrett told the Kansas City Star. “I thought we had a genuine chance to win this game and had them on their heels at times. …
“It’s a little bit frustrating to be that close to winning a game and then losing just because of things on our side.”