Georgia played its most complete game of the season, and the result was impressive.
The No. 9-ranked Bulldogs (7-2) scored the 49-14 win over No. 25 Missouri (5-4) on a cold Saturday afternoon in Columbia, Mo.
Georgia out-gained the Tigers 615-200, rolling up their highest yardage mark of the season.
“It’s coming together, and it’s what we’ve been looking for the last couple of weeks,” UGA quarterback JT Daniels said. “I’d say that was our first complete game.”
Coach Kirby Smart shared some keys to winning on his Friday night show, and his pregame read was on target.
Quarterback JT Daniels was 16-of-27 passing for 299 yards and three touchdowns before Kirby Smart pulled him in the fourth quarter with a sizable leader.
Receiver George Pickens was the Game Ball winner, making five catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the second quarter that sparked the 35-0 run in Memorial Stadium.
Four UGA running backs scored touchdowns, the first time the Bulldogs recorded that feat in 25 years.
Zamir White led the team with 126 yards, while Daijun Edwards also reached the century mark with 103 yards.
Defensively, the Bulldogs held the Tigers to 200 yards just a week after they posted 653 yards against Arkansas. Missouri also averaged just 1.0 yards per carry (22 carries, 22 yards), and threw an interception.
Georgia’s lone mistake of the afternoon was allowing a punt to be blocked late in the second quarter.
Missouri recovered the blocked punt at the Georgia 1-yard line, which led to the Tigers’ second and final score of the afternoon.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to conclude the season at noon next Saturday at Sanford Stadium against Vanderbilt.
Missouri entered the game having won five of six games, pushing first-year head coach Eli Drinkwitz for SEC Coach of Year and saying the Georgia game would be its measuring stick.
Smart and the Bulldogs showed the Tigers there remains plenty of distance between them and Georgia football, for now.
Saturday’s game was originally scheduled for Nov. 14 but was rescheduled on account of Missouri’s COVID-19 related issues.
The Bulldogs have seen two of their most recent four games rescheduled on account of opponents’ COVID-19 issues.
FOURTH QUARTER SCORING
Georgia 49, Missouri 14, 14:46: Daijun Edwards 6-yard run (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 10 plays, 79 yards, 4:25.
THIRD QUARTER SCORING
Georgia 42, Missouri 14, 5:54: James Cook 9-yard touchdown run (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 4 plays, 71 yards, 1:26. Key play: Darnell Washington 36-yard catch from JT Daniels.
Georgia 35, Missouri 14, 8:35: Zamir White 43-yard run (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 6 plays, 80 yards, 2:42. Key play: Kenny McIntosh 18-yard run to UGA 49.
Georgia 28, Missouri 14, 12:49: George Pickens 31-yard pass from JT Daniels (Jake Podlesny kick). Drive: 5 plays, 75 yards, 2:04. Key play: Zamir White 36-yard run to Missouri 31.
JT Daniels 10-17, 167 yards, 2 TD
Zamir White 8 carries, 37 yards
Kenny McIntosh 6 carries, 25 yards, TD
Larry Roundtree III 10 carries, 17 yards, TD
SECOND QUARTER SCORING
Georgia 21, Missouri 14 (0:37): George Pickens 36-yard catch from J.T. Daniels (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 0:43. Key play: Kearis Jackson 12-yard catch from J.T. Daniels on third-and-10 to the Georgia 37-yard line.
Georgia 14, Missouri 14 (1:20): Larry Roundtree 1-yard run (Mevis kick). Drive: 3 plays, 1 yard, 0:54. Key play: Missouri blocked punt, Tigers recover and return to the Georgia 1-yard line.
Georgia 14, Missouri 7, (13:59): Connor Bazelak 2-yard run (Harrison Mevis kick). Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 3:41. Key play: Trick play, Connor Bazelak throwback to Keke Chism to Messiah Swinson for 29 yards to Georgia 2-yard line.
FIRST QUARTER SCORING
Georgia 14, Missouri 0, 2:40: James Cook 37-yard pass from JT Daniels (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 8 plays, 89 yards, 4:23. Key play: Zamir White 17-yard run to Georgia 45.
Note: JT Daniels is now 12-of-13 passing for 190 yards with 5 touchdowns on third down passes at Georgia
Five-straight TDs on third down for JT Daniels 👀 pic.twitter.com/2tmTW1jTxJ
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 12, 2020
Georgia 7, Missouri 0, 11:56: Kenny McIntosh 2-yard run (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 6 plays, 23 yards, 2:41. Key play: Eric Stokes interception and 27-yard return.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) December 12, 2020
Note: Junior nose tackle Jordan Davis is back from the elbow injury that sidelined him since the Oct. 31 game against Kentucky.
ATHENS — Same program, different time and so different team.
That’s what Georgia football coach Kirby Smart had to say about Missouri when asked about the noon showdown in Columbia on Saturday (TV: SEC Network).
“They have grown and gotten better as a team,” Smart said. “We’re not playing the same team as we were going to play before.”
The Tigers have won five of their past six games and scored 91 points in their past two outings.
The No. 9-ranked Bulldogs (6-2) are trying to hold on to a projected New Year’s Six Bowl bid and stay on track to send their seniors out as the winningest class in school history.
It’s Georgia’s sixth road trip vs. just three home games this season, as the administration chose to play the designated home game with Florida in Jacksonville amid the COVID-19 restrictions.
The No. 25-ranked Tigers (5-3), meanwhile, are using UGA as a measuring stick for their season and trying to secure SEC Coach of the Year honors for Eli Drinkwitz.
Georgia was originally scheduled to play Missouri on Nov. 14, but the Tigers had some key players suspended after a halftime brawl at Florida, and opted out of the game citing COVID-19 issues.
“Before they were coming off a tough loss, and they had a lot of injuries and they had some guys suspended,” Smart said. “And now, they’ve got their arsenal back, and they are a good football team.”
Smart said Georgia has changed some, too.
“Hopefully (with) the emergence of some vertical passing game,” Smart said. “I feel we’ve been consistent in the ability to run the ball.
“Defensively, not a lot of changes except some personnel changes from our injuries.”
Senior safety Richard LeCounte is still expected out after his Halloween Night motorcycle crash but defensive tackle Jordan Davis might be back from his elbow injury.
On offense, redshirt sophomore Warren Ericson is expected to make his first start in place of junior Trey Hill, who underwent knee surgery last week.
Tailback Kendall Milton remains questionable after getting some work in practice last week in a non-contact jersey. Milton has been out since the Florida game with a strained MCL.