ATHENS — A quarter- by-quarter look at Georgia’s 9-6 victory over Missouri on Saturday night at Sanford Stadium:
Big play: On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert’s pass was tipped by Missouri linebacker Michael Scherer, intercepted by safety Ian Simon at the UGA 40-yard line and returned 39 yards to the 1, where Simon was kept out of the end zone by a Kenneth Towns tackle. The Georgia defense then responded with a strong goal-line stand, stopping Missouri on three consecutive running plays and forcing the Tigers to settle for an Andrew Baggett field goal and a 3-0 lead.
Turning point: Georgia’s offense — specifically, tailback Sony Michel — seemed to be gathering momentum as the quarter ended. Starting at their own 20-yard line after Missouri’s Baggett missed a field-goal attempt, Georgia put the football in Michel’s hands on three consecutive plays to end the quarter, producing 5- and 10-yard runs and a 9-yard catch (Those plays started a drive that ultimately led to a game-tying field goal in the second quarter).
The takeaway: Georgia held Missouri’s offense to 43 yards (50 passing and minus-7 rushing) in the first quarter.
Score: Missouri 3, Georgia 0
Big play: With the game tied 3-3 after a 29-yard field goal by Georgia’s Marshall Morgan early in the quarter, Missouri freshman quarterback Drew Lock faced 3rd-and-10 from his own 10-yard line. Lock connected with Russell Hansbrough over the middle for a 24-yard gain, allowing Missouri to avoid giving Georgia good field position with a punt and jump-starting a Tigers drive.
Turning point: After Lock, suddenly seeming more comfortable, followed his pass to Hansbrough with four more completions to move the Tigers to the Georgia 9-yard line, the Bulldogs’ defense again forced the Tigers to settle for a Baggett field goal.
The takeaway: Missouri’s defense, which had allowed an SEC-low 13.5 points per game previously this season, was as good as advertised in the first half, keeping the Bulldogs out of the end zone and allowing only 45 yards rushing (including 14 in the second quarter)
Score: Missouri 6, Georgia 3
Big play: With Missouri still leading 6-3, the Tigers’ Cam Hilton fumbled a Georgia punt at the Missouri 43-yard line. The fumble — forced by Malcolm Mitchell and recovered by Malkom Parrish — led to a 24-yard field goal by Morgan to tie the game at 6-6.
Turning point: One play before Morgan’s field goal, video review overturned what initially had been ruled a Missouri interception. The reversal allowed Georgia to kick the tying field goal.
The takeaway: Through three quarters, Missouri had just five first downs and Georgia had a 12-minute advantage in time of possession. More importantly, neither team had a touchdown.
Score: Georgia 6, Missouri 6
Big play: After missing a 26-yard field-goal attempt with 5:40 to play, wide left, Morgan got another chance with 1:44 remaining. This time, the Georgia kicker made a 34-yarder to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game, 9-6.
Turning point: Four plays before the game-winning field goal, a pass-interference penalty against Missouri provided Georgia a key 15 yards to the Tigers’ 24-yard line.
The takeaway: Georgia (5-2, 3-2 SEC) won a game without scoring a touchdown for the first time since beating Kentucky 12-3 in Sanford Stadium in 1995.
Score: Georgia 9, Missouri 6