The Bulldogs make a statement in Columbia
With Todd Gurley leading the offensive attack, Georgia had emerged as the best team in the SEC East over the first half of the season. Gurley is no longer part of the equation — at least for the foreseeable future — but there is still no doubt that Mark Richt’s team is the class of the division.
The Bulldogs were dominant on both sides of the ball en route to a statement-making 34–0 win at Missouri. The defense limited Missouri to 147 yards — the fewest allowed by Georgia in SEC play since a 2010 win against Vanderbilt — did not allow a drive that went for more than 50 yards and forced five turnovers. Offensively, the Bulldogs leaned on true freshman tailback Nick Chubb and savvy senior quarterback Hutson Mason. Chubb, the only available member of Georgia’s “Big Four” tailbacks, bullied his way to a career-high 143 yards on 38 carries. Mason’s stats, as usual, weren’t gaudy, but he completed 78.6 percent of his passes and did not commit a turnover. Late in the second quarter, he showed perfect touch when he connected with Michael Bennett on a 9-yard fade in the corner of the end zone.
“It’s all about getting comfortable and getting into a rhythm,” Mason said after the game. “I always felt that if I can get into a rhythm, then I finally feel that I am in the flow of things and from the start of the game today, I felt like I was in a rhythm, and the rest of it was just out there playing ball.”
If Mason continues to play well and the defense can replicate this type of performance, Georgia should have little difficulty winning the SEC East once again. South Carolina, the only team to defeat Georgia this season, already has three league losses, leaving Kentucky (2–1) and Florida (2–2) as the Dawgs’ biggest challengers.
The SEC West is sealing the headlines — and rightfully so — but be careful about dismissing Georgia as threat to win the SEC title and sneak into the inaugural College Football Playoff.