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Mitchell: The SEC East Runs Through Mizzou

Campus Insiders & CFN
Posted Oct 12, 2013


Who knew Bulldogs hibernate. Bulldog defenses, anyway.

By Russ Mitchell
Follow me @russmitchellcfb
CFN on TV?! I am serious…and don’t call me Shirley. Campus Insiders

Football is a four quarter sport - unfortunately for Georgia, the fourth quarter this Saturday belonged to Missouri.

After a first half, the Dawgs would prefer to bury more than review, a half in which the Tigers outplayed the home squad in virtually every facet of the game, the Georgia defense came out in the third quarter and did what they had been unable to do – stop the run.

After building a 28-10 lead into the break, Missouri would score no points in the third quarter.

Then with about ten minutes to play in the game, after clawing back to cut the deficit to two points, Georgia’s defense knocked Mizzou starting quarterback James Franklin out for good with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.

A doe-eyed freshman, Maty Mauk, came in for the first time facing 3rd-and-6, a raucous Georgia home crowd and a defense with all the momentum … and ran for 6.5 yards.

Two plays later, Bud Sasser completed a forty yard flanker pass to L'Damian Washington for a touchdown, and the air was gone. Georgia would never recover.

Washington finished with 115 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions.

MURRAY, ETAL.

Murray is going to receive plenty of criticism for his two late interceptions, however, there’s more than enough blame to pass around. His “backup” receivers consistently dropped passes and his offensive line let him get beaten up more than Lane Kiffin this week.

On that mark, it’s time to start giving this Mizzou defensive line some credit. Sacks, fumbles and defensive touchdowns, oh my.

AN INJURY BY ANY OTHER NAME

Naturally, there will be a lot of talk about the rash of injuries Georgia had leading up to this game. Some argue you must have a contingency plan for injuries. The only contingency plan for what Georgia faced came from the freshmen third-and-fourth-string running backs.

However, Georgia didn’t have many injuries on defense, and the simple fact is the Bulldogs surrendered 41 points on Saturday, the last 14 to a freshman taking the first meaningful snaps of his career.

Unfortunately for fans Between the Hedges, their offense could not bail out their defense this time.

WHAT COMES NEXT

Mizzouri came into Athens, played lights out, and won. They won three of the four quarters. They won the coaching battle, the quarterback battle, the line of scrimmage battle. And they won where it counts most …

The scoreboard.

If you’re an SEC fan first, you can argue the best thing for the conference now would be for Missouri run the table and win the East undefeated. This will be tough sledding given Franklin’s injury could keep him out for the rest of the regular season.

However, the Tigers’ schedule certainly helps – with all of their remaining tough games - other than Ole Miss - in Columbia.

Few outside of Missouri thought this back in August, but the road to the SEC East runs through Mizzou.


Russ Mitchell is the Lead SEC Columnist for CFN and Campus Insiders. Follow him @russmitchellcfb and listen to him each week on the SEC14.com Smackcast!, powered by Campus Insiders