Airmail beats the ground game for Georgia against Mizzou

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Airmail beats the ground game for Georgia against Mizzou

No. 1 Georgia (9-0) came into its matchup with Missouri as a 40-point favorite. While most expected the Bulldogs to roll over the Tigers, Georgia dominated Missouri through the air, not as expected on the ground. 

Georgia mustered up 337 yards through the air and finally got both quarterbacks Stetson Bennett and JT Daniels into a game for the first time since September 25 when Georgia dismantled Vanderbilt on the road. That led the way for Georgia to get to 505 total yards on the day.

“With our offense, you hope to be as good running the ball and throwing the ball [so] that they have to pick their poison,” said Bennett after the game. “If they go all out with one, then the other one is gonna bite them. 





Coming into the game, Missouri had the worst rushing defense in the country among FBS teams. The Tigers had given up 2,264 rushing yards and were allowing over 6 yards per carry on the season.

Surprisingly though Missouri found success stacking the box to stop the run. The Bulldogs gained just 168 yards on the day, which was stunted by struggles in the first quarter. Georgia running back Zamir White did not build upon his stellar performance against Florida, running nine times for just 14 yards against Missouri. 

Luckily, Georgia had receivers Arian Smith and Jermaine Burton back at full strength and both made left their impact on the game on Saturday. Burton did not have a catch against Florida but led the Bulldogs with 76 receiving yards and a touchdown on the day.





Smith caught the first touchdown of the game, where he tracked the ball into the corner of the endzone on a fourth-down throw from Bennett. Smith’s speed is well-known as a USA Track star but his route-running and hands were also on display. 

“The skill level and athletic-ability of those two guys, it really is unreal,” said receiver Ladd McConkey. “Both of them in there are a threat at all times, so it really adds another element to our offense. We’re super excited about having them back and you saw what they could do today. This is only the beginning of it.”

Another reason for Georgia’s big day through the air was because of the play of the offensive line in pass protection. Once again, the Bulldogs did not allow a sack, now making it multiple times that the offensive line has put up a 0 in the sacks allowed category. 

“I had all kinds of time in the pocket, which makes it so much easier to throw the ball,” said Bennett. “I don’t think I got touched other than when I ran. It makes you feel secure knowing that those guys aren’t going to give up a lot of sacks.”

The encouraging part for the Bulldogs is that they did that without star offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer, who was seen wearing a boot and on crutches. Redshirt freshman Broderick Jones got the start at left tackle. 

Even though the offensive line did not give up any sacks, starting right tackle Warren McClendon was not fully pleased with the performance, especially in the run game.

“Pass pro, I think we did a great job of protecting [Stetson] and giving him time to throw but run game, we didn’t play to the standard that we have,” said McClendon. “We pride ourselves on running the football and being physical and I don’t think that we did that today.”

If you only listened to the postgame press conferences, you would have thought Georgia played in a close game. Despite the 37-point victory over a conference opponent, Georgia coaches and players made it clear that there is plenty of room for improvement. 

“I think our guys got a little bit of a wake-up call today that this was… probably a subpar outing for us in terms of execution and play style,” said head coach Kirby Smart. 

Georgia now looks to finish the regular season undefeated in conference play next Saturday at Tennessee. That game will kickoff on CBS at 3:30 p.m.





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