Georgia headed into Columbia, Missouri with many questioning their motivation after officially not having the opportunity to play for the SEC Championship for the first time in four seasons. It didn’t take long for the Dawgs to show they were in the “Show Me” state with the intentions of showing up and showing out. Eric Stokes Jr.’s interception set up Georgia for a short yet dominating drive of exclusively run plays that was capped off by Kenny McIntosh taking a pitch from JT Daniels and scampering into the endzone.
To Missouri’s credit, they fought hard after going down 14-0 and tied things up with just minutes to go before half. Enter George Pickens. An incredible touchdown catch with the clock winding down before half gave Georgia, not only a 21-14 lead, but also a ton of momentum. The defense was unrelenting in the second half and Georgia’s offense was able to do as they pleased. Overall, an impressive handling of a fellow Top-25 ranked opponent on the road. Let’s take a look at just how impressive by examining the stats that mattered in Columbia, Missouri, where Georgia is now a perfect 5-0 against their SEC East foe.
Georgia eclipsed the 600-yard mark on offense. Even more note worthy and encouraging than the staggering raw total of yardage itself, is the amount of balance that Georgia displayed in that output. Georgia threw for 299 yards and rushing for 316. JT Daniels’s 18.6 yards per completion showed a willingness to take shots down the field when the opportunities presented themselves with single high safety looks. When the defense went two-high safeties and had less numbers in the box to stop the run, well Georgia ran the ball, to say the least. Seven yards per carry on 45 attempts (including sacks) is a testament to the offensive line and an immensely talented Georgia backfield that is relishing the benefits of having an accurate quarterback that can threaten defenses down the field with weapons like George Pickens, Jermaine Burton, and Darnell Washington.
Speaking of the explosive running game, Georgia had two running backs tally over 100 yards on the day. Zamir White finished with 126 yards on 12 carries, with one resulting in a long, back breaking touchdown for Georgia in the third quarter. Freshman Daijun Edwards also eclipsed the century mark on the day. Edwards, a native of Georgia and national high school powerhouse Colquitt Country, finished with 103 yards on 11 carries. It’s safe to say that any time Georgia has one, let alone two, running backs go above 100 yards, their chances of winning skyrocket.
To piggyback off the fact that Georgia had two 100-yard rushers, they also had four different backs score rushing touchdowns. Zamir White, James Cook, Kenny McIntosh and Daijun Edwards all scored on the ground for the Dawgs against Missouri. RBU is alive and well in Athens. Add the injured Kendall Milton back to the mix and also add 4-Star Lovasea Carroll who will sign with Georgia on December 16, and UGA will unquestionably have the most talented crop of running backs in the country in the 2021 season. While it’s yet to be determined if James Cook and Zamir White will return or elect to try their hand in the NFL, the fact that they all could be back, plus more reinforcements on the way, is unbelievable and something that will keep opposing defensive coordinators awake at night next season.
Conversely, on the defensive side of the ball, Georgia entirely shutdown any hopes Missouri had of controlling the ball via the run game. Talented, and rather loquacious, running back Larry Roundtree III and the Mizzou offense were held to 22 yards on 22 rushes for a meager 1-yard per rushing attempt. Any time that Georgia can make a team one dimensional like that, well the pass rush is going to take care of the rest. While Georgia only finished the day with one sack, they were constantly able to flush Connor Bazalek off of his desired launching point and disrupted any rhythm and timing Missouri hoped to establish through the air.
All these stats, in addition to no turnovers for the Dawgs, resulted in a resounding romp on the road. Next up, who knows???