The Missouri Tigers came away from Saturday’s 43-29 loss feeling as though they let this game slip away. They’re absolutely correct. When it came to size, speed and athleticism I saw nothing on the field that disproved Mizzou couldn’t match the Bulldogs in all three categories. Execution of plays? Well, that’s a different story. There were a handful of plays (as there usually are) that made a difference in this game. The problem for Mizzou is they all came in the first half and it was too much to overcome.
Watch Barry Odom’s postgame courtesy of @Missourisports on Twitter
— Bill Pollock (@missourisports) September 22, 2018
Hot take number one: Emanuel Hall was only targeted one-time. Hall missed most of the snaps last week at Purdue after he tweaked his groin in the practices leading up to the game last week. Hall told me on Tuesday that he would be on the field this week. However, it was clear that he was not close to 100%. Most of the game he was covered man-to-man by Deandre Baker and only once did Drew Lock target Hall. That came on a deep route that Hall could never separate from Baker. The pass was overthrown. There were many times when Lock never even looked at Hall through his progression which told me early on, Hall was far from healthy.
Hall wasn’t the only receiver who was banged up. Head coach Barry Odom suggested that Nate Brown and Johnathan Johnson were dealing with nagging injuries.
Lock did not complete a pass to a wide receiver until there was just 2:50 left to play in the first half. Johnson finished with four catches, Brown with three. Lack of production on the outside hurt the Tigers early when they were held to just seven points.
Hot take number two: Mizzou’s self-inflicted wounds cost the Tigers a chance for the upset. The Tigers handed 14 points to Georgia. The Bulldogs first score came after tight end Albert O was stripped of the ball after many felt forward progress should have been stopped. That put Georgia on top 7-0 negating a Christian Holmes interception of Jacob Fromm on Georgia’s opening drive. Okwuegbunam didn’t use the non-whistle as an excuse.
There was a missed 41-yard field goal attempt by Tucker McCann that many dispute believing the ball did crossover the right upright. A pass from Lock deflected off the pads of Johnson leading to a turnover. The Tigers had a punt blocked and returned eight yards for another Georgia touchdown and a fumble late in the first half by Lock negated an opportunity for points, killing a drive.
The Tigers went into the locker room down 20-7 when the score could have been 7-3 taking away miscues and turnovers.
Hot take number three: The secondary got burned three times in man coverage on touchdown passes by Fromm, resulting in scores of 33, 61 and 54 yards.
Wiping out those three long scoring plays, the Tigers defense held Fromm to 112 yards on his ten other completions. The Tigers held Georgia to 3-for-12 on third down conversions, but those scores opened up and maintained leads of 20 and 18 points. They were back-breaking plays.