“It’s like watching Big Ten football,” Missouri defensive end Sheldon Richardson said earlier this week about Georgia in Week 1. “It’s old man football.”
Well, at least we know now Missouri can’t hang with the old man… for four quarters, anyway. To be fair, the Tigers lead Georgia well into the third quarter in its SEC opener. But late turnovers ended up costing Mizzou and No. 7 Georgia pulled away by a final score 41-20 in a game that wasn’t that much of a blowout.
The loss marked a tough opening for the SEC’s two new teams. Texas A&M lost to No. 24 Florida earlier 20-17.
The biggest question heading into tonight’s game was could Missouri survive the transition to playing an SEC team in the trenches. Mizzou had plenty of explosive plays, but quarterback James Franklin couldn’t be a running threat. In general, a dual-threat quarterback just isn’t going to rack up a ton of yards against a typical SEC defense.
That’s because games at any level are won and lost in the trenches. Georgia won there tonight on both sides. There’s a reason the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 32-10 in the second half.
Mizzou may not realistically contend for an SEC East title this year, but that’s not to say it can’t be competitive and win some games. Both A&M and Mizzou showed they can hold their own at least for a little while. Now it’s about building a program that can last a little longer.