Sixth-ranked Georgia may not boast the scariest offense of the teams contending for a spot in the College Football Playoff, but their defense is certainly worthy.
The Bulldogs posted their third shutout of the season Saturday night, blanking Missouri 27-0 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.
With the win, Georgia (8-1, 5-1 SEC) moves one step closer to winning its third straight SEC East Division crown and a berth in the SEC title game, which the Bulldogs can clinch with a win over Auburn next Saturday.
Georgia's offense was inconsistent -- four times across the second and third quarters the Bulldogs settled for field goals by Rodrigo Blankenship -- but the defense was stifling. Missouri (5-4, 2-3), playing without injured starting quarterback Kelly Bryant (hamstring), managed only 198 total yards (50 rushing, 148 passing) and 11 first downs.
The top rushing team in the SEC averaging 220 yards entering the game, Georgia ran for 166 yards, while quarterback Jake Fromm had one of his least efficient nights of the year, completing 13 of 29 passes. He did make his throws count, though, throwing for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Both were to freshman George Pickens, including an 18-yarder early in the fourth quarter to ice the game.
It didn't take Georgia long to get on the board.
After forcing a punt on Missouri's opening possession, the Bulldogs quickly drove 60 yards on six plays, capped off by a 25-yard touchdown pass from Fromm to Pickens.
That would be the only touchdown of the first half.
Safety Richard LeCounte picked off a pass by Missouri quarterback Taylor Powell and returned it 71 yards to the Missouri 18-yard line with eight minutes left in the first half. But bad snap and a penalty left the Bulldogs facing a third-and-27, and they ultimately settled for a 48-yard field goal by Blankenship, his second of three in the first half.
The Bulldogs limited the Tigers to 99 total yards in the half, including an 8-of-17 effort for 60 yards by Powell, who started in place of Bryant.
The win was a painful one for Georgia, however, as numerous players left the game with injuries. Wide receiver Lawrence Cager injured his shoulder late in the first half, while a trio of offensive linemen also left the game early and did not return: center Trey Hill (ankle), guard/center Cade Mays (leg injury) and tackle Isaiah Wilson (undisclosed).
--Field Level Media