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Missouri’s postgame comments about Georgia

Following top-ranked Georgia’s one-sided 43-6 win over Missouri this afternoon at Sanford Stadium, Tigers head coach Eliah Drinkwitz and a couple of his players addressed the media. Here's a summary of what they had to say after their loss to the Bulldogs.

Drinkwitz was brief, and seemingly exasperated. Still, he was proud of his team, which entered as a 40.5-point underdog.

“I was proud of the way our team fought. They came out with the right energy and attitude,” Drinkwitz said. “We took a 3-0 lead. [Georgia] had a critical fourth down in the first quarter they were able to convert on. We had a fourth down in the second quarter we weren’t able to convert on—and that kind of flipped momentum. And a game like this, when you’re playing the No. 1 team in the country, you got to make those plays—and we didn’t make them today. But I was proud of our guys.”

With Missouri leading 3-0 late in the first quarter, Georgia’s Stetson Bennett connected with Arian Smith for a 35-yard touchdown on fourth and six. In the second quarter, Missouri faced fourth down in Georgia territory while trailing by only 13 points, but Tiger quarterback Tyler Macon was stopped a yard short of the first down.

With Georgia trailing Missouri late in the first quarter, Arian Smith hauls in a 35-yard scoring pass from Stetson Bennett on fourth down.
With Georgia trailing Missouri late in the first quarter, Arian Smith hauls in a 35-yard scoring pass from Stetson Bennett on fourth down.

…Drinkwitz seemed especially proud of his offensive line, which was having to face likely the top defensive front in college football. Missouri rushed for 121 yards (74 of which was gained by its quarterbacks, Macon and Brady Cook) while averaging 3.5 yards per carry against a Georgia defense which was allowing only 76.4 rushing yards per game and 2.5 yards per rush.

“I feel like they (the Missouri offensive line) created some opportunities for us in the run game,” Drinkwitz said. “I thought our quarterbacks were able to run for a few yards.”

…As far as Georgia’s running attack, a side note entering this game was how poor Missouri’s run defense had been all season. Prior to today, the Tigers had allowed their opposition to average a whopping 283.8 rushing yards per game and 6.3 yards per rush. This afternoon, the Bulldogs rushed for 168 yards on 33 carries (including only 67 on 20 in the first half), marking the lowest rushing output against Missouri all season.

“I think we did a great job of stopping the run today,” said junior linebacker Chad Bailey, who totaled a game-high 10 tackles. “They (Georgia) got some really elusive backs that can get out and make some plays, but I think we did a really good job of containing them.”

Sophomore defensive back Jaylon Carlies agreed with his fellow Tiger defender.

“I honestly feel we held our own out there. We did a great job stopping the run,” said Carlies, who also totaled 10 tackles and intercepted a pass. “We just need to do a better job pass-game wise. But I feel like we came out and held our own.”

Passing-game wise, Georgia sparkled. Bennett completed 13 of 19 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns. His backup, JT Daniels, completed 7 of 11 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.

“We were trying to stop the run. That’s what they do (run the ball),” Drinkwitz said of Georgia. “When you [try to stop the run], you’re susceptible to the pass yards. Credit [Georgia]. They made a couple of really good plays, and a couple of really good catches.”