The Georgia Bulldogs Dominate The Missouri Tigers 34-0
Oct. 11, 2014
Game 6: Georgia (4-1, 2-1 SEC) vs Missouri (4-1, 1-0 SEC)
SEC East Showdown
Georgia makes just its second trip to Columbia, and it marks only the fourth time ever that the teams have met on the gridiron. The teams' initial showdown came in 1960 at the Orange Bowl and the Bulldogs blanked the Tigers 14-0. Georgia finished 10-1 and won the program's fourth career SEC title that season. The Bulldogs won at Missouri in 2012 while the Tigers won in Athens last year. Missouri is coming off a bye week following its thrilling 21-20 win over South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. The Tigers are currently 4-1 with their one loss coming against Indiana at home on Sept. 20. Georgia (2011, '12) and Missouri (2013) have been the SEC Eastern Division representatives in the SEC Championship Game the last three years.
In 2014, Missouri's Shane Ray leads the SEC with eight sacks while his teammate Markus Golden is third with four. The Tigers' Michael Scherer is also second in the league with 50 tackles in five games.
High-Octane Offense Continues
The Bulldogs opened the 2014 season by registering 45 points versus #16 Clemson, rolling up 459 yards of total offense. Georgia closed the game by taking a knee at the Tiger 8-yard line. At #24 South Carolina, the Bulldogs put 35 points on the scoreboard thanks to 408 yards of total offense. Georgia beat Troy 66-0 after piling up 547 total yards. Against Tennessee, the Bulldogs scored 35 points with 436 total yards. In Georgia's latest win over Vanderbilt, the Bulldogs scored 44 points and compiled 445 yards of total offense. Junior TB Todd Gurley leads the SEC in rushing (154.6), scoring (10.8) and all-purpose yards (194.6).
Five games in, Georgia is averaging 45.0 points a game, which ranks sixth nationally. The 2012 team set the school record for average points per game with 37.8. In 2013, the Bulldogs ranked fifth in the league in scoring offense at 36.7. Georgia has been able to score points this year thanks to a potent rushing attack that is ranked second in the SEC with 288.8 yards a game.
Georgia's 58 touchdowns last year ranked second in school history, trailing only the 2012 team that set the mark with 72. With 30 touchdowns through five games, the Bulldogs are on pace to tie that mark of 72.
2013 Georgia-Missouri Recap at Sanford Stadium
Seventh-ranked Georgia dropped a 42-26 decision to No. 25 Missouri at Sanford Stadium as the undefeated Tigers gained momentum in the race for the Eastern Division crown. The Bulldogs had four turnovers and lost at home for the first time since 2011, snapping a 15-game winning streak Between The Hedges. The teams were tied at 7 after the first quarter before the Tigers erupted for three touchdowns to build a 28-10 halftime lead. The Bulldogs cut it to 28-26 with 12:15 left in the contest when Aaron Murray connected with Chris Conley on a 10-yard touchdown. However, Missouri responded by driving 75 yards for a touchdown, capped by a 40-yard pass from receiver Bud Sasser to L'Damian Washington. While the Bulldogs were missing several key offensive players including running back Todd Gurley and its top three receivers, Missouri lost its quarterback, James Franklin, during the contest. Then freshman Maty Mauk directed the attack in the final quarter to complete the upset as Missouri improved to 6-0. It marked Missouri's first road win over a top 10 team since 1981.
2012 Georgia-Missouri Flashback at Faurot Field
Seventh-ranked Georgia scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to spoil Missouri's SEC debut as the Bulldogs posted a 41-20 victory.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers went on top 3-0 courtesy of a 38-yard field goal by Andrew Baggett. The Bulldogs answered with a then career-long 52-yard field goal by Marshall Morgan. In the second half, Missouri built a 17-9 advantage after a 69-yard touchdown pass from James Franklin to L'Damian Washington. Georgia responded with a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion to the score at 17. The Tigers took their final lead on a 25-yard field goal by Baggett. However, Aaron Murray directed the Bulldogs back, capping a 72-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Marlon Brown. It gave Georgia its first lead at 24-20, and they would add two more scores and a field goal for the final.
Murray finished 22-for-35 for 242 yards and three TDs to pace the offense. All-American Jarvis Jones, who tallied nine tackles, a sack and an interception, led the defense. Also of note, Todd Gurley had 65 yards rushing on 10 carries with one TD while Brown finished with eight catches for 106 yards and 2 TDs.
On The Road Again - For A While
The Bulldogs follow up their recent threegame homestand with four games on the road. Starting with the matchup at #23 Missouri, Georgia will not return to the friendly confines of Sanford Stadium until facing current #2 Auburn on Nov. 15. There will be 42 days between last Saturday's win over Vanderbilt and UGA's meeting with the Tigers. This marks the longest stretch between homes games for Georgia since the 2008 season.
ON DECK: Arkansas
Georgia's road swing continues against Arkansas in Little Rock, Ark. This marks the fifth time the teams have locked up in a neutral spot (Georgia owns 3-2 record) but first in War Memorial Stadium. The Razorbacks edged the Bulldogs 31- 24 in Athens the last time they played each other in 2010. Ryan Mallett went for 380 yards passing and three touchdowns for Arkansas. Georgia outlasted the Razorbacks 52-41 in 2009 during the team's last matchup in Fayetteville. Current Cincinnati Bengal A.J. Green led the Bulldogs to the victory with seven catches for 137 yards and two scores. Arkansas is currently ranked third in the SEC and seventh nationally in scoring offense at 44.6. The Razorbacks lead the SEC and are sixth nationally in rushing offense at 316.6 yards per game.
HEAD COACH Mark Richt
UGA/Overall: 130-46 (14th year)
Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla.
College: University of Miami, '82
Birthdate: Feb. 18, 1960 in Omaha, Neb.
Wife: Katharyn Francis
Children: Jon (24), David (19), Zach (18), Anya (17)
Years as college coach: 30
Florida State: Grad. Assistant (1985-86); Volunteer Assistant (1987-88)
East Carolina: Offensive Coordinator (1989)
Florida State: Quarterbacks (1990-2000); Offensive Coord. (1994-2000)
Georgia: Head Coach (2001-current)
The Mark Richt Record
*Includes 2-3 in SEC Championship games
Backfield Proving To Be Bulldogs' Strength
The Bulldogs are ranked second in the SEC and 12th nationally with an average of 288.8 rushing yards again this season. The school record is 303.4 set in 1971 under Vince Dooley. In the Mark Richt era that began in 2001, the highest season average for the Bulldogs has been 182.6 by the 2012 team. Also under Richt, the Bulldogs have had eight games with at least 300 yards rushing and two have been this season.
2007 (1): Ole Miss, 328 yards (45 rushes/5 TDs)
2009 (2): Tenn. Tech, 304 yards (39 rushes/3 TDs); @ Ga. Tech 339 (44 rushes/2 TDs)
2011 (1): @ Auburn, 304 yards (56 rushes/1 TD)
2012 (2): FAU, 328 yards (42 rushes/5 TDs); Vanderbilt, 302 yards (47 rushes/5 TDs)
2014 (2): Clemson, 328 yards (41 rushes/5 TD); Troy, 367 yards (39 rushes/5 TDs)
Georgia's current depth at tailback includes junior Todd Gurley, true freshman Nick Chubb and sophomore Brendan Douglas. Gurley has proven to be one of the nation's best, leading the SEC in Rushing (154.6/g, 3rd nationally), Scoring (10.8 pts/g, T7th nationally) and All-Purpose Yards (194.6/g, 2nd nationally). Chubb's debut versus #16 Clemson featured four carries for 70 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown. He snagged his first touchdown reception in the win over Tennessee. Chubb has 224 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries (7.2 avg.) while Douglas has 47 yards on eight carries (5.9 avg.) this year.
Two of Georgia's top options behind Gurley are currently sidelined with injuries. During the victory over the Vols, freshman Sony Michel sustained a left shoulder injury and did not play against Vanderbilt. Junior Keith Marshall injured his leg in the Troy game and has missed the last two contests.
Here's a look at the career numbers for All-America candidate Todd Gurley:
Todd Gurley Career Stats
The Bulldogs Up Front
This season, the offensive line has featured sophomore Brandon Kublanow at LG, redshirt sophomore Greg Pyke at RG, junior John Theus at LT, senior David Andrews at C and senior Kolton Houston at RT. Theus is starting at LT after starting 22 games at RT during his first two seasons. Andrews has started a team best 32 consecutive games.
Mason Directs Bulldog Offense
Fifth-year senior QB Hutson Mason has appeared in 18 games with seven starts (5-2). He directed the Bulldogs to a 45-21 win over #16 Clemson to open the 2014 season, which was his first start in Sanford Stadium.
His first career start came in a 41-34 2OT victory at Georgia Tech last year. The Marietta native led Georgia back from a second-quarter 20-0 deficit to pick up a win in the final game of the regular season. Redshirt sophomore Faton Bauta and redshirt freshman Brice Ramsey saw the most action of their career in the win over Troy on Sept. 20. In Bauta's fourth career game, he went 2-for-3 with 17 yards and rushed for two touchdowns against Troy. Ramsey stepped on the field for the first time and went 4-for-8 for 66 yards, including his first career pass. Both saw action in the win over Vanderbilt as Ramsey went 2-for-4 for 31 yards.
Mason's Career Numbers
(Mason is 5-2 as a starter)
Targeting An Assortment Of Receivers
Seniors Chris Conley and Michael Bennett anchor the 2014 group. The duo have combined for 27 catches and 347 yards and four scores this season. Bennett is the team leader with 14 catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns.
Georgia is hopeful to get receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley more action against the Tigers. Mitchell made his 2014 debut against Vanderbilt as he recovered from a leg injury and finished with one catch for 11 yards. In his career, Mitchell, a junior, has caught 85 passes for 1,237 yards and eight touchdowns. He has appeared in 25 games with 19 starts. Another junior, Scott-Wesley, has appeared in 14 games with four starts, tallying 22 receptions for 446 yards and three touchdowns.
Juniors Jay Rome and Quayvon Hicks plus true freshman Jeb Blazevich are the tight ends in the Bulldog offense. Blazevich leads the tight end group in receptions (7) and yards (139) at an average of 19.9 yards per reception.
Linebacker Quartet Leading The Defense
Linebackers have led the Bulldogs in tackles in each game this year. Senior ILB Amarlo Herrera leads the team and ranks fourth in the SEC with 43 stops while senior ILB Ramik Wilson is 11th in the league rankings with 37 tackles. Herrera was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week after the win over #16 Clemson thanks to a career high 12 stops, including two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. He had his 11th double-digit tackle performance in the recent win over Tennessee. Wilson and Herrera led the team against #24 South Carolina with 13 and 11, respectively.
Last year, Wilson led the SEC in tackles with 133 (10.2/g) and his best career performance came in the road loss to #7 Auburn. The Tampa, Fla., native racked up 18 stops, including a sack and two tackles for loss. In school history, there have now been three Bulldogs to lead the SEC in tackles (Whit Marshall, 1995, 128; Rennie Curran, 2009, 130).
Herrera ranked third in the SEC with 112 stops (8.6/g) in 2013. He has started 34 games in his career, including all 13 last year, and has tallied 262 tackles. Herrera's 262 tackles is the second most of any current SEC player behind Tennessee's A.J. Johnson.
Sophomore OLB Leonard Floyd, who was an ESPN Preseason All-American, proved to be another playmaker as he led all SEC freshmen with a team-high 6.5 sacks last season. This season, Floyd has 21 tackles, including four tackles for loss and three sacks. Junior OLB Jordan Jenkins finished 2013 with a team-high 12 tackles for loss and five sacks. In 2014, Jenkins has 28 stops, four tackles for loss, two sacks and has combined for 11 QB huries in the last two games. One of the nation's top recruits looking to make an impact this year is freshman outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter. Carter recovered a fumble at #24 South Carolina that led to a field goal.
Pruitt Headlines New Defensive Staff
Georgia's defensive staff underwent a complete overhaul following the 2013 season. This marks the first time since 1964 (Vince Dooley's first year) that the Bulldogs have an entirely new defensive staff. Georgia's defensive coordinator this season is Jeremy Pruitt. He directed Florida State to last season's BCS national championship. Eight regular starters from last year's team return on Georgia's defense. The Bulldogs are fourth in the league in total defense at 335.0 yards/ game. However, they are 11th in the SEC in scoring defense at 21.6 points/game. Georgia is fifth in rush defense (112.0) and seventh in pass defense (223.). The rest of the new defensive staff features Mike Ekeler (Inside Linebackers), Tracy Rocker (Defensive Line/Will Linebackers) and Kevin Sherrer (SAM Linebackers and Star position). Pruitt and Sherrer coached together at Hoover High School (Ala.) earlier in their careers.
Sacking The Opposition
Georgia has 12 sacks on the year and that is fourth in the SEC. Currently, the Tigers are second in the SEC with 18 sacks. The Bulldogs ranked second in the SEC with 33 sacks in 2013, trailing only SEC Eastern Division champ Missouri who finished with 41. This year, the Bulldogs registered five sacks in the win over #16 Clemson, including two from Leonard Floyd and a pair from Amarlo Herrera. Herrera added the team's sole sack at #24 South Carolina. Senior DT Toby Johnson and junior OLB Jordan Jenkins each recorded a sack versus Troy. Ramik Wilson, CB Damian Swann and Jenkins all registered one sack against Tennessee. Floyd recorded his third sack of the year against Vanderbilt.
Youthful Secondary Aiming For Improvement
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is also coaching the Bulldogs cornerbacks and safeties. The Bulldogs who have seen a significant amount of time this year include senior Damian Swann, junior Devin Bowman, senior Corey Moore, redshirt freshman Aaron Davis, true freshman Dominick Sanders, sophomore Quincy Mauger and sophomore J.J. Green.
The secondary has accounted for four interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery so far this season. Bowman is the latest Bulldog to tally a pick. He took his 63 yards for a touchdown versus the Commodores. This was the first pick of his career and the first INT returned for a touchdown for the Bulldogs since Shaq Wiggins ran one back versus Vanderbilt last year. This was also the second straight week Georgia's defense has scored a touchdown after DE Josh Dawson recovered a fumble in the end zone last week versus Tennessee. Davis recorded the group's first interception of the year against the Tigers near midfield with the game tied 21-all. Swann snagged the Bulldogs' second INT of the year to put Georgia in prime position late in the fourth quarter at #24 South Carolina. Redshirt freshman S Tramel Terry snagged his first career INT in the Troy end zone. The Bulldogs had seven picks in 2013, which ranked 13th in the SEC.
A Look At The Specialists
All-SEC First Team junior PK Marshall Morgan along with junior P Collin Barber and senior P Adam Erickson have served as the specialists since 2012. Currently, Morgan ranks eighth in school history with 243 points. In the season opener versus #16 Clemson, Morgan scored nine points with a 27-yard field goal and six PATs. He set the SEC record at #24 South Carolina, hitting his 19th and 20th straight field goals. However, he missed his last two of the game, including a 28-yarder with under five minutes left. Morgan rebounded to score 12 points against Troy (37-yard FG, nine PATs).
Barber punted five times against #16 Clemson this year and averaged 45.4 yards, including a 60 yarder and three inside the 20-yard line. In his career, Barber has punted 110 times for 4,619 yards (average of 41.9). Erickson won the starting job for the final three games of the 2013 season. The Athens native posted a 40.5 average last year, including a career-long 52 yarder at Georgia Tech. Erickson also gets the call to "pooch" punt. For his career, he has punted 23 times for 892 yards, which is an average of 38.8.
*tied for the longest in the nation
Aiming For Better Returns Currently, Georgia is averaging 22.5 yards on kickoff return (seventh in the SEC) and 11.8 on punt returns (sixth in the SEC). Georgia finished 14th in the league in both kick returns and punt returns in 2013. The Bulldogs averaged 18.6 yards on kickoffs and only 2.9 yards on punt returns.
In the 2014 season opener versus #16 Clemson, Georgia averaged 55.0 yards on kickoff returns and 7.6 on punt returns. Junior TB Todd Gurley bolstered the KOR average courtesy of his second 100-yard return of his career.
In the punt return game, sophomore Reggie Davis and freshman Isaiah McKenzie have combined for 200 yards on 17 returns and one touchdown. McKenzie had a 52-yarder for a touchdown against Troy. This marked the Bulldogs' last punt return for a touchdown since Brandon Boykin went 92 yards against Michigan State in the 2012 Outback Bowl.
Restructured Special Teams Duties For 2014
The offensive special teams are coordinated by tight ends coach John Lilly. Defensive special teams is headed by new inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler.
UGA CAREER RECORD WATCH LIST
MOST TOUCHDOWNS SCORED
1. 52 - Herschel Walker, 1980-82
2. 43 - Todd Gurley, 2012-
MOST RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS
1. 49 - Herschel Walker, 1980-82
2. 36 - Lars Tate, 1984-87
3. 35 - Todd Gurley, 2012-
MOST RUSHING YARDS
1. 5,259 - Herschel Walker, 1980-82 (SEC Record)
2. 3,232 - Garrison Hearst, 1990-92
3. 3,147 - Todd Gurley, 2012-
AVERAGE YARDS PER GAME
1. 159.4 - Herschel Walker, 1980-82 (5,259 in 33 games) (SEC Record)
2. 105.2 - Knowshon Moreno, 2007-08 (2,734 in 26 games)
108.5 - Todd Gurley, 2012- (3,147 in 29 games)
AVERAGE GAIN PER RUSH
1. 6.42 - Charley Trippi, 1942, '45-46
2. 6.37 - Glynn Harrison, 1972-75
3. 6.04 - Keith Henderson, 1985-86-88
4. 5.95 - Garrison Hearst, 1990-92
6.54 - Todd Gurley, 2012-
MOST ALL-PURPOSE YARDS
1. 5,749 - Herschel Walker, 1980-82 (5,259 rush, 243 rec., 247 KO ret.)
2. 4,148 - Todd Gurley, 2012- (3,147 rush, 611 rec., 390 KO ret.)
FBS ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
FBS ACTIVE PLAYER RANKINGS THIS SEASON
Georgia's Overtime Record (6-4)
H: 0-0; A: 4-2; N: 2-2; SEC: 3-2
Nov. 16, 1996 Georgia beat #20 Auburn 56-49 (4 OT) in Auburn, Ala.
Nov. 27, 1999 #20 Ga. Tech beat #16 Georgia 51-48 in Atlanta, Ga.
Jan. 1, 2000 #21 Georgia beat #19 Purdue 28-25 in Tampa, Fla. (Outback Bowl)
Nov. 11, 2000 #22 Auburn beat #14 Georgia 29-26 in Auburn, Ala.
Jan. 1, 2004 #11 Georgia beat #12 Purdue 34-27 in Orlando, Fla. (Capital One Bowl)
Sept. 22, 2007 #22 Georgia beat #16 Alabama 26-23 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Oct. 30, 2010 Florida beat Georgia 34-31 in Jacksonville, Fla. @ EverBank Field
Jan. 2, 2012 #12 Michigan St. beat #18 Georgia 33-30 (3 OT) in Tampa, Fla. (Outback Bowl)
Oct. 5, 2013 #6 Georgia beat Tennessee 34-31 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Nov. 30, 2013 Georgia beat Georgia Tech 41-34 (2OT) in Atlanta, Ga.
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