E-mail Pete Fiutak
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There’s good Maty, and there’s bad Maty.
Georgia obviously came out jacked up and focused after all of the Todd Gurley drama and all the attention on everything but the game, and it all seemed to center around the defense and its ability to give Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk a nightmare of a day.
The Next Back Up for Georgia is always going to be good, and Nick Chubb did his part with 143 yards on 38 carries, but it was the defense that forced four interceptions, didn’t allow the Mizzou running game to breathe, and let Bulldog QB Hutson Mason relax and not force anything that turned out to be the difference.
Georgia was able to step up and rally last year after a slew of injuries hit, but there was only so much it could do with key player after key player going down. Against Missouri, it was a total team effort to take control of the SEC East race, and it was the announcement that the defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s bunch were about to take over.
Good so far, against Missouri it was stifling, and now there’s a big chance to get right back into the College Football Playoff talk. If the D can keep doing this, and if Chubb can keep grinding out yards, and if Mason can avoid the big mistakes, and if this team that rose up under adversity can keep playing like this, watch out.
E-mail Rich Cirminiello
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Okay, so Georgia can win important games without its frontman dressed.
It wasn’t so much that the Bulldogs survived today without RB Todd Gurley as the ease with which they did it. In a key SEC East showdown with Mizzou—in Columbia—Georgia put on a display of complete domination, an encouraging development for a team that could be without No. 3 for an extended period of time. Gurley heir Nick Chubb did the dirty work on offense, but it was Jeremy Pruitt’s D that was the star of the afternoon for the Dawgs.
It completely suffocated the bumbling Tigers, taking advantage of errant Maty Mauk throws and dropped balls by receivers. Pruitt’s unit will need to build on today’s effort, because Chubb is only a rookie and Hutson Mason is not the kind of quarterback who’ll routinely carry an offense.
Georgia was vulnerable today. Tough opponent on the road. No Gurley. And needing to tune out the noise from the past 24 hours. The fact that the Dawgs were able to cruise with such ease means they’re the SEC East’s team to beat, with litmus tests upcoming against Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky and Auburn over the next month.
By Phil Harrison
Todd Gurley who?
Maybe it would have mattered against a top SEC team, but against Mizzou — even on the road — having one of the front running Heisman contenders simply didn’t matter. Despite the absence of Gurley, the Georgia rushing offense was still able to gash the Tiger defense behind Nick Chubb. And thanks to the charitable mindset of Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk (4 interceptions), the Tiger offense couldn’t come close to keeping pace on the other side of the ball.
With the win, Georgia is still in the driver’s seat of the SEC East, and with all of the chaos that occurred last weekend, is still on life support for a spot in the College Football Playoff. It would of course help if Gurley somehow found himself back in the fold down the stretch run. You can beat a team like Missouri with some weapons on the shelf, but when the teams from the SEC West come calling, the Bulldogs will need everything at their disposal.
Up next is a sneaky-tough game in Fayetteville against Arkansas, with much bigger things looming down the road.
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