Georgia starts slow, then writes winning script (UPDATED)

If Georgia's comeback to make a big enough statement, this message did. (AP photo)

If Dogs' comeback wasn't big enough statement, this was.

(UPDATED: 1:15 a.m.)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — By the time this night was over, Georgia had to be more than just somebody else’s memory.

Decades from now, there couldn’t be any warm-and-fuzzy storylines about how some newbie won its first SEC game, because the flip side to that would be that the Bulldogs had lost it. There couldn’t be the tale of how a long-standing program (Georgia)  had stumbled in its conference opener for the third straight season, this time falling to a program (Missouri) that some questioned was even worthy of this leap.

But by the time the evening ended, Georgia didn’t have to worry about that. The Dogs had several early hiccups Saturday. They turned the ball over. They committed penalties. They trailed as late as 20-17 with less than three minutes left in the third quarter. Then they changed the script.

The Dogs scored the final 24 points of the game. They scored 38 in the final 30:30 of the game after managing only a field goal in the first 29:30. They won 41-20.

It’s too early to know if Georgia is a great team. But that is how great teams react. They take over games and look like they’re ready for the moment, especially when the opponent looks like it isn’t.

As the game ended, Georgia fans in one corner of Memorial Stadium, chanted, “Old man football! Old man football!” The reference was to the Missouri player who had mocked their style.

Big mistake by the Tigers. Fond memory for the Bulldogs.

“We all heard it — that was great,” quarterback Aaron Murray said.

“”Hilarious,” wide receiver Marlon Brown added.

Defense held Dogs in it until Aaron Murray and offense got going.

Defense held Dogs in it until Aaron Murray got going.

It was 3-3 until late in the second quarter. Brown said, “I was thinking, ‘Wow, this really is ‘old man football’ — for both teams.”

But Georgia drove to a touchdown with 30 seconds left in the first half, and suddenly it couldn’t be stopped. In one stretch they scored on five of six possessions (four touchdowns and a field goal), although the last two touchdowns of the game were gimmes, set up by Missouri turnovers caused by linebacker Jarvis Jones: an interception and return to the Mizzou 1, and a sack and forced fumble at the 5.

“I think we showed people we can play,” Jones said. “In the first half, they threw a variety of punches at us, they showed us everything they had. In the second half we were more comfortable. And we made plays.”

Meanwhile, the Tigers unraveled. It started with their head coach, Gary Pinkel. He called for a fake punt early in the fourth quarter when Georgia led only 24-20. Some might call that the element of surprise. In reality, it was an awful message to send his players. It was like telling them, “We can’t win this playing normal football.” There is nothing wrong with calling a fake punt, but not at that point of the game.

Also, it failed. Punter Trey Barrow was stuffed on a fourth-and-11 run by Sheldon Dawson at the Tigers’ 38. The Dogs converted that into a field goal and outscored Missouri 17-0 from that points.

Jones: “That was a big turning point for us.”

Nobody went into Saturday expecting a blowout win. Georgia showed flaws last week against Buffalo (soft defensive line, off-target quarterback), was missing bodies (four defensive starters suspended) and was playing on the road against a solid opponent that obviously was pumped for its SEC debut.

But the one thing nobody in Athens wanted or expected was a reminder of last season’s first significant test of the season. Remember the Boise State game? The Bulldogs looked outcoached and overmatched physically by a perceived inferior team that night. They trailed 28-7 in the third quarter and lost 35-21.

That’s sort of what it looked like for a half (or more) against Missouri. The offensive line didn’t block well. Murray was off target. He frequently overthrew  receivers, and the one time when he underthrew a receiver (Brown), the pass was intercepted — and on the first play after Georgia had recovered a Missouri fumble.

There were other problems. Malcolm Mitchell belatedly and foolishly decided to field a punt on a bounce and in traffic. Of course, he got hit and fumbled. The Dogs finished with 12 penalties, including five false starts. There were dropped passes. Placekicker Marshall Morgan made 52-and 41-yard field goals but missed an extra point and had another ricochet in off the upright.

But defense, despite also having some bumps, kept the Dogs in it until Murray and the offense got going. With Georgia trailing 20-17, Murray completed consecutive passes to Brown (40 yards), Michael Bennett (22) and Brown (11) again, the last one for a touchdown and a 24-20 lead.

Missouri panicked. It didn’t look ready for the moment. Pinkel’s fake punt backfired. It was over.

This memory was all Georgia’s.

By Jeff Schultz

687 comments Add your comment

Bill

September 8th, 2012
11:47 pm

Rob

September 8th, 2012
11:47 pm

… and life was good.

yarddawg

September 8th, 2012
11:47 pm

Enjoyed the game, I’m happy with the results, especially the second half and mostly fourth quarter. GO DAWGS!

LDawg

September 8th, 2012
11:50 pm

Jarvis Jones for President!!!!

NastyDawg

September 8th, 2012
11:51 pm

Jarvis Jones is a BEAST. He gets my vote for 1st Team All-America.

Atlanta Dawg

September 8th, 2012
11:54 pm

LOVE SEC Old Man Football !

5150 UOAD

September 8th, 2012
11:54 pm

The Biggest Scare UGa has is Murray
If he plays against a real quality team like he has against Buffalo and Mizzou in the first half he will not get a chance to come back in the second half.
If UGa plays a 1st half against USC like they did against Mizzou it could have them in too big of a hole to climb out of having to count on Murray’s passing ability.

AUTOMATIC WEAPONS

September 8th, 2012
11:55 pm

matt

September 8th, 2012
11:56 pm

Sheldon Richardson after the game looking hurt. It is now my new av
Wallpaper!

Weatherman

September 8th, 2012
11:56 pm

Mizzou actually went for a fake punt, not a field goal. And it would have worked if not for the heads-up play of Richard Samuel.

GO DAWGS!
Love that “Old Man Football”

Russ

September 8th, 2012
11:56 pm

Change fake fg to fake punt, right?

bilbo799

September 8th, 2012
11:56 pm

BOBO owes Jarvis Jones his job.

Darren R

September 8th, 2012
11:57 pm

Jarvis J was the difference maker. Why can’t the Dawgs just play well in the first half?

NewnanDawg

September 8th, 2012
11:57 pm

Jarvis Jones is having a Mathieu-esque type impact for UGA this year.

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

petemaus

September 8th, 2012
11:58 pm

Jobba Jone id a freak

Partsdawg

September 8th, 2012
11:58 pm

Great game , the dawgs took command in the second half Jarvis Jones played great he,s a dog gone good dawg go dawgs always seck um yeah.

turd ferguson

September 8th, 2012
11:59 pm

wow , you guys act like they won the National Championship. oh wait, you act that way with every win. ROLL TIDE, of course i see by the pups sched, they have the easiest sched. in the S E C.

Glory between the Hedges

September 8th, 2012
11:59 pm

Your right 5150… Murray looks like he doesnt have a clue sometimes. The good news is our entire defense will not let us get far behind in any game.

zzggyy

September 8th, 2012
11:59 pm

Observer

September 8th, 2012
11:59 pm

BIG PROPS TO RICHARD SAMUEL!!!

SatillaDawg

September 8th, 2012
11:59 pm

WOW! Go DAWGS!

Welcome to the SEC, Mizzou…boo, hoo, hoo, hoo!

Let’s just give this one to Jarvis Jones. Hands down. Simply awesome.

Hey Mizzou….That’s how you play “Old Man Football!”

GOOOOOOOOO DAWGS! Sic ‘Em! Woof, Woof, Woof!

Crab Island Dawg

September 9th, 2012
12:00 am

Looking forward to getting all of the defensive starters on the field at one time!

Dawgmess

September 9th, 2012
12:00 am

Man, I’m glad to see the Dawgs play 4 quarters of football for a change!

Art silva

September 9th, 2012
12:00 am

So relieved game finished the way it did. Jarvis jones is beast!!! Offensive line finished the ge though at the end, miss those guys suspended!!!

Rick James

September 9th, 2012
12:00 am

Where are the Georgia Tech trolls? I’m sure they were looking forward to hiding behind Missouri..Old man football?

Tampa Gator

September 9th, 2012
12:00 am

Great games in Texas and Missouri today……Murray played well…..and so did Jeff Driskel. By the way…..Jeff Driskel is now 23 for 32 for 276 yards and a TD…no INTs. Showing a lot of leadership and athletic ability. The kid is going to grow into an outstanding QB this year.

David

September 9th, 2012
12:00 am

Old-man football is damn good ball!!!

Dawglasville

September 9th, 2012
12:01 am

Great team win. Not a night to gripe. Hopefully Jenkins and Kawame are OK. All of the coaches did very well tonight. Now to get ready for Rogers and Franklin.

Thinkaboutit

September 9th, 2012
12:01 am

Leave #3 in the game. 4 n 24 are solid. #3 is a beast. Be so very glad Jarvis stayed. Murray better get better. Huge win. Keep it up

Glory between the Hedges

September 9th, 2012
12:01 am

John Theus was good awful tonight, he has got to get better quick.

outkasted

September 9th, 2012
12:01 am

Great win by Georgia its funny to here high schol stadium reference when all summer and fall I ve heard the atmosphere atmosphere… then i heard DGB was posed to torch us did he play? Marlon Brown is ready Im loving the RBs John Theus was a sore spot but he should improve… Sanders Commings back that should get connor norman off the field… Defense good job! now I can sit back and watch the bullshhhh posts bashin!!!! 2-0 cleared the first hurdle!!!

Miami Dawg

September 9th, 2012
12:01 am

Yet another game where CMR failed to get his team ready to play from the first whistle. Against a good team we would never have recovered. Is he really worth $3 million?

Ward

September 9th, 2012
12:02 am

It wasn’t impressive (except for JJ’s game), but I will take it. The defense looks much improved from last week and I can see that when the missing pieces are back they will be very stout…Especially in the middle of the field where this team looked very exposed in the game tonight (Norman may be a good kid, but he’s no SEC safety). I would rather see JHC in that role than Norman… My fault lies on the offense. Murray has happy feet along with a inconsistent arm & decision making skills. Our OL better improve fast, because they are horrible…Too many false starts and not enough pass blocking… Also, why is Gurley getting so many limited touches? He needs 15-20 for now, NOT 10… Marshall looks like Isiah did last year; he is not running hard and goes down at first contact/ not making anyone miss. I think he may be more effective in the screen game if we actually called any… Plenty of room for improvement overall, but I will take the final result.

Swami Sez

September 9th, 2012
12:02 am

Offense still stinks and Bobo’s play calling is still vanilla. Defense still has problems. Jarvis cant do it all by himself throughout the season

Hair E Dawg

September 9th, 2012
12:03 am

Glad we won but the Offense didn’t remotely look ready to play tonight.

Tampa Gator

September 9th, 2012
12:03 am

I don’t think anyone ripping the entire Georgia team and the coaches all night on the game story should be allowed on here to celebrate a great win against Missouri tonight…..after the game, If you are, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Hair E Dawg

September 9th, 2012
12:03 am

Glad we won but the Offense didn’t remotely look ready to play tonight.

Finally, jeez

September 9th, 2012
12:03 am

First big win in a while for UGA. Still have a ways to go, but at least the season isn’t over in September. Get the Stoned Four back, beat SC and it could could could be a special season

Robert Moody

September 9th, 2012
12:04 am

Hi Jeff,

It was a fake punt. Our receivers need some work.

Bobby

Bill Stanfill

September 9th, 2012
12:04 am

Yessuh, boys–after that strange first half, it became a good old-fashioned Georgia beat-down! That’s what the powerhouses in the SEC can do–quickly overwhelm a team before they know what hit ‘em.

We’re looking forward to Murray settling down, getting all our defensive guys back, and steady improvement.
This might just turn out to be a great team.

Missouri, we wish you young fellows the best but everybody’s gotta run thru the ring of fire if they want to play in the SEC.

Dawg-Gawn

September 9th, 2012
12:04 am

“Our Team”, “Our Time”, “No Regrets”

Jarvis Jones = DGD

Old-Man Football = W

“BELIEVE” in the “G”

Mike S.

September 9th, 2012
12:04 am

Solid win for UGA today. I personally didnt think they were up for it. UGA usually gets better as the year goes on, so this could be a sign of very good things to come.

brian in roswell

September 9th, 2012
12:04 am

I thought this would be a Bigger game to win even over fla game. Bc if the dawgs would have lost this. Thered be criticisms , negativity w the program. But this group of men came to bat for commings vasser rambo aand ogs. They couldnt lose ground to sc. I know spurrier was watchin. Old Man football. Damn proud to be a dawg. Whenever time comes for a bcs championship it will be so sweet and hope the best for richt. I believe he is the right Man. In the sec u hav to wait it out and be prepared. Grantham Hoces that edge that richt lacks. And jarvis Jones will lead this season by example

bo

September 9th, 2012
12:04 am

it was a fake punt, not FG. But it was a great idea; UGA is usually really bad at such plays. This one took a long tme to develop thiugh (or that punter was just really slow).

Tampa Gator

September 9th, 2012
12:04 am

SwamiSez….

You are one of those who should be ashamed for being on here…….and you are still being negative after Georgia’s big win.

brian in roswell

September 9th, 2012
12:04 am

I thought this would be a Bigger game to win even over fla game. Bc if the dawgs would have lost this. Thered be criticisms , negativity w the program. But this group of men came to bat for commings vasser rambo aand ogs. They couldnt lose ground to sc. I know spurrier was watchin. Old Man football. Damn proud to be a dawg. Whenever time comes for a bcs championship it will be so sweet and hope the best for richt. I believe he is the right Man. In the sec u hav to wait it out and be prepared. Grantham Hoces that edge that richt lacks. And jarvis Jones will lead this season by example

brian in roswell

September 9th, 2012
12:04 am

I thought this would be a Bigger game to win even over fla game. Bc if the dawgs would have lost this. Thered be criticisms , negativity w the program. But this group of men came to bat for commings vasser rambo aand ogs. They couldnt lose ground to sc. I know spurrier was watchin. Old Man football. Damn proud to be a dawg. Whenever time comes for a bcs championship it will be so sweet and hope the best for richt. I believe he is the right Man. In the sec u hav to wait it out and be prepared. Grantham Hoces that edge that richt lacks. And jarvis Jones will lead this season by example

Bjohndawg

September 9th, 2012
12:05 am

Jarvis Jones…..new nickname
” The Honey Dawg!”
He takes what he wants!

Pj

September 9th, 2012
12:05 am

Our starting left tackle had 3 false starts and gave up 2 terrible sacks. Murray threw a bad int – mitchell fumbled a punt in a terrible decision. We missed an extra point. We had another slew of penalties… But here is what we didn’t have – bad punts. Missed tackles. Pick 6’s.
We went to an explosive stadium with a veteran qb and a good coach and spanked em by 3 touchdowns.
Richt and Bobo call a conservative game and that frustrates me as much as you, but patience paid off. We waited and waited… And Missouri finally imploded.
Go dawgs