Georgia vs. MISSOURI SCORE, TAKEAWAYS: Concerns arise as No. 1 Dawgs escape upset bid with late touchdowns.

No. 1 Georgia had an unexpected scare Saturday before bouncing back with a 26-22 win at Missouri. The Bulldogs entered as four-touchdown favorites, but fell behind 13-0 in the second quarter. The Dawgs didn’t find the end zone until 9:39 remained, taking the lead with only 4:03 remaining.

Nevertheless, Georgia went 5-0.

The SEC East matchup turned into a field goal contest as both defenses were repeatedly stiff in the red zone during the second and third quarters. Podlesny and Missouri’s Harrison Mewis both went for 4 on field goal attempts in the game.

As the Dawgs’ pressure mounted late in the game, the Tigers finally broke through in the fourth quarter, when Georgia capped two long scoring drives with 1-yard touchdown runs. It was UGA’s first comeback from a double-digit halftime deficit since the 2018 Rose Bowl, which ended in double overtime.

Bennett started 10 of 25 through the air, but hit 14 of his next 19 passes. He finished with 312 yards as running backs Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards did a lot of the heavy lifting to move the Dawgs on the ground.

Georgia outscored Mizzou 299-100 in the second half with a 23-6 run that started on the final play of the first half to end the game.

Missouri fell to 0-17 all-time against No. 1 opponents. It was the third game the Tigers lost by single digits. Georgia improved to 15-1 against an unranked opponent as the No. 1 ranked team all-time.

The Dawgs came out flat … again

A week after an uncharacteristically lopsided 39-22 loss against Kent State, Georgia looked like an even version of itself in the first half. The Bulldogs received the opening kickoff and immediately went three-and-out as Missouri’s Trajan Jeffcoat sacked Bennett on third-and-14.

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The Tigers rushed Bennett throughout the first half as the Bulldogs failed to score on their first five possessions. That stretch also included a pair of fumbles that gave Missouri good field position. Georgia was particularly ineffective running the football in the first half, with just 33 yards rushing at halftime. That mark was also topped by Kendall Milton’s 35-yard run that ended with a fumble.

Failure to capitalize

Missouri’s failure to gain more than three points on those two Georgia turnovers could haunt the Tigers as they review the loss. Another example of Missouri missing a golden opportunity was when the Tigers settled for a field goal after Cody Schrader’s 63-yard run to set up first-and-goal at the 1-yard line on their final possession. In the first half.

A false start penalty moved Mizzou back and gave Georgia’s defense some life, resulting in a 22-yard field goal from Mewis. Although Mewis’ 5-for-5 night included four carries of 40 yards or more, the Tigers needed a better finishing punch from their offense to beat the nation’s top-ranked team.

A huge loss for the Georgia defense

Georgia’s star defensive lineman Jalen Carter left the game in the first half with a knee injury and did not return. Carter is ranked No. 6 in CBS Sports’ 2023 NFL Draft prospect rankings and is a force on the interior for the Bulldogs. If he’s out long term, it could take a toll on the Georgia defense, which already replaces nine drafted players from last season’s national championship team. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound junior was considered questionable entering the game and was limited throughout the early season.

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