Breakdown: No. 1 Georgia 26, Missouri 22

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

COLUMBIA, Mo. – No. 1 Georgia had to score twice in the fourth quarter to come from behind to beat Missouri (2-3, 0-2 SEC) 26-22 at Faurot Field Saturday night. The Bulldogs (5-0, 2-0) were posted as 28-point favorites entering the game.

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Here’s how it broke down:

Game ball

The game ball could have ended up in the hands of a lot of Bulldogs, but it’s only fitting that we give it to junior running back Daijun Edwards. It was Edwards, after all, who had the ball in his hands for the game-winning, 1-yard touchdown with 3:12 to play. It was the first TD of the season for Edwards. Then, with Georgia needing to knock out two first downs facing a stacked defensive box from Missouri, Edwards carried the ball six times, two of them resulting in timeout-burning first downs. The 5-foot-10, 201-pound product of Colquitt County finished with 51 yards on 10 carries.

Key stat

0-16. That’s Missouri’s record against No. 1-ranked teams in school history. The last time the Tigers played a No. 1 team was Oct. 13, 2018, when they faced Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide won 39-10. Saturday’s 26-22 defeat was the closest Missouri has played a No. 1 since 1987, when it pushed Oklahoma on the way to a 17-13 defeat in Norman, Okla.

Key play

With the clock ticking down inside 10 minutes to play, Georgia faced fourth-and-1 at the Missouri 4. To that point, the Bulldogs had not been able to convert a red-zone opportunity into a touchdown. Instead of settling for what would have been a fifth Jack Podlesny field goal, the Bulldogs went for it. Senior running back Kenny McIntosh took a handoff at left tackle and cut outside for a 3-yard gain down to the 1. It was on the next play that Kendall Milton plowed in at left guard behind the lead blocks of defensive tackle Bear Alexander and tackle-turned-fullback Austin Blaske.

What we learned

We learned once again that Georgia is good enough to overcome turnovers, but just barely. The Bulldogs turned the ball over three times against Kent State the previous week, yet still managed to win by 17 points. This time it was two first-half fumbles that put them behind the eight ball, yet they managed to make the plays they needed down the stretch.

They said it

“Composure and resiliency, man. They believe in it. They believe in each other. They never doubted. But that doesn’t solve the problem that we’ve got to get better. I mean, you sit around a hotel all day and you wait to go to play a game, and everybody in the world thinks you’re going to go out there and blow some team out. I’ve been in this league too long, man. I know different. I know these environments you’re walking into.” – Kirby Smart

“Four quarters in an SEC game is hard. In the end, you’re going to see what you have.” – QB Stetson Bennett

“We’re self-inflicted wounds from winning that.” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz

What’s next?

The Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0 SEC) will play their second in a string of seven consecutive conference games when Auburn visits Sanford Stadium on Saturday. The Tigers (3-2, 1-1) blew a 17-0 lead to lose to LSU 21-17 Saturday night on the Plains.