Mizzou football grades: Analysis from Missouri Tigers’ SEC loss to Georgia Bulldogs

It was close. No. 12 gave No. 2 all it could handle. But Missouri football came up short against one of the best teams in the nation.

Georgia scored a late field goal to finish off a 29-21 win over Mizzou in Athens.

Here are our postgame grades from Missouri’s close tussle with Georgia on the road.

Missouri’s offense

Missouri’s offense wasn’t great. It stalled at times. But the collective unit gave Georgia a real test.

The Tigers put themselves in a position to go ahead in the fourth quarter, as the running game finally got going late.

MU also got the offense going early with a 39-yard bomb from Brady Cook to Luther Burden. It’s proof that Missouri’s offense can find success against all kinds of defenses.

Would Missouri have liked to sustain more offensive drives? Without question, but against a defense like Georgia finding success isn’t a given.

The Tigers didn’t do enough, as evidenced by the bad turnover in the fourth and by stalling in the second and third quarters.

Grade: C

Missouri’s defense

Georgia’s offense hasn’t been as explosive as in past years, to be sure, but the Bulldogs still present a threat by virtue of being one of the best teams in the nation.

Credit Missouri and Blake Baker: The Tigers’ defense gave Missouri a chance.

Baker’s blitzes hampered the Bulldogs. UGA quarterback Carson Beck was sacked only six times entering Saturday. Missouri sacked Beck three times. Darius Robinson and Ty’Ron Hopper played like NFL players.

Still, Georgia adjusted. The Bulldogs’ offense exposed those blitzes with throws over the middle on well-timed plays.

Even after that adjustment, Missouri’s defense didn’t break. When Georgia intercepted a pass and threatened to seal the game with a touchdown, the Tigers’ defense didn’t break.

In order to pull off the upset, that’s what the MU defense needed to do. Could the defense have forced a turnover? Sure, but the end result was a chance to knock off Georgia. That’s all you can ask for in a game like this.

Grade: B

Mizzou RB Cody Schrader

The Schrader Show occurs every Saturday, and it’s a beloved show if you’re a true football fan.

Schrader took his time and kept peppering the Georgia defense with his stretch plays and runs right into the heart of the defense.

Eventually, the defense cracked.

Schrader got the Georgia defense to break at the perfect time. In the fourth quarter, with Missouri trailing 24-13, Schrader scored a 12-yard touchdown to get Missouri back into the game.

Like the defense, he gave MU a chance against Georgia on the road.

Schrader’s 3- and 4-yard gains in the first three quarters turned into 12- and 13-yard gains in the fourth.

Grade: A

Mizzou coach Eli Drinkwitz

At the end of the first half, Missouri forced Georgia to punt. The Tigers had 45 seconds to get into field goal range with two timeouts.

The officials ruled a stretch play to Schrader in bounds. Drinkwitz opted to argue the call instead of calling a timeout to preserve time — and perhaps try to get Harrison Mevis into field-goal range.

Drinkwitz took those two timeouts into the break.

Still, that strange end to the half aside, Drinkwitz had this team ready to play Georgia on the road. The head ball coach’s maturity and grasp on how to prepare a talented Tigers team to give them the best chance to win.

This game came down to the fourth quarter, while Missouri entered as a two-touchdown-plus underdog.

Grade: B+

The Star has partnered with the Columbia Daily Tribune for coverage of Missouri Tigers athletics.