WATCH VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
By Scott Crumbly
SEC Digital Network
COLUMBIA, Mo. – After Florida spoiled Texas A&M’s grand entrance to the Southeastern Conference earlier in the day, the Missouri Tigers looked to avoid the same fate in their SEC lid-lifter against the visiting Georgia Bulldogs. The Tigers were neck-and-neck with UGA through three quarters, but a strong fourth from Georgia proved to be the difference in a 41-20 road win.
The action heated up with less than two minutes remaining in the first half when Missouri quarterback James Franklin found Marcus Lucas across the middle for a 41-yard scoring strike. It was Mizzou’s first touchdown as a member of the SEC, and the Tigers suddenly found themselves up 10-3.
Not to be outdone, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray found Marlon Brown in the end zone on a fade route just one minute later. UGA kicker Marshall Morgan missed the ensuing extra point, but the Bulldogs closed the gap to 10-9 at the half.
Franklin didn’t miss a beat during the break. Facing a third-and-nine early in the third quarter, the junior hit L’Damian Washington deep for another long touchdown pass, this one coming from 61 yards out. Once again, Murray answered Franklin’s strike with one of his own, throwing a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tavarres King. The subsequent two-point conversion was successful, and the game was knotted at 17.
On UGA’s next possession, Murray reconnected with Brown for his third passing touchdown of the evening, and the Bulldogs took a 24-20 lead into the final quarter. That’s when the Bulldogs flexed their muscle and pulled away from Mizzou.
After a Morgan field goal, Todd Gurley and Ken Malcome each punched in rushing touchdowns and Georgia secured a road victory on the road to start off its 2012 SEC schedule.
Murray and Franklin were both big for their teams, with Murray tossing three touchdowns to go along with 242 yards, and Franklin throwing for 269 yards and two touchdowns of his own. Brown also impressed for UGA, finishing with 124 receiving yards and one score.
Passing – Aaron Murray, 22-of-35, 242 yards, 3 TD, INT
Rushing – Todd Gurley, 10 car, 65 yards, TD
Receiving – Marlon Brown, 9 rec, 124 yards, 2 TD
Passing – James Franklin, 25-of-41, 269 yards, 2 TD, INT
Rushing – Marcus Murphy, 6 car, 43 yards
Receiving – Marcus Lucas, 6 rec, 88 yards, TD