Jacob Eason helps Georgia rally to beat Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- It was all on the true freshman's shoulders. 

No one could be certain how the Georgia Bulldog's quarterback Jacob Eason would handle the pressure. It was his first time trying to manufacture a game-winning drive. 

Down 27-21 with three minutes to go, Eason led his team down the field. He threw two complete passes, and an interference call on a long pass down field on third down put Georgia at Missouri's 35-yard-line. He got some help from Sony Michel on the drive who rushed for 22 yards. 

But it came down to a fourth-and-10. Eason looked calm and collected. He threw a pass to Isaiah McKenzie who jumped up and grabbed the 20-yard pass for a touchdown, tying the game. 

William Ham, who missed two field goals in the game, nailed the extra point to give Georgia a 28-27 lead.

Missouri got the ball back with 1:10, but fumbled it on the first play of the drive, and Juwuan Briscoe for Georgia recovered it. 

Game over.

No. 16 Georgia (3-0) picked up its first conference win of the season. Head coach Kirby Smart is the first coach at Georgia to start his career 3-0 since 1938 when Joel Hunt began 4-0.

The Bulldogs now share an early top ranking in the SEC East with Florida. Missouri (1-2) falls to 0-1 in the conference. 

With the ground game struggling, it was all on Eason to move the offense down field throughout the game. Eason, just 18, had some spectacular throws, albeit dangerous at times, to accumulate 308 passing yards. He completed 29 passes on 55 attempts and threw three touchdowns.

Trailing 10-0, Eason successfully converted four times on third downs, and McKenzie was able to run into the end zone for the Bulldogs' first score. 

After a substitution infraction by Missouri that gave the Bulldogs a fresh set of downs on their next drive instead of making them settle for a field goal, Eason found Christian Payne from two yards out to give the Bulldogs their first lead. Down 20-14 in the third, Eason connected with McKenzie to regain the lead.

McKenzie caught 12 passes for 122 yards. He also rushed for 19 yards.

Eason often had to hurry his throws because of Missouri's constant pass rush, and he received little help from his backs. Nick Chubb only rushed for 63 yards, his second consecutive game not reaching 100 yards. Before last week's game against Nicholls, Chubb rushed for 100 yards in 14 consecutive games he played in. Michel rushed for 37 yards. Neither were able to score.

Missouri was able to get one interception off Eason, which opened the door for the Tigers to take the lead in the second half. Cam Hilton picked off Eason and returned it 27 yards to get it to the Georgia 6-yard-line. Quarterback Drew Lock found J'Mon Moore to take a six-point lead early in the second half.

The Bulldogs defense struggled to stop Missouri's up-tempo offense for three quarters. Lock passed for 376 yards and three touchdowns. He fired a pass to Jason Reese for a 15-yard touchdown to start the game. Tucker McCann made two field goals from 33 and 46 yards out for the Tigers.

But Georgia started to pick apart Lock in the second half, capturing three interceptions. Missouri had five turnovers in the game, but Georgia was unable to capitalize off any of them.

After the first two picks, Ham missed two field goals for the Bulldogs from 23 and 38 yards out.

Late in the game, Kirby Choates was ejected for targeting. He had a brutal hit on Johnathon Johnson who was attempting to return a punt. Choates will miss the first half of Georgia's game against Ole Miss next week.

The Bulldogs bounced back from last week's embarrassing performance against Nicholls, who nearly upset Georgia at Sanford Stadium.

Georgia will look to build off its momentum against Ole Miss next week, who lost to Alabama Saturday.



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