5 Questionable Plays that Could Have Helped Missouri Beat Georgia
By: Scott Duvall | @JawaviFilms
In 2018 it has become more evident that a lot of savvy college football fans not only watch the games with their two eyes, but also immediately share their thoughts on social media. Twitter is one of the best platforms to do this with. In fact, one could make the argument that college football and Twitter are made for each other.
I know I enjoy the games much more these days with my right hand on the tv remote and my iPhone in my left hand. It’s a multi-media, interactive chatroom full of hot takes and eye opening gifs and videos coming at you from all angles.
In Georgia’s win versus Missouri, they did so by 14 points, which is exactly what Vegas had predicted. However, as relatively comfortable as the win was for UGA, looking back, these 5 plays could have swung the game completely to the other side and maybe Missouri could have had one of the biggest upsets of the day.
Here we go, your top 5 questionable play of the Georgia vs Missouri game:
Questionable Play Number 1
With 9:01 left in the first quarter and the score still 0-0, Missouri quarterback Drew Lock hooked up with TE Albert Okwuegbunam who looked to be held up by Tyson Campbell and Mark Webb short of the first down. However, the ref did not - in that split second where you would think that forward progress would be called - blow the play dead. Campbell stripped the ball away, gathered the Sunday hop off the turf and took it back 64 yards for Georgia’s first score of the game. Many argued that the play should have been whistled dead.
You be the judge, but UGA catches a break thanks to a heads up play by a true freshman. Bonus points given to the ref who threw a block for Campbell during the return.
Questionable Play Number 2
Missouri’s next offensive possession began at midfield thanks to a Georgia personal foul penalty on the kickoff. After seven plays their drive stalled at the UGA 23 yard line, which is where the next questionable play took place. With UGA already up 7-0, the Tigers looked to cut the lead with a field goal. Kicker, Tucker McCann lined up for the 41 yarder and struck it pretty good. The problem was it began to slowly drift to the right as it continued to climb higher than the goal posts. Many on Twitter argued that the ref blew the call and to be honest, it does look like it coulda/shoulda been 3 points for the Tigers.
But there are no replays for judging balls and the uprights in college football so the call by the ref stood and Georgia took over after that. The Dawgs did not do anything after that miss and decent field position, but one could argue that 3 points would have been vital to Missouri because on their next offensive possession they tied the game at 7 all. A lead with the home crowd behind you versus the number 2 ranked team in the country could have led to more momentum and put Georgia in a desperate position.
Questionable Play Number 3
As Georgia came out in the second half, they did what Kirby Smart teams tend to do. The Dawgs forced a 3 and out for the Tigers and immediately added to their lead, going up by 20 points when Fromm hit Ridley for a 33 yard TD pass. The ensuing Missouri possession was a grind ‘em out 11 play, 75 yards drive where QB Drew Lock had Georgia defenders on their heels mixing up the pass and run.
It wasn’t until a 3rd and 10 pass fell incomplete at the UGA 11 yard line that the third questionable play of the day occurred. As Lock released his pass, Tyler Clark who was in pursuit was in the process of diving for Lock’s feet. Then Johnathon Ledbetter gave Drew Lock a nice little “forceful love tap” on the chest, which took him down to the turf.
Immediately, the referee threw the flag. Georgia was penalized for roughing the passer. This gave the Tigers a 1st and goal at the Dawgs 5 yard line and Damarea Crockett took the ball into the end zone on the next play from scrimmage. Kirby, to say the least, was not pleased as Missouri cut the Dawgs lead to 27-14.
Questionable Play Number 4
One of the great things about the moxie of Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs is their ability to answer a score and turn adversity into points. After the Tigers cut the Dawgs lead to 13 in the 3rd quarter due to the roughing penalty, during the next drive, Fromm found Jeremiah Holloman on 2nd and 5. Holloman made an acrobatic sideline catch, managed to keep his feet in bounds and streaked down the far sideline for an easy 61 yard touchdown. Or was it?
As many people noted, similar to D’Andre Baker’s would be pick 6 against the Gamecocks two weeks earlier, Holloman looked to have dropped the ball in celebration before crossing the goal line. I get it, when you make a great play, you want to celebrate and perhaps look cool doing it. But, I don’t understand the urge to play chicken with trying to release the ball at the goal line?
Whatever, the kid was excited as was Baker in his score. Safe to say after those two gaffes, Kirby will make everyone aware that this is unacceptable celebration behavior going forward. Lucky for Georgia, there was no pylon cam at the game because that would have been a definite momentum shift in the worst way possible.
One more thing. Don’t tweet stupid stuff to the players when they make mistakes. You’re a grown man or woman. I was embarrassed to see some Georgia fans taking shots at Holloman on social media. It didn’t cost the Dawgs anything and he’ll learn from his mistake. Just don’t be a troll like that on social media, please.
Questionable Play Number 5
I have to admit it, I didn’t notice this play when it happened, but a lot of people did. With Georgia up by only 11 late in the 4th quarter, the Dawgs were in position to salt the game away with a field goal or better yet a touchdown.
On the 7th play of the drive, Georgia faced a 2nd and 8 at the Missouri 21 yard line with 6:59 left in the game. Fromm handed the ball off to D’Andre Swift and as Fromm carried out his fake he was blasted well after the exchange by a Missouri defender. The play only went for 3 yards, setting up an eventual 3rd and 5 in which Fromm then missed Mecole Hardman.
The Bulldogs were forced to try a field goal. It was blocked and Missouri took over with a ton of momentum and an opportunity to cut the lead significantly at the end. The game looked to be shaping up as a nail biting affair. One that Kirby and the bulldog fans did not want to see.
The questionable play took place on the handoff on 2nd and 5. The ref was looking right at it and if they had called roughing the passer on Ledbetter for what many people would call a slight push, an unnecessary roughness should have been levied on the Missouri defender who took down an unsuspecting Fromm. This would have given the dawgs a 1st and goal and chances are a game sealing touchdown.
Lucky for Georgia, the Dawgs did take care of business on Saturday. It wasn’t necessarily a hostile environment, but in many fans’ opinions, could have been a game that UGA would have lost 4 or 5 years ago. It’s always good to get an SEC road win by 14 points when you don’t play your best football. There are many teams out there who were upset yesterday that would love to be complaining about a two touchdown, grind ‘em out victory.
We’ll be back with two shows this week. A postgame wrap up of our thoughts on the Dawgs’ trip to Columbia, Missouri and our big UGA vs Tennessee preview show. Make sure you subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud so you never miss an upload.
Hear our UGA vs Missouri postgame show here: