Cook TD

Georgia running back James Cook (4) celebrates his touchdown during the Bulldogs’ game against Missouri in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (Photo by Cassie Florido)

Following No. 9 Georgia’s 49-14 win over No. 25 Missouri on Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium, The Red & Black graded each position group’s performance.

Quarterback

Two sacks and consistent pressure from Missouri’s front seven limited JT Daniels early. Other than a well-placed ball to James Cook for his fifth third-down score this season, Daniels was 5 of 11 for 92 yards until the final drive of the first half. With the game tied at 14, Daniels connected on 5 of 6 passes for 75 yards, ultimately finding a laser-focused George Pickens for the 36-yard go-ahead score. Energized, Daniels had no trouble picking up after the half. He looked confident passing deep, especially to Pickens and tight end Darnell Washington, and his consistency opened up space for three more rushing touchdowns. Once Georgia led by five scores, Daniels’ day was done. Subbed for Stetson Bennett at the top of the fourth quarter, Daniels finished with 299 yards and three touchdowns. — William Newlin

Grade: A (Last game vs. South Carolina: A-)

Running backs

Another game, another standout performance from Georgia’s running back group. The Bulldogs finished with 316 yards and four touchdowns on the ground and remained consistent throughout the contest, averaging 7 yards per carry. Four Georgia running backs — Zamir White, James Cook, Kenny McIntosh and Daijun Edwards — found their way to the end zone. White had an exceptional day, getting within 10 yards of his career-best game with 126 yards on 12 attempts, an average of 10.5 yards per carry. — Augusta Stone

Grade: A+ (Last game vs. South Carolina: A+) 

Receivers

After a quieter night against South Carolina on Nov. 28, Georgia’s receivers had another stellar game with Daniels at the helm. The unguardable George Pickens put up the second multi-touchdown game of his career and hauled in a handful of outrageous grabs with Missouri defenders draped over him. He finished with five receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Jermaine Burton added five catches of his own, including some crucial drive-extending receptions late in the first half, and finished with 38 yards. Freshman Darnell Washington also joined in on the action and ignited a connection with Daniels. The 6-foot-7 tight end had two receptions for 61 yards and also drew a pass interference. The ball was spread out to four other pass catchers and Georgia recorded 299 receiving yards on the day. — Andy Walsh

Grade: A (Last game vs. South Carolina: A-)

Offensive line

Following up a dominant performance in the run game against South Carolina, the offensive line was integral in opening holes for the running backs to thrive against Missouri. The front line faltered in the first half and allowed pressure to get to Daniels on multiple occasions, leading to hurried throws, one quarterback hit and two sacks. The O-line grew into the pass game after the break and Daniels wasn’t sacked or hit the rest of the way. The Bulldogs finished with 316 yards on the ground. — Andy Walsh

Grade: A- (Last game vs. South Carolina: A)

Front seven

Georgia’s front seven played a key role in the Bulldogs’ total shutdown of the Tigers. Missouri was held scoreless in the second half and earned two first downs after halftime. The Bulldogs also made the Tigers one dimensional, allowing five rushers 22 yards throughout the game. Georgia created pressure and it only became more suffocating as the contest continued. — Augusta Stone

Grade: A (Last game vs. South Carolina: B+)

Secondary  

Georgia’s secondary struck first today. Junior cornerback Eric Stokes grabbed his fourth interception of 2020 on the second play of the game, adding a 27-yard return on the back end. From there, quarterback Connor Bazelak lived on underneath routes. He averaged 6 yards per completion for 66 total yards in the first half as Georgia’s secondary reliably cut off deep shots. The one exception was costly, however. Georgia bit on a double pass, and Missouri receiver Keke Chism connected with Messiah Swinson for a 29-yard burst to the two yard line. Bazelak followed up with an easy touchdown run to put Missouri on the board. Back from the locker room, Missouri’s passing game disappeared. More than 40% of Bazelak’s second half yards came on his first throw of the third quarter as the Bulldogs kept explosive plays and first downs to a minimum. — William Newlin

Grade: B+ (Last game vs. South Carolina: B+)

Special teams

Georgia’s special teams hit a low point today. Jake Camarda’s first punt of the game sailed inside Missouri’s five yard line only to bounce between two defenders into the endzone. Camarda’s second punt likewise ended with a touchback, and Missouri blocked his third, setting up a game-tying touchdown one minutes before halftime. It didn’t get better on returns. Only four plays before the block, punt returner Kearis Jackson flubbed the boot from Missouri’s Grant McKinniss. Although Georgia cleaned up its return game and didn’t have to punt in the second half, kicker Jack Podlesny missed his lone field goal attempt. Special teams failures ultimately didn’t hold Georgia back, but they marred an otherwise well-executed performance. — William Newlin

Grade: D- (Last game vs South Carolina: A)