No. 2 Georgia extended its win streak to 26 games thanks to a crucial fourth-quarter interception by defensive lineman Nazir Stackhouse.
Stackhouse intercepted Missouri QB Brady Cook with the Bulldogs leading 27-21 to halt any chance of a Missouri comeback attempt and propel Georgia to a 30-21 win.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 4, 2023
As Cook looked to dump the ball off over the middle, Stackhouse simply stepped away from his blocker and almost rumbled for a touchdown before he was tripped up yards away from the end zone.
Ultimately, a Stackhouse TD wouldn’t have counted. The Bulldogs were called for an illegal blindside block on the play and were forced to take over at their own 30-yard line. But Georgia drove into field goal range and a 47-yard field goal by Peyton Woodring with 3:57 left gave the Bulldogs a two-score lead they’d never relinquish.
Missouri was able to find space against the Georgia defense over the course of the game and again gave the Bulldogs one of their toughest games of the season. In 2022, Georgia needed a second-half comeback to beat Missouri 26-22 in the Bulldogs’ closest margin of victory during the regular season. Until a 42-41 win over Ohio State in the College Football Playoff, Georgia had won every other game by 10 points or more.
And much like last year, Georgia’s defense did what it needed to do to ensure the win. The Tigers had to kick field goals on two of their three red zone trips and didn’t get near the end zone after cutting Georgia’s lead to 24-21 early in the fourth quarter. The Tigers' last-ditch drive after Woodring's kick ended with a Javon Bullard interception.
Georgia is a win away from the SEC East title
The Bulldogs (9-0, 6-0 SEC) can clinch a third straight SEC East title with a win over No. 10 Ole Miss in one of the biggest games of Week 11. Or if Ole Miss can pull the upset, Georgia can still win the East with a Missouri win over Tennessee.
Georgia wasn’t spectacular in any facet on Saturday, either. Carson Beck was 21-of-32 passing for 254 yards and two scores while Daijun Edwards led the Bulldogs with 77 yards rushing.
Ladd McConkey was again a massive part of the Georgia offense in Brock Bowers’ absence. McConkey has gotten healthy as Bowers has been sidelined because of a high-ankle sprain and had seven catches for 95 yards against the Tigers.
Georgia might have also lost a key defensive piece in linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson during the third quarter. Dumas-Johnson injured his left arm or shoulder while tacking Cook and went to the locker room before returning to the sideline with his left arm in a sling. Defensive back Kamari Lassiter also appeared to suffer a hip injury late in the game while breaking up a pass.
Missouri can still go to a New Year’s Six bowl
Missouri (7-2, 3-2 SEC) still has a chance to head to a New Year’s Six bowl game for the first time in a decade if it wins out and finishes the season at 10-2. The Tigers have a big game against No. 17 Tennessee in Week 11 before finishing the season at home against Florida and on the road against Arkansas. Given how competitive Missouri was on Saturday, it's hard to see the Tigers dropping more than a few spots in Tuesday's second set of College Football Playoff rankings.
Even a 9-3 season will make Missouri one of the most improved teams in 2023. The Tigers finished the 2022 season at 6-7 after needing to win their final two games of the season to be bowl-eligible and already have their highest win total in any of Eli Drinkwitz’s four seasons as head coach.