Missouri loses heartbreaker, but defense breaks out against Georgia
COLUMBIA — Missouri's SEC opener against the Georgia Bulldogs was anything but tame.
Missouri was in control for the majority of the game, until Georgia freshman quarterback Jacob Eason led a last minute drive to push the Bulldogs out in front.
The Tigers had a chance to make a last-ditch drive to win the game, but wide receiver J'Mon Moore committed Missouri's 5th turnover of the game on a fumble to seal the Tigers' fate.
"I just lost focus," Moore said of the last play. "I should have had a better grip on the ball."
After the game it was evident the loss also weighed heavily on head coach Barry Odom.
"I don't do a very good job of hiding my emotions and I appreciate the work they put in," Odom said. "I'm sorry I couldn't put them in a position to win."
Players said Odom had a specific message when the team got to the locker room.
"Stay together," tight end Jason Reese said. "This game could separate us or elevate us to the next level."
Even in defeat, the team was able to make significant strides on the defensive side of the ball.
The Missouri defense held Georgia's star running back Nick Chubb to only 63 yards, and kept him out of the end zone. The last time Chubb visited Faurot Field in 2014 he torched Missouri for 143 yards.
Highly-touted defensive end Charles Harris also made his presence felt for the first time this season. Harris finished the game with three sacks (his firsts of the year) and seven total tackles.
Odom was impressed by his star pass rusher.
"He's a game changer," Odom said. "He'll continue to build on that one. He's a difference maker, he'll continue to be that way and I'm glad he's on our team."
The Tigers will surely need to build on the solid game from the defense if they hope to compete in SEC play this season.
Missouri's next match up against Delaware St. from the MEAC should prove to be an easier challenge, as the Hornets are 0-2 to start the season.
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