Georgia pulls away late to spoil Missouri's SEC football debut

Saturday, September 8, 2012 | 10:37 p.m. CDT; updated 11:43 p.m. CDT, Saturday, September 8, 2012

COLUMBIA — Georgia scored the final 24 points Saturday night to beat Missouri 41-20 at Memorial Stadium in the Tigers' SEC debut.

Both offenses started slow, with Georgia's Aaron Murray passing for 17 yards and Missouri's James Franklin passing for 30 yards in the first quarter. Franklin heated up as the game went on, though, throwing a 41-yard touchdown to Marcus Lucas in the second quarter and a 69-yard touchdown to L'Damian Washington in the third quarter.

Murray matched him step for step, tossing three touchdowns in the game — two to Marion Brown and one to Tavarres King. Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones starred on the defensive end, sacking Franklin twice and grabbing one interception.

Todd Gurley and Ken Malcolme also rushed four touchdowns for Georgia, which amassed only 119 rushing yards in the game.

Missouri (1-1), which hosts Arizona State next weekend at Memorial Stadium, squandered too many opportunities late, turning the ball over in their own territory, coach Gary Pinkel said.

“You can’t make the kind of mistakes we made in games like that and survive,” he said.

Despite the loss, SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who flipped the opening coin toss before the game, saw the overall experience as a success for Missouri.

“When I talked to the Georgia folks, they were telling me that the hospitality and the fans and the relationships and the reception they received has just been as good as they’ve ever had. I think also, you can’t go downtown five steps without seeing an SEC logo. So we like that," Slive said. "We like that a lot.”

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