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Dixie debut

Mizzou and Georgia trade blows before Tigers lose late

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  • Story by Ryan Gavin
  • Photos by Shane Epping and Nic Benner
  • Published: Sept. 9, 2012

Mizzou and Georgia slugged it out for three quarters in the Tigers SEC debut in Columbia. But the No. 7 Bulldogs were too much in the end, and they pulled away late to beat the Tigers 41-20.

The Tigers (1-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) outgained Georgia (2-0, 1-0) by 16 yards and led 17-9 early in the third quarter, but a few costly turnovers — two fumbles and an interception — decided the game.

“You can’t make the kind of mistakes we made in games like that,” coach Gary Pinkel said after the game. “You’re not going to win games like that against people like that.”

The Tigers, who trailed only 27-20 early in the fourth quarter, had two consecutive series that broke their back. Both were the result of outstanding plays by Bulldog standout Jarvis Jones, an All-American caliber linebacker.

Midway through the quarter, Jones returned a James Franklin interception to the Mizzou 1, setting up a Georgia touchdown. Three plays later, he forced a fumble on a sack, and the Bulldogs took control on the Mizzou 5, which set up the game’s final score.

“We’ve got to come out and play a full four quarters,” Mizzou corner E.J. Gaines said. “I felt like they saw our A game in the first half, but we didn’t get it done in the second half.”

SEC style

It wasn’t a total loss for the Tigers. Memorial Stadium hosted a raucous sellout crowd of 71,004 fans, who waved the gold pompoms and commemorative spirit towels given away at the game.

In true SEC style, Tigers rolled out the Southern hospitality for visitors. Guided by friendly locals, the more than 6,000 Georgia fans who made the trip to Columbia for the game toured MU landmarks, ate at downtown restaurants, enjoyed the vibrant arts scene and checked out nightlife hotspots.

“This is a perfect town and a nice place to watch the game,” Georgia fan John Jones, on his first trip to Columbia, said after the game. "Really impressed with it all."

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Last updated: Sept. 10, 2012