The Georgia Bulldogs (4-2, 3-1) are effectively out of the national title conversation and are now barely hanging onto their SEC title hopes by a single thread. We also learned that single remaining thread, QB Aaron Murray, can’t hold this Bulldogs’ team together all on his own.
The mounting injuries to offensive playmakers and defensive ineptitude were finally too much for the senior to overcome last week, as Georgia fell at home to Missouri, 41-26. For the most part, Murray had a decent game, going 25-of-45 for 290 yards and three TDs, but he clearly missed the services of his three best receivers – Malcolm Mitchell (out for season), Justin Scott-Wesley (out for season) and Michael Bennett.
With little-to-no margin for error, Murray also was responsible for three (two INTs, one fumble) of Georgia’s four turnovers. His fumble in the first half was returned for a Missouri touchdown, while his interception with 4:25 remaining in the game set up a Tigers’ touchdown that sealed UGA’s fate.
What to look for in Week 8: Will Georgia have better luck against the SEC’s “other” James Franklin this week? The good news is that the Bulldogs are likely to get star running back Todd Gurley back from an ankle sprain this week against Vanderbilt. The bad news is that it’s a week too late for Georgia’s national title hopes, which were flushed in the home loss to Missouri.
With a win over the Commodores, UGA can keep its conference title hopes alive, and the return of its best offensive player could be just enough to help Georgia get it done. Vandy hasn’t won an SEC game yet, but they had an extra week to prepare for the Bulldogs, so winning in Nashville likely will not be easy.