12:00 PM ET, October 12, 2013
Sanford Stadium, ATHENS, GA
ATHENS, Ga. -- Gary Pinkel said No. 25 Missouri won more than a second straight SEC road game when it upset No. 7 Georgia.
"I just think we earned a little more respect," Pinkel said. "The respect level just went up a couple notches."
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Receiver Bud Sasser threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to L'Damian Washington in the fourth quarter after quarterback James Franklin left with a shoulder injury and Missouri held off Georgia's comeback attempt to beat the short-handed Bulldogs 41-26 on Saturday.
Pinkel said Franklin separated his right shoulder and expects the quarterback to miss at least one week.
Freshman Maty Mauk, who replaced Franklin in the fourth quarter, could start when Missouri (6-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) plays No. 17 Florida next week.
Missouri led by 18 points in the first half before Georgia (4-2, 3-1) cut the lead to 28-26 in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers answered the challenge with two late touchdowns, despite losing Franklin.
Missouri's first road win over a top 10 team since 1981 helped continue the Tigers' recovery from a 5-7 finish in 2012, their first in season in the SEC. The Tigers have scored 38 or more points in each of their six wins, including last week's 51-28 win at Vanderbilt.
"There is no question that one of the goals for this team is to get back to Missouri's winning ways," Pinkel said. "It is a big deal to them. ... They want to get back to competing for championships."
The Tigers ended Georgia's streak of 15 straight home wins.
After Franklin was taken to the locker room, Mauk threw a lateral to Sasser, who stopped and tossed a high, deep pass to the end zone for Washington. Washington, who outfought cornerback Damian Swann for the catch, had 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Franklin Had Made Improvements
James Franklin was having a bounce-back year before injuring his shoulder at Georgia on Saturday.
James Franklin Last 2 Seasons
|*Second-worst among SEC qualified QBs|
"I came in and everybody just told me to keep calm," Mauk said. "So I came in and got the plays to our guys. We executed well at the end. ... We scored when we needed to."
Murray threw two interceptions and lost one of Georgia's two fumbles.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said turnovers helped decide the game.
"It was 4-0 on the turnovers," Richt said. "They did a really good job of securing the ball, and we didn't. You hear coaches say it over and over, but you can't win a game turning it over like that."
The Bulldogs had won four straight on the strength of a powerful offense, including 44-41 over LSU and 34-31 in overtime over Tennessee the last two weeks. Georgia's wave of injuries at tailback and wide receiver left Murray with inexperienced backups at the skill positions to keep pace against another high-scoring opponent.
Georgia almost filled a bench on its sideline with injured players who wore their red game jerseys over black warm-up pants. Among them was star tailback Todd Gurley (ankle).
After the game, Missouri players ran to edge of the Sanford Stadium hedges and celebrated their biggest SEC win yet with fans in the corner of an end zone.
Murray threw his second interception in the final minute. He completed 25 of 45 passes for 290 yards with three touchdowns.
Top 10 Upsets
Based on rankings in the AP Poll, Stanford's loss to Utah and Georgia's loss to Missouri on Saturday were the biggest upsets of top-10 teams this season.
Top 10 Teams to Lose This Season
|Week 1||No. 5 Georgia||at No. 8 Clemson|
|Week 2||No. 6
|at No. 11 Georgia|
|Week 3||No. 6
|vs. No. 1 Alabama|
|Week 5||No. 6 LSU||at No. 9 Georgia|
|Week 7||No. 7 Georgia||vs. No. 25 Missouri|
|Week 7||No. 5 Stanford||at Utah|
|--ESPN Stats and Information|
"We had plenty of chances to tie it up, but we just didn't execute," Murray said.
"We did a pretty good job of getting back in the game. We were within 2 points of tying it up but just couldn't quite get it done."
Franklin scored on a 5-yard run in the first quarter and threw a 16-yard scoring pass to Washington in the second quarter.
Franklin completed 18 of 27 passes for 170 yards. Marcus Murphy had a 36-yard touchdown run for the Tigers.
Georgia rallied as Murray threw touchdown passes of 7 yards to Rantavious Wooten in the third quarter and 10 yards to Chris Conley early in the fourth quarter. Conley couldn't catch Murray's pass on the 2-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game, leaving Missouri with a 28-26 lead.
Georgia starting safety Tray Matthews, who hurt his hamstring in practice Tuesday, also did not play.
The loss of so many top threats on offense was the big news of the week for Georgia, but season-long problems on defense were just as glaring against Missouri. The Bulldogs began the day 12th in the SEC in pass defense and last in the league with its average of 32.2 points allowed.
Missouri almost matched that total in the first half.
Georgia needed help from three Missouri penalties, including two offside calls, for its only touchdown drive of the first half which ended with Murray's 7-yard scoring pass to Douglas late in the first quarter.
Missouri outscored Georgia 28-3 the remainder of the half.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Randy Ponder intercepted Aaron Murray in the fourth quarter, setting up a TD by Henry Josey to put a comeback out of reach.
Gameball goes to... L'Damian Washington. The senior receiver caught seven passes for 115 yards, including a 40-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
Stat of the game... Oct. 3, 1981. This marks the first time Missouri has beaten a top-10 team on the road in 32 years.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-12||4-11|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||1-1|
|TD||03:44||Brendan Douglas 7 Yd Pass From Aaron Murray (Marshall Morgan Kick) |
|TD||01:00||James Franklin 5 Yd Run (Andrew Baggett Kick) |
|TD||12:33||L'Damian Washington 16 Yd Pass From James Franklin (Andrew Baggett Kick) |
|FG||09:54||Marshall Morgan 29 Yd |
|TD||05:56||Marcus Murphy 36 Yd Run (Andrew Baggett Kick) |
|TD||05:46||Michael Sam 21 Yd Fumble Return (Andrew Baggett Kick) |
|FG||13:09||Marshall Morgan 28 Yd |
|TD||03:23||Rantavious Wooten 7 Yd Pass From Aaron Murray (Marshall Morgan Kick) |
|TD||12:15||Chris Conley 10 Yd Pass From Aaron Murray (Two-Point Conversion Failed) |
|TD||09:22||L'Damian Washington 40 Yd Pass From Bud Sasser (Pat Failed) |
|TD||02:18||Henry Josey 7 Yd Run (Andrew Baggett Kick) |