Mizzou notebook: Tigers' onside kick backfires | Mizzou Sports News | stltoday.com – STLtoday.com Leave a comment

Missouri’s defensive back Jaylon Carlies (1) intercepts a pas to Georgia wide receiver Jermaine Burton (7) during a NCAA college football game against in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Georgia beat Missouri 43-6. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Mizzou football coach Eli Drinkwitz gives a press conference after team’s loss to Georgia. Video by Mizzou Network, used with permission of Mizzou Athletics
ATHENS, Ga. — After a first half that was hardly Missouri’s worst of the season, Eli Drinkwitz tried to catch No. 1 Georgia napping with an onside kick to steal some momentum out of the locker room Saturday.
Just as planned, the Tigers recovered Sean Koetting’s dribbler, but a replay review uncovered a Mizzou penalty, forcing Koetting to attempt another kickoff. In the latest example of the Tigers’ inability to get out their own way, his second kick went out of bounds for a penalty, giving Georgia the ball at its 40-yard line.
The Bulldogs marched along for another touchdown in their 43-6 victory. So much for capturing momentum.
“The game plan going in was to try to stay as close as we could through the first half and see if we could create some momentum in the second half,” Drinkwitz said. “Felt like we tried that. Obviously we had the surprise onside kick to start the second half. But it got buzzed out from the (Southeastern Conference) home office. Just didn’t work out the way we wanted it to.”
On the play, MU running back Elijah Young leveled Georgia’s Justin Robinson before the ball bounced 10 yards, earning a flag for an illegal block. MU’s Jalani Williams had recovered the kick, but the penalty forced Mizzou to attempt another kick.
Koetting’s kickoffs are usually an automatic touchback — he ranked second in the nation in touchback percentage (98.4%) coming into the game — but his second attempt skittered out of bounds near the goal line.
“That would have been a huge breaking point for us, just to have some momentum,” Mizzou safety J.C. Carlies said.
Early in the third quarter, Carlies snagged a J.T. Daniels’ pass deflected by MU cornerback Akayleb Evans, good for Carlies’ fourth interception of the season. He’s the first Mizzou player with four picks in a season since Aarion Penton had five in 2016.
“I just told him before the game he belongs on that field,” Drinkwitz said. “He’s a really special player. He’s got a really bright future. This is his first year really playing free safety. So he’s growing and developing. Really like what his future is gonna be for us. Really proud of him.”
Carlies and linebacker Chad Bailey led the Tigers with 10 tackles apiece. Mizzou tweaked its starting defense, replacing linebacker Devin Nicholson with Blaze Alldredge, who had been a starter for the season’s first month.
Brady Cook led Missouri on its longest drive of the day early in the third quarter, going 45 yards on 13 plays and consuming nearly 6 minutes. But it was all for naught. Harrison Mevis’ 48-yard field goal attempt smacked the left upright, snapping his streak of 20 consecutive field goals, the longest streak in the country. In the fourth quarter, Cook put Mevis in position to start a new streak and he converted with a 42-yard field goal. Mevis is a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best kicker, along with his brother, Iowa State kicker Andrew Mevis.
Saturday’s game marked just the second time in Drinkwitz’s 12 years as a college coach that his team failed to score a touchdown. The other time came in 2013, when Arkansas State lost to Auburn 38-9 with three field goals when Drinkwitz was ASU’s co-offensive coordinator. … Before the national anthem, Georgia held a moment of silence for former Mizzou coach Warren Powers, who died last Tuesday at the age of 80 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. … Georgia honored former coach Mark Richt several times during the game. Richt, UGA’s coach from 2001-15, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease this summer. … Mizzou tight end Messiah Swinson and safety Stacy Brown made their first starts of the season.
Dave Matter brings you the latest updates from the Mizzou sports scene.
Dave Matter is the Mizzou beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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Macon starts for Tigers and Cook also in rotation at QB with Bazelak out.
Missouri’s defensive back Jaylon Carlies (1) intercepts a pas to Georgia wide receiver Jermaine Burton (7) during a NCAA college football game against in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Georgia beat Missouri 43-6. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
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