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UGA rides tough defense to 27-0 win over Missouri
UGA Football
Georgia linebacker Tae Crowder (30) and linebacker Robert Beal Jr. (33) bring down Missouri running back Tyler Badie during the second half of Saturday's game in Athens.

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia's defense didn't settle for just beating Missouri.

The Bulldogs added to their growing collection of shutouts with a late goal-line stand.

Jake Fromm threw two touchdown passes to George Pickens and No. 6 Georgia posted its third shutout, dominating a Missouri offense missing two of its biggest playmakers in a 27-0 victory Saturday night.

Georgia (8-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference, No. 6 College Football Playoff) moved closer to its third straight berth in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs can clinch the SEC East by beating No. 12 Auburn next week.

"It will be a big game, and our players have an opportunity to be at their best when their best is needed," said Georgia coach Kirby Smart.

Missouri (5-4, 2-3) fell to 0-4 in road games with its third straight loss. Quarterback Kelly Bryant and leading receiver Johnathon Johnson did not play.

Bryant's status had been in doubt due to a hamstring injury suffered in a loss at Kentucky two weeks ago. He participated in pregame warmups and then watched as backup Taylor Powell and Connor Bazelak led the offense.

Powell played the full game before Bazelak, a freshman, led the Tigers to their only red-zone appearance late in the game.

Bazelak, playing in only his second game, led the Tigers to the Georgia 1. Bazelak's passes on third and fourth down from the 4 were incomplete.

The Bulldogs have three shutouts for the first time since 1981. Georgia remains the nation's only FBS team to not allow a rushing touchdown this season.

Smart said his players were "all kind of chopping at the bit at the end to make it tough to score. ... I thought they showed some competitive character there at the end with that stand."

The Bulldogs bolstered their claim as the league's top defense. Georgia leads the SEC in total defense , rushing defense and scoring defense.

The Bulldogs held the Tigers to 198 yards and 11 first downs, including only five through three quarters.

Missouri coach Barry Odom said the Bulldogs are "better up close and in person."

"I knew they were good, but I think they're a little bit better than they may get credit for nationally," Odom said. "Georgia is as good and as solid as a team as I've gone against in a long time."

Johnson was held out due to an illness. Odom said he expects Bryant and Johnson to play next week.

Georgia also lost its top receiver when Lawrence Cager hurt his shoulder making a 30-yard catch late in the first half. Cager had six catches for 93 yards before the injury.

Between Pickens' touchdown catches of 25 and 18 yards in the first and fourth quarters, respectively, the Bulldogs relied on Rodrigo Blankenship's four field goals.

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