Georgia kicker still trying to find his groove

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan personified the up-and-down first half for the Bulldogs in Saturday’s matchup with Missouri.

Morgan put the first points on the board for Georgia, tying the game at 3 with a long field goal, but it was a missed extra point attempt near the end of the half that left the young kicker – and Georgia – disappointed.

After Missouri took a 10-3 lead with just 1:31 remaining in the first half, the Bulldogs drove 71 yards in five plays for a touchdown. Morgan’s attempt at the extra point sailed wide-right, and the Tigers escaped the half with a 10-9 lead. The miss was the first missed extra point for a Georgia kicker since Blair Walsh against Kentucky in 2010.

The missed extra point might have overshadowed Morgan’s 52-yard field goal earlier in the half – a record-long for the freshman in only the third attempt of his young career. Morgan went 1 for 2 in last week, making a 35-yard attempt but missing a 45-yarder in Georgia’s win over Buffalo.

The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. native was 6 for 6 on extra points against the Bulls.

SLIVE PLEASED: Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive was a busy man on Saturday.

To commemorate Texas A&M and Missouri’s SEC debuts, Slive handled the coin toss at the Texas A&M-Florida game in College Station, Texas, before boarding a plane to flip the coin at the Georgia-Missouri game.

Slive said that he spoke with Georgia fans about Missouri’s reception and hospitality, calling the Tigers handling of playing host such a highly-anticipated matchup “terrific.”

Slive shared the coin toss with administrators from both Missouri and Georgia, including Georgia president Michael Adams and athletic director Greg McGarity.

When asked whether he was tired after his busy day, Slive responded, “At my age, 9 o’clock is about my limit.”

BIG FIRST HALF: After missing the Buffalo game with a strained hamstring, Georgia wide receiver Marlon Brown returned with a big first half against Missouri Saturday night.

The senior was on the receiving end of Georgia’s only touchdown of the half, a2-yard pass from junior quarterback Aaron Murray in the final minute of the second quarter. For the half, Brown finished with 47 yards on four catches – tying his career-best set against Vanderbilt in 2011.

QUICK HITS: Captains for Saturday’s game were Murray, senior strong safety Shawn Williams, senior wide receiver Tavarres King and redshirt sophomore linebacker Kosta Vavlas.Freshman tailback Todd Gurley received his first career start, and sophomore Malcolm Mitchell started on defense for the first time in his career. … Sophomore linebacker Armarlo Herrera racked up a career-high 10 tackles in the first half against the Tigers. … Several Bulldogs wore different jersey numbers to avoid having multiple players with the same numbers on the field concurrently. Wide receiver Rhett McGowan wore No. 27 (instead of No. 25). Vavlas wore No. 38 instead of No. 48, and Corey Campbell sported the No. 28 instead of his normal No. 49.


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