After a tumultuous week off-the-field, the Georgia Bulldogs impressively took care of business on-the-field, shutting out Missouri 34-0 on the road. The game was never in doubt as Georgia’s nasty 3-4 defense made Mauk uncomfortable from the very beginning and Missouri was never able to get much of a rhythm going offensively. It was a big win for a program facing so much uncertainty regarding its star player.

Here are the five biggest takeaways from Georgia’s blowout win in Columbia, Mo.

  1. Nick Chubb ready to be featured running back – With Todd Gurley’s absence dominating the headlines late into the week, the question of whether Nick Chubb could keep UGA’s run game afloat naturally followed. And if Saturday’s game was of any indication, it was a resounding yes. The true freshman back averaged just under four yards per carry, but the sheer physicality he displayed by running the ball 38 times for 143 yards was truly impressive. It was the most carries for a Georgia running back in the past decade. Chubb’s 38-carry performance is a big statement of not only trust in Chubb, but also that UGA’s run-heavy offense may not miss a beat. He should get a big confidence boost heading into games against Arkansas and Florida from his successful first career start.
  2. No QB rotation system for UGA – Prior to the game, head coach Mark Richt discussed the possibility of rotating backup quarterback Brice Ramsey into the mix some. However, Hutson Mason’s performance against Missouri should quell any notion that Mason is in danger of losing his job. While it was unrealistic to think that in the first place, Mason certainly put his foot down yesterday with a 156 passing yards, two touchdowns and most importantly, no turnovers. It’s clear Mason probably won’t ever stuff the stat sheets as a passer, but if he can stay away from turnovers, he’s exactly the kind of quarterback Georgia will need.
  3. UGA’s pass rush getting hot at just the right time – The most obvious of bright spots for Georgia yesterday was the pass rush. Was it me or did UGA defenders force Maty Mauk out of the pocket on nearly every passing play? Even when he did have time to throw, his passes were often rushed, inaccurate or even intercepted. As long as Georgia maintains consistent pressure on opposing backfields, the defense will be just fine. The secondary needs some work, but as you could see against Missouri, that doesn’t mean much when Georgia’s pass rush is firing on all cylinders.
  4. Win against Missouri was Mark Richt’s best coaching job during UGA career – Despite the well-publicized off-the-field issues surrounding Todd Gurley’s indefinite suspension, Mark Richt and his Georgia team didn’t let it faze them. The Bulldogs played easily the most complete game of their season and dominated in all facets. Richt deserves a lot of credit for having his team ready to play, not only just on the road, but in Georgia’s most meaningful game of the season so far. It was a tough task, but the Bulldogs rose up to the challenge and passed the test with flying colors.
  5. Atlanta is in sight –  With the win against Missouri, Georgia is the obvious front-runner to represent the SEC East in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. The ‘Dawgs were helped by LSU last night as well when the Tigers squeaked out a 30-27 win over the Florida Gators. They still have two big games remaining against Kentucky and Florida, but the Bulldogs are definitely a better team than either of those two squads at this point in the season. If Georgia takes care of business like it should against Florida and Kentucky, you’ll more than likely being watching these ‘Dawgs in the Georgia Dome come early December.