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COLUMBIA, Mo. – Hunter Mason completed 22 of 28 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown and ran for another as No. 13 Georgia shut out No. 23 Missouri 34-0 in the Bulldogs' first game without suspended star Todd Gurley.
Freshman Nick Chubb rushed 38 times for 143 yards and one touchdown as Georgia (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) wore down the Tigers (4-2, 1-1) early. The team possessed the ball for more than 42 minutes, gaining 379 total yards on 87 plays.
The win bumped the Bulldogs into a first-place tie with Kentucky and Missouri in a muddled SEC East. Florida also had one conference loss before hosting LSU later Saturday night.
Gurley was suspended indefinitely on Thursday while the school investigates an alleged violation of NCAA rules. It was a stunning blow for Gurley, who had been making a strong case for Heisman contention. The reason for the investigation hasn't been disclosed, but SI.com reported that Gurley allegedly received $400 to sign 80 pieces of memorabilia on the Georgia campus.
Georgia looked undaunted by his absence — even as fans held up "Free Gurley" signs from the stands.
After two first-quarter field goals by Marshall Morgan, Mason ran 11 yards on an option play into the end zone with 10:57 remaining in the first half. The fifth-year quarterback skipped out of the end zone punching the air, jubilant after entering the game averaging 137.4 passing yards. He backed up Aaron Murray last year.
Mason then found Michael Bennett streaking toward the corner of the end zone for a touchdown five minutes later as Missouri's first sellout crowd of the season - an attendance of 71,168 - started voicing its displeasure.
The Tigers appeared to get something going with three minutes left in the second quarter on offense as they reached Georgia territory for the first time, but linebacker Leonard Floyd hit Maty Mauk's arm as he was about to throw, forcing Missouri's first lost fumble of the season.
Down 20-0 entering the break, Missouri showed little improvement in the second half, as Mauk threw interceptions to end his team's first two drives out of the locker room. Georgia's Brendan Douglas then ran 15 yards for a touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter for a 27-point advantage.
Mauk completed nine of 21 passes for 97 yards and accounted for five turnovers, throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble. Missouri gained just 147 total yards on 43 plays, and was held scoreless for the first time since 2002.
Two weeks after erasing a 13-point deficit at South Carolina in the final seven minutes, there would be no comeback this time for Missouri. Chubb punched in the final score with a 9-yard run with 7:46 remaining, as cheers of "U-G-A" filled an emptying Memorial Stadium.