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Four Turnovers Doom Georgia's National Hopes

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Aaron Murray threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns, but without a handful of his best skill players, he threw a key interception and suffered a strip sack that turned the game. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.
Aaron Murray threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns, but without a handful of his best skill players, he threw a key interception and suffered a strip sack that turned the game. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Missouri won't be able to hide in the shadows of established SEC giants any more.

The Tigers forced Georgia into four turnovers Saturday and beat the SEC East favorites, 41-26, to improve to 6-0.

Aaron Murray, operating without three of his top receivers and perhaps the best running back duo in the country, threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns. But with 4:25 left in the game and the Bulldogs trailing by eight, Randy Ponder intercepted Murray on the first play of the potential comeback drive. Missouri scored four plays later, essentially ending the game.

Shane Ray recorded a strip-sack of Murray in the second quarter, which Misso Michael Sam returned for a touchdown, giving Missouri a 28-10 lead.

If Florida falls to LSU, Missouri (6-0, 2-0) will be on top of the SEC East for at least this week. The Tigers went 2-6 last year in their inaugural SEC season and finished 5-7 overall.

James Franklin and Missouri host Florida and South Carolina the next two weeks in the suddenly convoluted SEC East. Behind Missouri, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina all have fewer than two losses.

Though Georgia may get Todd Gurley and Michael Bennett back from injuries, the Bulldogs now have two losses, ending their chances at a national championship. The beat-up 'Dawgs nearly lost to Tennessee last week and must face the Gators next week.