sunny.png
Saturday November 28th, 2020 11:39AM

Heisman hopeful Drew Lock faces juggernaut No. 2 Georgia

By The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — As time was expiring in Missouri's duel with Purdue, Tucker McCann drilled a winning 25-yard field goal to move the Tigers to their first 3-0 start since 2015.

He probably wouldn't have had the chance without Drew Lock.

The senior quarterback has led the Tigers to at least 40 points in each game this season, including the 40-37 shootout win over the Boilermakers on Saturday. His completion percentage is up to 69 percent, and he has already thrown for 1,062 yards and 11 touchdowns with just one interception.

The talk of making a Heisman Trophy run is picking up steam.

But there's a new test coming Saturday, and a big one not only for Lock but also the Tigers: No. 2 Georgia is rolling into town, representing their toughest home game in recent years.

As impressive as the Tigers have been this season, the Bulldogs have looked better. Georgia faced an early road test in No. 24 South Carolina and throttled the Gamecocks 41-17, and outscored opponents Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee 94-7 in their two other games.

In other words, Lock will need to be at his best.

Lock certainly seems to be taking his success in stride, though. Take the interaction he had with a Boilermakers fan after last week's game as an example.

The Purdue student had printed a sign that showed Lock with a rather disparaging comment, and it wound up in the quarterback's hands. The original owner hung around the Missouri buses until the team came out of the locker room, and then accused Lock of stealing it — and asked for a selfie.

Lock not only obliged, he joked that he wanted to hang the sign on his wall.

The Bulldogs' defense probably isn't going to be as cordial. They're giving up just 158.3 passing yards per game, the second-lowest in college football, and opponents are averaging just 259 yards total.

"It's definitely the best defense we've played so far," Lock said. "They're extremely athletic in the secondary. They're not going to let you chuck it deep on them."

Georgia coach Kirby Smart is fully aware of the damage Lock can do.

"I don't know if his arm can get any stronger," Smart said. "He can make every throw. He's got as fast of a release as I've ever seen."

Lock won't have to do it alone, of course. Wide receiver Emanual Hall had 141 yards and two touchdowns against the Bulldogs last season, and the emergence of freshman Tyler Badie gives the Tigers three talented running backs and some balance to the offense.

"Obviously a premier quarterback in the country, a premier wideout in the country. They're really big. They've got massive tight ends," Smart said. "They're trying to run the ball and be more physical, and they've done that in their first games. They've got good backs. So our guys are excited for the opportunity."

The Bulldogs beat the Tigers last season, but that was mainly a function of the struggles of the Missouri defense. Lock threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.

"That's why people come to play at Georgia," Bulldogs defensive back J.R. Reed said. "Drew Lock, who might be a first-round pick, that's always fun. I love the challenge."

Smart thinks Lock is getting better, too. And that could be what keeps the Tigers in the game.

"The biggest thing is his maturity level, his confidence. He's seen the coverages. He's seen the checks. He understands where he wants to go with the ball," Smart said. "You can tell they really work hard on it, and I think he's just more mature. I think anytime you play in this conference and you go to the venues he's gone to, to have three years under your belt or being in your third year, it makes it a lot more comforting. He throws the ball with purpose. And he puts them in the right play a lot

"I got a lot of respect for him," Smart said. "He's a competitor."

___

AP Sports Writer Charles Odum in Athens, Georgia, contributed to this report.

__

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart released from prison
A woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart and stood by as the Utah girl was sexually assaulted was released from prison amid concerns that she remains a threat 15 years after the chilling crime
10:50PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Price struggles again in Bronx; Voit, Yanks top Red Sox 10-1
Luke Voit hit two homers off David Price, Miguel Andujar popped another one barely into the right-field seats and the New York Yankees stalled Boston's division-clinching celebration by beating the Red Sox 10-1
10:47PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Kipnis hits grand slam in 9th, Indians beat White Sox 4-1
Kipnis hits grand slam in ninth inning as the Cleveland Indians rallied for a 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. The AL Central champions were held to two hits in eight innings before rallying
10:39PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Pham homers twice for late-surging Rays in 9-3 win at Texas
Tommy Pham homers twice, late-surging Tampa Bay Rays complete 3-game sweep at Texas with 9-3 victory
8:22PM ( 3 hours ago )
Pats tempering expectations as Gordon practices for 1st time
Patriots excited, cautiously optimistic as new receiver Josh Gordon practices with team for the 1st time
7:27PM ( 4 hours ago )
No Ronaldo? No problem for Madrid, Juventus in Champs League
Real Madrid won in the Champions League without Cristiano Ronaldo
7:05PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Dolphins' FitzMagic says he's willing to share nickname
Miami Dolphins rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick wants to trademark his nickname but says he'd be happy to share it with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
4:30PM ( 6 hours ago )
OSU assistant Ryan Day gets $487K as fill-in for Urban Meyer
Ohio State assistant Ryan Day got a $487,000 bonus for leading Ohio State through Urban Meyer's absence
3:54PM ( 7 hours ago )
Texans blast educator for 'black QB' comment about Watson
Houston Texans fires back at East Texas school superintendent who wrote: "You can't count on a black quarterback," in comment section of online news article where he was criticizing quarterback Deshaun Watson
3:41PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Football
AP Top 25 Podcast: Pac-12 in spotlight with Stanford-Oregon
No. 7 Stanford and No. 20 Oregon is the highlight game of the weekend in college football, but it's hard to assess the Ducks
11:28AM ( 12 hours ago )
Slaying of star golfer from Spain shocks Iowa college town
Police say a homeless man fatally stabbed a top amateur golfer from Spain at a golf course near her university campus in central Iowa
5:45PM ( 1 day ago )
Latest: Suspect in golfer's slaying has history of violence
A homeless man charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain at a course in central Iowa has been ordered jailed on a $5 million cash-only bond
12:50PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
AP Online - Georgia News
Ohio State's Meyer moves toward repairing scandal damage
Urban Meyer has met with the Ohio State football media about the recent scandal that led to his three-game suspension
4:33PM ( 2 days ago )
Ohio State's Meyer starts toward repairing scandal damage
Urban Meyer has met with the Ohio State football media about the recent scandal that led to his three-game suspension
2:47PM ( 2 days ago )
Easier gambling has sports worried about fighting the fix
Some pro and college sports are worried about games being fixed as legal sports gambling spreads in the United States
1:46PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart released from prison
A woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart and stood by as the Utah girl was sexually assaulted was released from prison amid concerns that she remains a threat 15 years after the chilling crime
10:50PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Price struggles again in Bronx; Voit, Yanks top Red Sox 10-1
Luke Voit hit two homers off David Price, Miguel Andujar popped another one barely into the right-field seats and the New York Yankees stalled Boston's division-clinching celebration by beating the Red Sox 10-1
10:47PM ( 43 minutes ago )
Kipnis hits grand slam in 9th, Indians beat White Sox 4-1
Kipnis hits grand slam in ninth inning as the Cleveland Indians rallied for a 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. The AL Central champions were held to two hits in eight innings before rallying
10:39PM ( 51 minutes ago )
The Latest: McCaskill says she'll vote no on Kavanaugh
Missouri's Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill says she will vote against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
10:38PM ( 52 minutes ago )
Frustration builds as Carolina residents wait to go home
Exhaustion and frustration are building in the Carolinas as thousands of people wait to go home days after Hurricane Florence unleashed epic rain and floods
10:31PM ( 59 minutes ago )