Tennessee scores against Missouri, takeaway: None. 5 Volunteers dominate second half in win over Tigers

Do not. 5. Tennessee put the disappointment of its first loss behind it in strong fashion with a 66-24 win over Missouri at Neyland Stadium. The SEC East matchup had major playoff implications for both teams, and while the Tigers beat Tennessee at times in the game, they ultimately had no response to the Vols’ explosive offense.

Redshirt senior quarterback Hendon Hooker rekindled his Heisman Trophy hopes with more than 400 total yards and four touchdowns as the Volunteers set a program record 724 yards and set an SEC game score Most school records. With Missouri tied 28-24 early in the third quarter, the Volunteers returned control of the game with three straight touchdowns from 67 yards or more. In the end, they scored the final 38 points of the game, and even backup quarterback Joe Milton was late and didn’t slow down.

In last week’s 27-13 loss to Georgia, Tennessee finished with just 289 total yards, accumulating 365 yards in the first half alone. Missouri quarterback Brady Cook sometimes wobbled the Volunteers defense with his snapping prowess, while Tennessee had seven threes in the game as a sold-out crowd bolstered the program’s senior day. .

With the win, Tennessee is undefeated at home for the first time since 2007, as the Volunteers travel to South Carolina and Vanderbilt to wrap up the regular season. At 9-1, Tennessee now has its best season win total since ’07 with at least three games remaining.

Impact of the College Football Playoff

With Georgia set to win either of its next two games, Tennessee may need to earn a College Football Playoff berth as a single-defeat team not in the conference title game. This has only happened twice in the eight years the CFP has been in existence. But Saturday marked the beginning of redemption for Tennessee after a disappointing performance against the Bulldogs knocked Tennessee from the No. 1 spot. 1 point.

Volunteers can no longer blunder, and they may need some style points to help their case. That might explain why second-year coach Josh Heupel keeps saying the game is out of reach and Milton is in the game. Things got tricky when Tennessee scored its final touchdown with 36 seconds left in the game, but an extra pair of touchdowns in the final minutes helped if the goals made a statement with a landslide victory. achieve this goal.

Hooker’s Highlights

The Heisman Trophy race is still up in the air, but after Georgia’s defense held back Tennessee’s offense last week, Hooker needs a big game to revive his hopes. The redshirt veteran’s work in the air and on the ground has kept his name firmly in the game. He completed 25 of 35 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns while running for 54 yards and a score.

Hooker has now thrown for 24 touchdowns and two interceptions, with another five scoring on the ground. Virginia Tech’s transfer is set to pass for more than 3,000 yards this season against South Carolina next week.

running back depth

Tennessee’s aerial offense was on display when Bru McCoy and Jalin Hyatt each had more than 100 receiving yards, and their rushing game was spot on against Missouri. Hooker, Jabari Small, Jalen Wright and Dylan Sampson each rushed for 19 or more yards, while the Vols averaged 7.1 yards per rush. Sampson’s performance in particular deserves a mention, as the true freshman ran for 98 yards and a score eight times.

The workload has been the largest he’s played in the league this season, and the former three-star rookie has been convincingly a bigger part of the running back rotation moving forward. With Tennessee leading just 35-24 in the third quarter, Sampson ran back-to-back for 42 yards and 15 yards from Hooker to Princeton Fant to set up a 2-yard touchdown.

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