Following Missouri’s win over Tennessee on Saturday evening, the Tigers have matched their win total from 2017, and there’s still a date against Arkansas.
Who thought Missouri was going to lose to Tennessee? A lot of Vols fans, probably. While I envisioned the game being much closer than it was, I had a good feeling about this Tigers’ squad heading into Neyland Stadium on Tennessee’s “Senior Day.”
The outcome of this game was a 50-17 drubbing of Tennessee, and really, after the amount of vitriolic hate spewing from Tennessee fans about how Mizzou doesn’t belong in the SEC, what’s not to love about the beat down the Tigers handed the Volunteers?
While Mizzou was favored by six over Tennessee, you might not know it, if you listened to Vols fans. Looking solely at both teams’ records entering this contest, it would be reasonable to believe that the game would be closer than the final score indicated, but the Tigers’ offense completely dominated, while the defense came to life in another must-win game.
All phases of the Tigers’ game seemed to fire on all cylinders, save a missed extra point attempt by kicker Tucker McCann, which was blocked by the Vols defense.
Missouri had its three-headed ground attack in Damarea Crockett, Larry Rountree, and Tyler Badie. While Crockett was limited to 10 yards on three carries, and later pulled from the game due to an injury, Rountree pounded the Vols for 137 yards on 26 carries. Collectively, the Tigers ran for 240 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Drew Lock also lit up the Tennessee defense for 257 yards and two passing touchdowns. Tigers’ receivers Johnathon Johnson and Dominic Gicinto were the recipients of Lock’s two scoring passes.
As usual, there was the obligatory rash of arguably bad calls by the officials, one which resulted in the ejection of defensive back Tavon Ross on an unsportsmanlike penalty. Ross was ejected for lowering the crown of his helmet into a Tennessee punt returner, who initiated contact with the crown of his helmet.
Defensive back DeMarkus Acy also collected his second interception of his career at Missouri. Later in the game, safety Joshuah Bledsoe recovered a fumble for a touchdown, on defensive end Nate Anderson’s forced fumble.
A year ago, the Tigers were finishing their regular season with a 7-5 record. In 2018, the Barry Odom-led Missouri Tigers have matched their win total, and still have one more regular season game to play, and a bowl game. The Tigers are on a mission to win-out, and it’s as if they’re collectively saying, “Arkansas, you’re next.”