Playing like they had everything to prove for the College Football Playoff, Tennessee football came back from its 27-13 loss at the Georgia Bulldogs to dominate the Missouri Tigers. The Vols, ranked No. 5 across the board, completed Senior Day with a 66-24 win, becoming the first SEC team to beat Mizzou by more than one score this year.
In the process, UT clinched just its second undefeated season at home this century and its first since 2007. The Vols also clinched their first nine-win regular season since 2007, improving to 9-1, and took the all-time series lead 6-5 against Mizzou, who won five of the first seven matchups between the two after joining the SEC.
At 5-1 in the SEC, up next for Tennessee football is a trip to the South Carolina Gamecocks. Eli Drinkwitz’s team, meanwhile, falls to 4-6 and 2-5 in the SEC with a visit from the New Mexico State Aggies set for next week. Here are five takeaways from the Vols’ win.
Here’s what we learned from the Tennessee football Volunteers’ victory over the Mizzou Tigers.
1. There was a bounce back, but lethargy crept in.
Early on, the Vols seemed to have easily put the loss behind them. The defense forced three-and-outs its first two times out there, and the offense scored a touchdown on its first drive. Then, up 7-0, the offense was driving on its second drive. However, it came away empty-handed, and Mizzou then made it a game.
UT couldn’t put them away, as Mizzou tied it at 7, and while the Vols increased their lead to 21-7 and 28-14, Mizzou kept coming back. In the third quarter, they had at one point cut the lead to 28-24, and you felt that the fan base and the players were somewhat sleepwalking through the day.
The touchdown to make it 28-24 woke Tennessee football up, though, and they scored touchdowns on their next three drives to easily pull ahead 49-24. Those scores all happened within the span of seven minutes and before the Vols even reached the fourth quarter. Mizzou, meanwhile, didn’t score again.