264 team rushing yards, 5 team rush TDs
Although Tennessee football’s offensive line allowed three sacks, the unit as a whole was elite. Missouri came in with a top five defensive line based on every advanced metric, which is why they hadn’t lost any game in the SEC by more than one score. With Cooper Mays leading the way, that changed dramatically Saturday.
We could give all the running backs credit for this one. Dylan Sampson had a breakout game with six carries for 98 yards and a touchdown. Before he got hurt, Jabari Small had nine carries for 54 yards and a touchdown. Jaylen Wright had 11 carries for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vols flat-out dominated up front, and everybody deserves credit. However, since the sacks were not on the interior of the line, it was almost a perfect performance by them. Javontez Spraggins and Jerome Carvin deserve shoutouts for what they did at guard, and it was Carvin’s final home game for UT.
However, Mays was the best player of that unit Saturday. He kept everybody in line and had a monumental task in the elite defensive line he was facing, but he paved the way for those running backs to dominate. As a result, despite all the weapons who emerged in this game, Mays was a huge part of making it go.