No. 5 Tennessee can go undefeated at home against Missouri
Missouri (4-5, 2-4 SEC) at No. 5 Tennessee (8-1, 4-1, No. 5 CFP), Saturday, noon EST (CBS)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK COLLEGE LINE: Tennessee by 20 1/2.
Series record: Tied 5-5.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Tennessee remains very much in play for one of the four College Football Playoff spots. The Volunteers have to flush the disappointment from last week’s loss to defending national champ and top-ranked Georgia and focus on the task at hand. They also have a chance to finish off an undefeated slate this season at Neyland Stadium. Missouri is trying to go to a bowl game for the third straight year under coach Eli Drinkwitz. The Tigers are coming off a frustrating loss to Kentucky with this final road trip this season.
The high-octane Tennessee offense was subdued for the first time all season with Georgia able to dictate what happened on both sides of the ball. The Vols now have to prove they haven’t lost the swagger they’ve acquired throughout the season. How the Vols open the game on offense will be crucial. If the Tigers are able to knock the Vols off their game, that could bring on the kind of doubt that Tennessee had avoided all season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Missouri: QB Brady Cook. He ranks sixth in the SEC in pass completions with 162 for 1,790 yards and six touchdowns. Cook needs to have a big day for the Tigers to make a run at Tennessee.
Tennessee: RBs Jabari Small and Jaylen Wright. They face off against a Missouri defense ranked No. 4 in the SEC against the run. In order for the Vols’ passing game to work, the running game must be clicking.
FACTS & FIGURES
This is Senior Day for Tennessee with QB Hendon Hooker and WR Cedric Tillman taking the field at Neyland Stadium for their final home game. They are 6-0 at home and go undefeated for the first time since the Vols went 7-0 in 2007. ... The Vols have outscored opponents 321-128 at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee has won eight straight at Neyland, the longest streak since nine consecutive wins between 2006-08. ... Tennessee remains ranked in the top five for a fourth straight week for the first time since being ranked the first five weeks of the 2002 season. ... The Vols had eight pre-snap penalties last week. … Missouri ranks third in the SEC, averaging 34 minutes, 4 seconds of time of possession. Tennessee is 13th (26:31). The Vols have scored in two minutes or less on 35 of 66 scoring drives this season. .... The Vols are second in the SEC in red-zone offense (45 of 48) and Missouri is last (24 of 33). … Tennessee’s 408 points through nine games is most in program history. … Vols DE Byron Young has 33 quarterback hurries, fourth-most in the SEC.
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