Missouri lost its fifth consecutive game on October 15, a 53-28 defeat at Georgia that sent the Tigers to 1-5 halfway through the season.
Tennessee's run defense has been bad all season, and it started when they allowed 535 yards on the ground to Georgia Tech in the first game of the season. It is the Tigers third time this season over 600 yards, and the second best performance of the season, trailing 815 yards against Missouri State (Sept. 2).
Will McBride got the start at quarterback for an injured Jarrett Guarantano and was able to throw his first career touchdown pass to Ethan Wolf late in the second quarter to tie the game at 17-17. Witter finished with a career-high 216 yards in just three quarters of action. The Tigers averaged over eight yards per carry.
Missouri ran it down Tennessee's throat, but they also found plenty of yards through the air as well.
Missouri then went on to score 33 unanswered points for the 50-17 final. And when the offensive line is inexperienced ... well, the hits keep coming.
The Missouri D-line is hungry for another SEC win, and they are trying to find new life after parting ways with their previous defensive coordinator. In seven games - four starts - Guarantano has thrown for only 575 yards and one touchdown, along with one interception. He did have two interceptions and a fumble.
Missouri's defense came up especially big in the second half.
McBride was 16 for 32 for 139 yards with a touchdown and two picks.
Mizzou racked up 433 yards rushing and 226 yards passing. McBride stood in the pocket, took hit after hit behind a patchwork offensive line and led Tennessee to a 17-all tie with 1:15 left in the first half. He was sacked five times. The team now needs a road win against either Vanderbilt or Arkansas in the final two weeks of the season to secure a bowl bid.
If Gaulden and Warrior take Missouri to lightly, it could spell game over for the Volunteers secondary, and ultimately for the defense as a whole. True freshman Will McBride was forced to play in his place, burning what many expected to be his redshirt season in the process. Yes, freshman quarterback Will McBride and the offense did an admiral job keeping it close early, but turnovers dashed any hope of a second-half comeback.
Wide receivers Jordan Murphy and Josh Palmer played, running back Ty Chandler played, and offensive linemen Trey Smith, Riley Locklear, and Devante Brooks played in the game. Looking past him, there aren't many pieces of Tennessee's offense that pose a significant threat to the Tigers. And that happened again tonight.
Since losing to Georgia on October 14, none of the Tigers' opponents have had a winning record, and the final two teams Mizzou will play this regular season - Vanderbilt and Arkansas - also have losing records at 4-6 each.
With the loss to Missouri, Tennessee now has a losing streak to every single team in the SEC.
Mizzou is just the third SEC team to ever lose five straight games and also win four straight games in a single season.
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