Record setting performance sends Vols to 9-1 on the season
Tennessee finishes with 725 yards of offense in 66-24 win over Missouri
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - With a win today, Tennessee would complete its first undefeated season at home since it went 7-0 at Neyland Stadium back in 2007.
The Vols are 6-0 on Rocky Top this season, having outscored their opponents 321-128 in those games. The Big Orange have won eight in a row inside Neyland dating back to last season, representing their longest home winning streak since posting nine straight victories from 2006-08.
Tennessee enters the game 8-1 overall and 4-1 in SEC play.
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Missouri won the coin toss and elected to take the ball first. Tigers initial drive would start frOm their own 26 yard line. The tigers would go three and out. two run plays and an incomplete pass on third and four.
After the punt, Tennessee would start its first drive from its own 9 yard line after an illegal block in the back. Vols open with a quick out to senior tight end Jacob Warren for a 22 yard game to 31. Then forced with and third and 11 at the 30 Hooker would connect deep thanks to a beautiful over the shoulder catch by Bru McCoy!
Later under pressure, Hooker would scramble 17 yards to the Mizzou 15. An offsides penalty would gain UT five more yards to the 10. And on first and five at the 10, Jabari Small would take the hand off and rush around the right side untouched to give Tennessee the ealy lead. PAT made it 7-0 Vols with 11:05 remaining in the 1st quarter. Vols drive 7 plays in 91 yards to take the lead.
Mizzou’s second possession starts from their own 24 and on 3rd and 4 at the 30, quarterback Brady Cook is forced to scramble and comes up short of the first down forcing another Missouri punt.
On their second possession and aided by a 25 yard pass from Hooker to Jalin Hyatt, the Vols would drive into Mizzou territory, but on 4th and 4 at the Tigers 27, Coach Heupel decides to go for it and Hooker is sacked back at the 32 as Tennessee turns the ball over on downs. Missouri very adept at pressuring the QB coming into this game with 22 sacks.
Missouri responds with a nice drive of its own. It was Quarterback Brady Cook doing it with his legs and his arm completing big passes to Barrett Banister and Elijah Young. The Vol defense would hold on third and short forcing a a 25 yard FG attempt. The kick was good, but UT’s Aaron Beasley lined up over the snapper and Tennessee was called for the Penalty giving Mizzou new life and the Tigers would make the Vols pay. On the next play Cook connects with Luther Burden the III who beats Doneiko Slaughter to the end zone. PAT is good tying the game at 7.
Vols would mount another drive. A roughing the passer penalty on Mizzou lineman Darius Robinson would give UT new life after a 3rd and 7 pass was incomplete. In Tiger territory, Hooker would go for it all to Bru McCoy, pass was incomplete, but pass interference certainly could have been called. It wasn’t forcing a 3rd and 6. Jabari Small gets only two yards and the Vols would be faced with another 4th and 4 situation, this time at the Mizzou 33. Once again Josh Heupel decides to go as the 1st quarter comes to end.
The gamble pays off as Hooker gets time to throw and hits Hyatt on a slant pattern down to the Tigers three. The 30 yard play sets up a three yard Jaylen Wright TD run. Point after good as the Vols regain the lead at 14-7 with 14:41 remaining in the half. With his reception, Jalin Hyatt goes over 1000 yards for the season. He’s the 9th to do so in Tennessee football history, something that’s been done 10 times.
Tennessee’s defense would force a three an out for Mizzou as the Tigers are forced to punt. Vols take over on their own 28 yard line.
The Vols would mount yet another drive. yardage would be added to nice Hendon Hooker run after the senior quarterback was taken down with a horse collar. On the next play, Hooker would hit Bru McCoy in stride on a slant for 17 yards to the Missouri 19. Then the Vols hit pay dirt on the next play as Hooker goes back up top connecting with TE Princeton Fant in the end zone for a 19 yard touchdown. The point after makes it 21-7 Tennessee with 10:24 remaining in the 2nd quarter. Hendon Hooker now 13-18 for 197 yards and 1 touchdown.
Missouri would then mount another threat and on 4th and 1 at the Vol 43, it’s quarterback Brady Cook with a little play action going up top and hitting receiver Tauskie Dove. The Vol defensive backs can’t make the tackle and Dove goes in for the touchdown pulling the Tigers within seven at 21-14 with 5:48 remaining in the 1st half.
Vols answer in an hurry with most of it on the ground. Jabari Small runs for 26, Jaylen Wright goes for 19 and then Hendon Hooker rushes it in from 14 yards out to give Tennessee a 28-14 lead with 4:06 to go on the half.
Tennessee goes back to work and on 3rd and 2 at the Vol 30, Hendon Hooker would take off again and after a nice fake the senior nets 28 yards on the carry to the Mizzou 42 yard line. Uncharacteristically, Jalin Hyatt would drop to wide open passes over the middle forcing a 4th and 5 at the Tigers 37 yard line. And on that 4th down play, Hooker is sacked as the Vols are called for holding. Ball goes over on downs to the Tigers with :34 remaining in the half.
And the Tigers come back roaring. Quarterback Brady Cook does his best Hendon Hooker impersonation and takes off up the middle of the field for 40 yards to the UT 19. That run would set up a Harrison Mevis 32 yard FG as time expires. We head to the locker room with 5th ranked Vols leading by eleven, 28-17.
365 total yards of offense including 136 on the ground for the Vols as they receive the opening kickoff in the 2nd half.
So Tennessee had a chance for the old 2-for-1 with a late first half possession and the first crack at it in the 2nd half. Neither drive panned out. Vols punt for the first time still leading 28-17.
Mizzou making it interesting going 85 yards in 8 plays capped off by a 38yd TD pass from Cook to Dominic Lovett who got behind the UT defense. Tigers now trail 28-24 with 8:55 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Big play Jalin comes through! Hooker and Hyatt connect on a 68 yard pass play. Vols extend lead back to eleven at 35-24. Hyatt now in 6th place in SEC history for single season TD catches with 15!
Vols with a little breathing room now. Dylan Sampson rushes for 42 yards and then 15 yards on a drive capped off by a 2yd Princeton Fant TD catch, his 2nd of the game. Vols lead 42-24. UT now with 522 total yards against a defense giving up just 304 per game!
UT fans having fun now! Vols adding those style points with another score. A one yard TD run by Jaylen Wright capping a 67yd drive in 8 plays. 49-24 Big Orange late in the 3rd quarter.
On 4th and 1 at their own 41, Missouri goes for it, but the pitch is bobbled by the running back and recovered by Tennessee’s Doneiko Slaughter. Vols take over at the Tigers 30 yard line.
The turnover would lead to a 48 yard Chase McGrath field goad. Vols extend their lead to 52-24 with 7:54 remaining in the game.
Hendon Hooker leaves the game with 355 yards passing and four touchdowns, three through the air and one rushing. Joe Milton in now at QB for UT and promptly connects with Ramel Keyton from 46 yards for another Vols TD. 59-24 with 5:43 to play.
The Tennessee defense would turn back the Tigers again punting back to Tennessee and the Vols would not sit on it going right back to work and once again Milton goes deep and connects with Squirrell White for 58 yards to the Mizzou one. After losing a yard, DYlan Sampson would rush it in for yet another Vols touchdown. Tennessee scored 62 last year at Missouri, they finish with 66 today in a 66-24 romp over the visiting Tigers.
Tennessee sets a new school record with 724 total yards of offense surpassing the old mark of 718! Vols improve to 9-1 and will try for their first 10 win season since 2004 when they take on South Carolina in Columbia.
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