Vols tamed by Tigers at the Zou
Turnovers and penalties lead to major disappointment at Mizzou
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - No. 13 Tennessee wraps up its 2023 road slate Saturday afternoon with a pivotal SEC East battle in the Show Me State against No. 14 Missouri at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.
The Vols and Tigers enter the contest with 7-2 overall records and are tied for second in the SEC East standings at 3-2 in conference play. They are also separated by just one spot in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings.
The Tigers controlled seemingly the entire first quarter. Brady Cook and the offense were on the field for 13:15 minutes meanwhile Tennessee’s offense saw just 1:45 minutes of action spanning across three plays.
Cook is 10-11 for 96 yards and an INT. Joe Milton is 1-for-1 on the day with a six-yard pass to running back Jaylen Wright.
The first quarter ended with Cook completing a pass to Marquis Johnson for 8 yards to the TENN 7-yard line. The quarter ends with a 0-0 score.
Missouri continued their 20-play drive to start the second quarter. Tennessee’s defense came up with a big of play to start the quarter when Omarr Norman-Lott sacked Cook for a loss of seven yards on the play on 3rd and goal. The Tigers settled for a 31-yard field goal attempt to end their drive and took a 3-0 lead to start the second quarter.
Tennessee secured their first first down off a 14-yard run by Wright to the TENN 39-yard line.
On Milton’s fourth pass of the game, he went deep to Dont’e Thornton for a 46-yard pass completion for a touchdown. The Vols went 75 yards in 6 plays in 1:51 minutes for a score to take the lead, 7-3. That marked Thornton’s first touchdown as a Tennessee Volunteer. It was Milton’s 16th touchdown pass of the year.
Thornton would leave the game following his diving catch with a lower-body injury.
The Vols defense struggled early to find a match-up for Missouri’s Cody Schrader. The running back is equally involved in the receiving game, Saturday. His biggest play of the first half came from Cook passing the Schrader in the flat and going 43 yards to the TENN 29 before being brought down. Three plays later he ran the ball 7 yards for a rushing score and gave Mizzou back the lead, 10-7.
In Mizzou’s 5-play scoring drive, Schrader was involved in three of those plays, a 43-yard reception, a 3-yard run then a 7-yard touchdown run.
With 10:33 left in the first half, Schrader led the game in rushing and receiving yards.
On Tennessee’s third drive of the game, the Vols would get one first down before punting from the MIZ 48.
On 3rd and 4 from Mizzou’s own 47, Norman-Lott came up big again with another sack for a 3-yard loss. Mizzou is now 7-10 on third-down tries.
Milton completes a pass to Wright for 15-yards. Wright then fumbled and it was recovered by MIZ Chuck Hicks at the MIZ 18, returned 0 yards. The turnover ends the drive with 00:20 remaining.
Missouri takes over and Schrader once again gets to work. He rushed for 35 yards and 9 yards to get the Tigers to the TENN 29 with 00:04 remaining.
The Tigers attempt a 41-yard field goal and it’s good.
Schrader posted 105 yards rushing and 93 yards receiving in the first half, leading the game in both categories.
HALFTIME: Missouri 13 - Tennessee 7
To start the quarter, Tennessee punted on all three possessions in the quarter while Missouri scored on each other their first three drives for a 22-7 lead.
At the end of the frame, Tennessee was held to just 42 yards on the ground on 16 attempts. The Tigers had a field day with 170 yards rushing on 39 attempts. Through the air, the Tigers had 254 yards.
Cody Schrader continues to shred the Tennessee defense, to start the 4th quarter the running back had rushed for 189 yards, the most in a single day in his career. He did so on 33 carries and his longest run went 35 yards. Schrader also continued to lead the game in receiving yards as well with 116 on 5 receptions.
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