Categorized | Missouri, UT Football

Breaking Down Missouri at Tennessee

Posted on 18 November 2014 by Allen


The #19/20 Missouri Tigers (8-2 overall, 5-1 in SEC play) hit the road for one final time in 2014 as they travel to Knoxville, Tenn., where they’ll face the upstart Tennessee Volunteers (5-5, 2-4). Kickoff at Neyland Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m., with the game being televised on ESPN. Mizzou is 4-0 on the road in 2014, and has won 9-straight road games overall.

The Tigers are coming off of perhaps their best half of the 2014 season, as they turned a 13-6 halftime deficit at 24th-ranked Texas A&M into a 34-27 win last Saturday, for their 4th-straight win. Mizzou got into a groove offensively and rolled to a season-high 587 yards of offense, despite cold and rainy conditions, while the defense held A&M’s high-powered offense in check quite well.

Tennessee is coming off of a very impressive performance of their own, as they cruised to a 50-16 home win over Kentucky last Saturday. The Volunteers fell behind 3-0 quickly, but scored 30 unanswered points on the way to a 33-13 halftime lead. Tennessee outgained UK by a 511-to-262 margin in total offense as they won their 2nd-straight game as the Volunteers pulled to within one win from becoming bowl eligible.

Mizzou and Tennessee had never met on the gridiron until the Tigers joined the Southeastern Conference in time for the 2012 season. The Tigers have had the upper hand in the schools’ only two meetings, as they have claimed both meetings – 51-48 in 4 OTs in Knoxville in 2012, followed by a 31-3 win in Columbia last year.

In 2013, the Tigers jumped to a 17-0 lead, and held a 24-3 halftime lead on the strength of three Maty Mauk TD passes. Mauk was making his third straight start as a redshirt freshman in place of injured senior starter James Franklin, and Mauk acquitted himself nicely, throwing for 163 yards and 3 TDs (with no INTs), while he also ran for a career-high 114 yards on 13 carries to lead the way. Sophomore TB Russell Hansbrough had a 26-yard TD run in the 3rd quarter for the only score after halftime, and the Tigers played shutout defense in the 2nd half while outgaining Tennessee 502-to-334 in total offense.

In 2012, the first-ever meeting between MU and Tennessee couldn’t have been more wild and wooly. Freshman PK Andrew Baggett drilled a 35-yard game-winning field goal in the 4th overtime period, after Mizzou’s defense got a 4-and-out stop to begin the period. The Tigers trailed 21-7 at halftime but a 77-yard TD sprint on the 1st play of the 3rd quarter gave life to Mizzou, and QB James Franklin forced overtime with a clutch 25-yard TD pass to WR Dorial Green-Beckham with just :47 seconds left in regulation on a 4th-and-12 play. Both teams scored TDs in the first three OT periods, with neither team able to convert the mandatory two-point try in the 3rd overtime, setting up Baggett’s heroics, which was his first game-winning field goal at any level of football.

Mizzou is looking to continue the good mojo on the road that it has enjoyed recently, as the Tigers have won nine consecutive away games heading into Saturday’s showdown at Tennessee. Mizzou went a sterling 5-0 on the road in 2013 (on the way to a 12-2 overall record), and combined with a 49-24 win at Toledo in game #2 this year, followed by a dramatic 21-20 comeback win at South Carolina (erasing a 13-point deficit with just 7:25 left to play – tying for the biggest 4th-quarter comeback win in school history), and punctuated with a 42-13 handling of Florida on Oct. 18th and last Saturday’s win at Texas A&M, Mizzou has won nine straight road games, and hasn’t lost since ending the 2012 season at Texas A&M.

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