By: The All Vol Call in Show Staff
Well, here we are. There are just a few games left in the season, and Tennessee has one of the toughest three game stretches remaining in CFB (not you, Vanderbilt.)
The #Vols will be tasked with defeating the No.14 Missouri Tigers on the road Saturday ahead of a gargantuan rematch with the two-time defending national champions, and currently No.2 team in the land, in the Georgia Bulldogs at home before wrapping up the season against Vanderbilt.
Ahead of the season, many had the Missouri game circled as a "trap game," due to where it fell in the schedule (between homecoming and UGA rematch). Not many expected the Tigers to be as capable as what they've been this season. Saturday's game features two teams vying for footing in the SEC East, and two teams who appear to be as even as it gets.
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I had this game labeled as my "biggest trap game" of the season prior to week one. I thought that Tennessee would be looking ahead to UGA, however, I feel like that isn't the case. Missouri is on everyone's radar now. Brady Cook and Luther Burden are a nasty tandem and will give the #Vols defense everything it wants and then some. Joe Milton has been playing much better the last three games, and Tennessee's offense as a whole seems to be finally figuring some things out. There's no time like the present. The three-headed rushing attack of Wright, Sampson, and Small has proved to be one of the most dynamic in the country, and I firmly believe that will be what wins this game. I expect Tennessee's defense to rattle Cook enough to disrupt the passing game, and I expect the #Vols to control the game pace with the rushing attack. It'll be close, but they get it done.
Prediction: Tennessee - 31 | Missouri - 27
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Tennessee's defense struggles with giving up passing yards, ranking 54th in the nation at 222 yards per game. Missouri, with the 23rd-best passing offense at 284 yards per game, poses a significant challenge for them. To succeed defensively, Tennessee’s pass rush must get into Missouri's backfield and pressure Brady Cook to limit his passing opportunities. It's a tough matchup for the Vols and one where I have trouble seeing them keep up.
Prediction: Missouri - 41 | Tennessee - 30
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Tennessee is coming off a game against UConn where everything went their way; everything. I think that the #Vols ride that high into Columbia this Saturday. Jaylen Wright is poised for a big game, and I expect Tim Banks to really dial up the pressure against Brady Cook. The Vols shouldn’t overlook Missouri, but I think they get the job done on the road.
Also, Eliah is such a weird name.
Prediction: Tennessee - 38 | Missouri - 24
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Missouri finds themselves in a slew of championship races as the season nears a close. Mizzou is battling Texas A&M for the cringiest school in the conference. While A&M has their yell leaders, search for "We are Mizzou" and you'll find three guys named Tyler who can't rap, rapping. It gets worse--there is a "Rules at the Zou" video explaining how to be a Missouri fan. Clearly dignity is not mentioned in said video. But no no, that's not all. Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz is a dead heat for the biggest nerd on the planet with everyone's least favorite garnet gimp, Shane Beamer. Missouri actually looks decent this year at football which is amazing for all players not named Luther Burden. He is honest to goodness a "play on Sundays" guy. But he's questionable for Saturday. The Vols need to bracket Burden and make Drinkwitz earn his points elsewhere. I think they do this and do it well.
Prediction: Tennessee - 24 | Missouri - 20
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This is a “table setting game” for Tennessee. It’s true that the Vols can’t control what happens in Athens tomorrow night. However, whether the East is on the line or not, the Georgia game next week will have a lot of added juice if the Vols are 8-2 and riding a three game streak rather than limping in at 7-3. I think the Vols answer the call. Joe Milton has been accurate AND turnover-free the past three weeks, and I believe can continue his success in this game. Mizzou has had a solid year, but has lost to both teams they’ve faced with talent superior to theirs. Tennessee makes it three.
Prediction: Tennessee - 41 | Missouri - 30