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AVCIS: Tennessee at Missouri predictions

By: The All Vol Call in Show Staff

20211001



Graphic | John Dunn | The All Vol Call in Show


The Tennessee Volunteers (2-2, 0-1) travel to Columbia Missouri on Saturday to take on the Missouri Tigers (2-2, 0-1) in their second consecutive conference game on the road, with kick-off slated for noon; Tennessee's third noon game of the season.


Following a loss to (10) Florida (3-1, 1-1) last week, 38-14, the Volunteers were left with a bad taste in their mouths after a serviceable performance in the first half gave way to a subpar second half performance against the Gators. The Tigers are coming off of a 41-34 overtime loss to the Boston College Eagles (4-0).


Both Missouri and Tennessee are seeking their first SEC win of the season. The Tigers fell to the Kentucky Wildcats in the second game of the season for their lone SEC loss of the year thus far, with the Volunteers succumbing to the Gators last Saturday.


Missouri ranks 19th in overall offense, but 115th in overall defense, while Tennessee bolsters a national ranking of 58th in overall offense, and 45th in overall defense. The Tigers struggle mightily against the run, coming in at 129th (out of 130 teams) in the country in rushing defense. However, they do have the nation's 12th ranked passing offense as well. The Volunteers rank 34th in rushing, and 82nd in passing overall, nationally. They're ranked 61st in the nation against the pass, and 38th nationally against the run.


John Dunn (Founder/Host/Managing Editor):


Looking at this game by the numbers, the two teams seem very comparable. However, there is one gleaming difference that I think will help Tennessee take this game: Missouri is awful against the run. They're the second-to-worst team in the country when it comes to stopping the run. If there's one thing that has been seen by the Tennessee offense so far, it's that Tiyon Evans and Jabari Small can tote the rock.


This game will come down to which team is able to make a stop, and take advantage of it. I expect Tennessee to run the ball down Missouri's throat, which should ease the minds of those who are concerned about the quarterback situation. I believe that the Volunteers' rushing offense will be the focal point of the offensive philosophy against Missouri, and they will simplify the passing offense for either Hendon Hooker or Joe Milton, in an effort to increase offensive passing efficiency.


I think that Tennessee's secondary, and their defensive unit as a whole, is better than Missouri's, and I believe that is what will be the game-deciding factor. I expect Theo Jackson, Alontae Taylor, or Jaylen McCullough to come up with a crucial interception, with Tennessee taking advantage of the takeaway.


Prediction: Tennessee - 38 | Missouri - 28


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Brandon Payne (Junior Staff Writer):


Tennessee’s running game looks to let loose against a Missouri unit that has allowed 300 rushing yards-per-game in the last three weeks. With both Evans and Small back, with a game under their belts together, should provide Tennessee with a huge advantage. Defensive consistency after the starters are winded appears to be the biggest problem facing a Tennessee team that is down many scholarship players. The secondary of Tennessee's defensive unit was picked on by Florida, and I look for Bazelak and the Tigers to do the same.


Prediction: Tennessee - 27 | Missouri - 41


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Zac Strickland (Junior Staff Writer):


As the calendar flips to October, the Vols find themselves sitting at 2-2 after an up-and-down first month, and facing their most important 2-game stretch of 2021. Tennessee continues their road trip this week against a Missouri team that hasn’t exactly made the jump that many people thought they would headed into this year. Though sophomore QB Connor Bazelak is showing progress, the Tigers’ defense remains porous, and has failed to hold an opponent under 24 points to this point in the season.


Running back Tyler Badie has been a thorn in Tennessee’s side for several years now, and he returns yet again after amassing a gaudy 593 yards and 8 TD from scrimmage in the month of September. The shorthanded Vols absolutely must stay healthy this season, especially for toss-up games like this one.


Expect a barn burner here, with the Vols running crazy on Mizzou while the Tigers throw the ball at will. Like Tennessee, the home team has some firepower, but lacks much experience or quality depth. Although I felt the Big Orange didn’t match up well with Pitt in week two, and predicted a loss accordingly, I feel a bit better about this one, provided Hooker is able to play and play like himself. If so, I see Tennessee getting just enough stops to outgun the Tigers for their third straight win in the series.


Prediction: Tennessee - 42 | Missouri - 31


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Dallas Bowlin (Junior Staff Writer):


The Tennessee ground game surprised many against the Gators. After Florida held Alabama to only 91 rushing yards as a team, the Vols were able to run for 148 yards as a team. That performance should give Josh Heupel some confidence heading into Columbia as the Tigers possess the second worst rushing defense in the country. Running back Tiyon Evans seems to know just that, giving this quote to the media on Tuesday: “We’re fixing to have some fun, most definitely.” It will be interesting to see if the Vols do take advantage of that, if they do, the Vols should get the win on Saturday.


Prediction: Tennessee - 37 | Missouri - 27


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Joe Davis (Junior Staff Writer):


The Vols need to avoid moving slow despite the early start. Missouri is reeling after an overtime loss at Boston College last week, and if the Vols jump on them quickly, it could topple the Tigers. I think Missouri falls Saturday.


Prediction: Tennessee - 31 | Missouri - 21


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William Allen (Senior Staff Writer):


There’s pressure on Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz to win at home versus Tennessee with bowl implications on the line. If Drinkwitz loses twice in two years to the Vols after last week's overtime loss to Boston College, he could possibly lose the locker room.


The Vols defense is terrible at 67th in the FBS at stopping the pass, while Missouri is second in the SEC in passing with quarterback Connor Bazelak. Tigers running back Tyler Badie is a special talent as well, giving Missouri the offensive advantage. However, Tennessee is 18th in the FBS at stopping the run while Missouri has given up 269 rushing yards per game. If Tennessee wins this game, it will be because quarterback Hendon Hooker or Joe Milton are lights out pushing the offense down the field.


Prediction: Tennessee - 35 | Missouri - 32


Other SEC Picks:

Georgia

South Carolina

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Landon Hiter (Junior Staff Writer):


I expect this to be a high scoring game with the Vols being able to run all over nearly the worst run defense in the country, and the Tigers incredible offensive line giving Bazelak plenty of time to throw on the Vols shaky pass defense. The Vols will need Hooker to take advantage of the one-on-ones down the field as the Tigers commit to stopping the run. If the Vols can take advantage of their opportunities and exploit their poor run defense, they should roll over the Tigers with ease.


Prediction: Tennessee - 41 | Missouri - 30


Other SEC Picks:

Georgia

South Carolina

Alabama

Florida

Texas A&M

Uconn

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