UNBLEMISHED IN NEYLAND: Tennessee mutes Missouri in final home game, finishes undefeated in Neyland
By: John Dunn
Founder, Managing Editor, Host
The All Vol Call in Show
The fifth-ranked Vols got off to a slow start against the 4-5 Missouri Tigers on Senior Day in Knoxville Saturday, but finished hot, setting a program record for offense output in a game with 727 yards of offense, including 460 yards passing and 267 yards rushing.
Needing to strengthen its resume ahead of the College Football Playoff, Tennessee was seeking a decisive win following its lone loss of the season thus far last week at Georgia.
Both teams got off to a slow start with each matching the other with one touchdown apiece in the opening frame. However, behind 21 second quarter points, the Vols began to pour it on. Tennessee took a 28-17 into the locker room at the half.
Tennessee continued to show why it has the top offense in college football, adding another 21 points in the third quarter, separating from Missouri after limiting the tigers to a single touchdown in quarter.
With a 48-24 lead heading into the final frame, the Vols were in complete control. Chase McGrath added a field goal early in the period as Tennessee continued to limit the anemic offense of the Tigers.
With a comfortable lead, Tennessee senior Hendon Hooker left the game for the last time in Neyland Stadium, and backup quarterback Joe Milton was inserted into the game. Milton connected with Ramel Keyton for a 49-yard passing touchdown, extending the Tennessee lead to 59-24 with just over five minutes remaining in the game. Dylan Sampson added one last touchdown with :36 remaining in the game to extend the Tennessee lead to 66-24, which would be the game's final.
Tennessee went on to secure victory, improving to 9-1 on the season and building on its resume ahead the second-to-last game of the season against the South Carolina Gamecocks Saturday.
The Vols now say goodbye to: Grant Frerking, Trevon Flowers, Jaylen McCollough, Warren Burrell, Cedric Tillman, Hendon Hooker, Byron Young, Romello Edwards, Juwan Mitchell, LaTrell Bumphus, Cheyenne Labruzza, Aaron Beasley, Roman Harrison, Nick Humphrey, Jeremy Banks, Paxton Brooks, Solon Page III, Toby Wilson, Chase McGrath, Maurese Smith, Jeremiah Crawford, Darnell Wright, Jerome Carvin, Ollie Lane, Ramel Keyton, Jacob Warren, Princeton Fant, Austin Lewis, and Kurott Garland, unless any player chooses to take advantage of any of the NCAA rules in place on eligibility.