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Missouri Tigers Week 10 Preview: Tennessee Volunteers

Mizzou Sports Talk logo Mizzou Sports Talk 8/8/2022 Brian Smith
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Game 7 of the SEC slate has Missouri traveling to play Tennessee.

When the Missouri Tigers make their last SEC road trip to play Tennessee, they will be coming off of a home game against a physical Kentucky football team.

No matter how the Tigers feel headed into their contest at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, the returning players will remember the last time the two teams met. In 2021, Missouri was beaten soundly by Tennessee at home, 62-24.

Any common competitor wants to get payback. This will be the chance for Missouri and head coach Eli Drinkwitz to make their mark on enemy turf.

The Vols’ defense struggled for much of the last season, giving up 29.1 points per contest. That placed them at No. 90 in the nation. The offense was dominant, however.

The Vols scored 39.3 points per contest, the seventh best in the country. Head coach Josh Heupel appears ready to put points on the board again with his fast-paced offensive scheme ready to go in 2022.

The Missouri defense will need to bring their best effort in this SEC East road game, and that’s the type of challenge that can help change the direction of a program.

Tennessee Volunteers

2021 Record: 7-6

Offensive Set: No-Huddle Spread

Returning Offensive Starters: 7

The Volunteers are led by quarterback Hendon Hooker. He was one of the most efficient signal callers in all of college football last season, averaging 9.7 yards per attempt. His primary target was and continues to be Cedric Tillman, a 6-foot-3 and 215-pound receiver with the athleticism to make plays after the catch.

Just as important as the skill players, four of five offensive linemen come back to the starting lineup. They will be blocking for Hooker and running back Jabari Small, a player coming off 766 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

*Denotes returning starter.

QB Hendon Hooker*

RB Jabari Small*

WR Cedric Tillman*

WR Ramel Keyton

WR Jalin Hyatt

TE Jacob Warren

LT Jeremiah Crawford

LG Jerome Carvin*

C Cooper Mays*

RG Javontez Spraggins, Jr.*

RT Darnell Wright*

Defensive Set: 4-2-5

Returning Defensive Starters: 6

The Vols registered 34 sacks last season, but this year’s projected starters at defensive tackle produced just one of those sacks. That’s the area Tennessee needs the most improvement, interior defensive line.

The Stalwarts are on the edge of the defensive front and at linebacker. The secondary is a concern after giving up too many big plays last season and not having a true big-play cornerback or safety returning to the lineup.

DE Tyler Baron

DT Elijah Simmons

DT Omari Thomas

DE Byron Young*

MLB Aaron Beasley*

WLB Jeremy Banks*

CB Warren Burrell*

CB Kamal Hadden

NB Brandon Turnage

S Jaylen McCollough*

S Trevon Flowers*

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