NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After Tennessee football defeated Missouri 66-24 in Neyland Stadium this past season, there was some talks that Josh Heupel and the Vols may have run the score up.
Scoring 17 fourth-quarter points while winning 49-24 does seem like a little extra, but Missouri players silenced any talk of the Vols running up the score on Monday at SEC Media Days.
“It’s football, just go out there and play football,” Missouri offensive lineman Javon Foster said. “If we had the chance to score we would’ve scored too… They got after us good last year but I feel like just this whole season we have something to prove so this whole year we got something on back.”
Missouri is not approaching its game against Tennessee any different than its game against the rest of the SEC. Running up the score or not, the Tigers are ready to bounce back against the Vols.
This year, they have to defend their home turf.
“I just think their scheme is very hard,” cornerback Darius Robinson said. “I said earlier that Tennessee had the best offense last year, I thought that Hendon Hooker was the best quarterback in the SEC by far. They’re difficult to play but we have to focus on ourselves and be ready to play. Be ready for that tempo, get lined up and be ready to execute.
“You’ve got to be in shape. I think what they do is they speed you up so fast that you lose your technique and get gapped sometimes. They’re a great team but we have to be ready to go.”
Hendon Hooker threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns against the Tigers last season. He was 25-35 while torching Missouri’s defense. There was never a doubt that the Vols were going to win.
Adding 17 points in the fourth quarter while holding Missouri scoreless helping pad the score. Missouri players wouldn’t admit it, but they have to remember the feeling from a year ago going into the game this season.
“They got us pretty bad,” Robinson said. “That was a tough game for us so we just have to focus on ourselves and get better. When we go out there this year we’re playing to win the game. They got after us these past two years, so we just have to get to work and get better.”