Tennessee showed just how they can close out the remainder of the rest of the season on the Vols’ very first drive. In a well-rounded win against UCONN, Tennessee was dominant, but things are about to get much more personal.
Facing an overmatched Connecticut team, the Vols won comfortably 59-3. Before any game balls from the Huskies’ game are gilded in bronze, let’s remember that UCONN was 1-7 coming into the Tennessee game. The Vols, on the other hand, were coming off of a solid showing in a 33-27 win against Kentucky last weekend in which the Vols led from start to finish of that contest.
Tennessee’s fast start against the Huskies, which included a 82-yard touchdown run by running back Jaylen Wright on the game’s second play, may be key when the Vols travel to Missouri on Saturday. Tennessee will face an SEC East foe which is having a resurgent season. Missouri’s 34 points per game this season heading into the weekend was fourth best in the SEC. This was the last chance for the Vols to prepare themselves for a revenge game that has been looming on their schedule.
There is probably no team that detests the Vols from last season any more than Missouri after what happened in 2022. Not only did Tennessee beat the Tigers 66-24; the Vols embarrassed the Tigers to the point that fans and analysts argued that the Vols purposefully, which they likely did, run up the score against Missouri. There were reasons to believe as much as Tennessee coach Josh Heupel had a severed relationship from his time when he coached with the Tigers. There was also the fact that Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz had taken some pot shots against the Vols and their NCAA plight in a national interview just before the season.
Alabama wanted to beat the Vols in a revenge game earlier this season when the Vols lost 34-20 to the Crimson Tide after beating Alabama in 2022. Missouri didn’t just get beat. The Tigers got embarrassed so they’ve surely had Saturday’s upcoming game against Tennessee circled on their schedule.
Tennessee did more than they needed to do to beat UCONN on Saturday. Quarterback Joe Milton was near flawless, the Vols running game was dominant and Tennessee’s defense was disruptive and opportunistic. However, Missouri will present much more of a challenge than the Huskies could ever hope to. Moreover, the Tigers will be duly motivated.