Road woes continue for Tennessee Football. This time, the Vols were humiliated by the Missouri Tigers in a top 15 matchup, losing in a 36-7 blowout. Eli Drinkwitz went even further than just getting revenge on Josh Heupel. He was the one able to deliver blow after blow in the second half. Here are five takeaways from UT’s loss.
1. No answer for Mizzou backfield
It was the Cody Schrader and Brady Cook show. Schrader ran for over 200 yards and had over 100 yards receiving. Cook threw for 275 yards and ran for another 55 yards with two total touchdowns. The zone-read RPO plays had the Vols confused on defense all game, and as time went on, it only got worse, allowing Missouri to control the clock.
2. Too many drive-killing mistakes
A turnover is not the only way to kill a drive, although Tennessee Football had two of those on first down in Mizzou territory and then a pick-six late. However, the Vols also had three different drives killed by holding penalties, one of which would have spotted them the ball at the six-yard line. Then there was a failed pitch on an option that resulted in a six-yard loss and killed another drive.
3. Run game was awful
One reason UT couldn’t keep its offense flowing was the lack of run game. The team averaged just three yards a carry on the day. On two different third and shorts, Jaylen Wright was stuffed behind the line of scrimmage. Wright was part of the problem, but Milton not keeping it enough on RPOs, or maybe not being allowed to, proved costly as well.
2 Joe Milton III did everything he could throwing early
Although he made lots of mistakes in the run game, Joe Milton III fought hard before his pick-six. He did have a beautiful touchdown pass to Dont’e Thornton and kept moving the ball for the Vols. Before Mizzou broke it open with a three-score lead, he was 19-of-25 for 241 yards and that TD. You couldn’t ask for much more.
1. Injuries piling up at WR
It was already a problem for Tennessee Football going into the game with Bru McCoy out for the year. However, Thornton was knocked out of the game on his touchdown catch. Then Squirrel White, who dictates coverage in the slot, was knocked out of the middle of the game. UT is deep at the position, but these would naturally be hard to overcome.