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[2019] SEC Network: #8 Tennessee @ Missouri Preview

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#8 Tennessee @ Missouri

Game Preview


There's a storm a-brewin' in Columbia, MO. The #8 Tennessee Vols are rolling into town on Saturday night and you couldn't find a more riled up fanbase. Consistently ignored by pollsters throughout the season, the Tigers have played with a chip on their shoulders and are undefeated at home. With their two losses coming against two top 25 opponents on the road by a combined 7 points, the fans are acutely aware that this is a very good squad.


But the weight of the game is larger than playing a top ten team at home; the winner of this game will take a solid lead in the race for the SEC East. Missouri has already locked down their match against division competitor Vanderbilt and would have a strong chance to carry their lead to the SEC Championship game - lining up as rematch against #4 LSU - a rematch that QB Tucker Dowden would love to have a shot at. "It was a really competitive game, but early in the season. I made some mental errors against a very good secondary that just can't happen. We're a lot better now and I think we can take them."


Missouri seems to be focused on the task at hand, however. Coach vtgorilla knows all to well the feeling of losing to Tennessee, having lost to the division rival in both of the previous two seasons. He's called for extra team meetings this week to keep everyone on task, especially because the team is coming off of a bye and Thanksgiving is potentially a huge distraction. Coach vtgorilla confirmed, "We've been playing well, but this is a damn good team coming into town. They outmatch us physically at almost every position, but I've got a few  :ph34r: still left in the playbook."


Tennessee has certainly won games this season. Their offense is firing on all cylinders, scoring an average of 39 points in their last two games. QB Julius Thomas and WR1 Eli Austin make one of the most dynamic set of playmakers in the country. Missouri's secondary has been good, but this is the toughest test they've faced all season and the Tennessee players know it. We spoke with Julius Thomas this morning, "Their secondary is decent, but I've been doing this a long time. We beat the same players last season, so it's not like they're going to show us something we haven't seen before."


Let's take a look at who is holding the advantages:




There's a lot of info there and some of it could be misleading, so let's break it down a bit.


Best Win



W @Vanderbilt 34-17 (currently ranked #18 in coaches poll)



W vs Air Force 44-35 (currently unranked with 15 votes in the coaches poll)*


*Tennessee beat two teams that were ranked at the time of playing (#21 Arizona, now 5-3, and #24 Georgia, now 3-5)


Worst loss



L @ Illinois 13-17 (currently ranked #16 in coaches poll)

Also L @ LSU 14-17 (currently ranked #4 in coaches poll)



L @ Auburn 17-38 (currently 4-4 and unranked, but with a very strong SOS, having played 3 other top 15 teams)




We used the currently skill level of players for this comparison. Both teams have some highly recruited players who are early in their careers starting, but we only want to grade them on their current ability, even if they do occasionally show flashes of brilliance.


Tennessee appears to hold the overall talent advantage on both offense and defense, with Missouri taking the special teams battle.


Too Long; Didn't Read


Eat shit; read the article.


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