Tennessee falls to 0-6 in SEC play with an ugly, ugly loss at Missouri. We review the Vols 50-17 beat down by the Tigers over Southern Miss. with The Day After.
HOT AND NOT
Ethan Wolf – The senior tight end has been asked to do a lot in the offensive front with all of the offensive line injuries. Wolf had a good night in the passing game in what was an ugly night for the offense. Wolf had 3 catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.
John Currie – Currie isn't in any way on the hot seat, but the first year AD is the guy Vol fans want to know the most about right now. What's his plan short term and long term for Tennessee football. Currie was not seen on the field post game Saturday night. All eyes will focused on him Sunday and moving forward as to what decisions he might or might not make.
Run defense – After giving up over 400 yards to Missouri on the ground last year, Bob Shoop's defense gave up 433 yards on the ground Saturday night. So in two games against the Tigers a Shoop led Vol defense has given up right at 900 yards rushing.
Ball security – Tennessee had done a good job for the last month in taking care of the football. But in the second half, the offense fell apart with two interceptions and two fumbles. Tennessee actually turned it over three consecutive offensive plays. The Tigers turned those four turnovers in to 13 points in the third quarter to blow the Vols out.
Big plays allowed – After giving up only two plays of 20 yards or more last week, the defense got ripped by big plays all night. Tennessee gave up 8 plays of 20 yards or more including three for touchdowns.
Warrior's house call – On a night where there was very little to be happy about sophomore Nigel Warrior continues to show growth and development. Warrior stepped in front of a Drew Lock first quarter pass and returned it 70 yards weaving his way across the field, in moves that reminded you of his dad Dale Carter, into the endzone.
Rountree's 64 yard run – With the game tied at 17 and Missouri facing a 3rd and 7 at their own 28, the Tigers appeared poised to end the half. But Tennessee's defense couldn't take care of the job as tailback Larry Rountree bounced a run play outside and ran 64 yards to set the Tigers up inside 10. Rountree would cap off the drive in the endzone give the Tigers a 7 point halftime lead and the rout was on.
Lock to Hall for 50 yards – Any hope the Vols had of hanging in the game went away on Missouri's first possession of the second half as on first down from midfield, Drew Lock hit Tennessee native Emmanuel Hall for a 50 yard touchdown strike giving the Tigers a 2 touchdown lead and Tennessee's meltdown was in full swing.
McBride to Wolf for 19 yards and a touchdown – The touchdown throw was the Vols first in 23 quarters of football going all the way back to the second quarter against UMass. McBride was drilled on the play but stood in the pocket and delivered a great ball. McBride and the offense had to overcome a stupid John Kelly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that moved the ball from the 4 to the 19 where McBride connected on 3rd and goal.
BY THE NUMBERS
9 – Number of tackles for loss by the Missouri defense as Tennessee struggled to protect Will McBride and struggled to have any sustained success on the ground. McBride was sacked 5 times.
8 – Number of plays of 20+ yards given up by the defense. They gave up three touchdown plays of 20 yards or more as the big plays continue to plague Shoop led defenses.
1,650 – Number of rushing yards Tennessee has given up in SEC play. Missouri had 433.
0 – Number of SEC opponents the Vols have beaten the last time they played them. Tennessee is currently winless in their last match up against all SEC teams.
Give Will McBride credit for being tough, but 3 second half turnovers means you're not getting a game ball. Ethan Wolf had a nice night but nothing spectacular.
Micah Abernathy and Quarte Sapp had double digit tackles but the Vols only had 2 tackles for loss and Abernathy was catching running backs all night.
Give Aaron Medley credit for making a career long 48 yard field goal, but in a game where you get beat 50-17 and it certainly could have been worse there are no gameballs to give out.
BIGGEST QUESTION MOVING FORWARD
It's simple all eyes are on John Currie and his decisions and timing moving forward with his football program.
Currie may not have wanted to be on the clock this early, but the reality is he's very much on the clock. Tennessee is winless in SEC play. They have been routed 3 times now in conference games. The Vols recruiting class appears on the verge of falling completely apart. After losing Cade Mays last week, there are questions about Adrian Martinez who visited Ohio State this weekend and growing rumblings about junior college defensive end Dorian Gerald's commitment to the Vols.
It's a very ugly time for the Vols and everyone wants to know what Currie's plan is to fix his football program. The program that he's judged by as the athletic director.