Report Card: No. 20 Missouri 29 Tennessee 21

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    Brian Randolph-1

     Secondary

    Daniel: Missouri completed just 12 passes and Maty Mauk was under 50% on the day, but a few big ones really hurt this group. None were bigger than the 73-yard strike from Mauk to Jimmie Hunt over Justin Coleman that extended Mizzou’s lead to 23-13 in the fourth quarter. Coleman had a hard time locating the football, couldn’t drag him down and then Cam Sutton wasn’t able to catch him after that. Sutton also got beat for a 13-yard touchdown by Bud Sasser. The defensive backs made a few good plays, including a nice breakup by Malik Foreman when he had to step in for Sutton in the first quarter, and I wouldn’t say the Vols got shredded, but it only takes a couple big plays to turn the game and that’s what Missouri was able to get. Grade: C-

    Houston: Is it strange to anyone else that Tennessee’s secondary actually played worse in the second half, AFTER Brian Randolph returned to the field? I say that in jest, but it’s the truth. Tennessee knew that they’d have to play a lot of man-to-man coverage in this game, and for three quarters they played pretty well. However, two touchdown passes for Missouri in the fourth quarter really sealed the Vols’ fate. Justin Coleman got beat down the seam and Cam Sutton on a fade that gave Missouri a 16-point lead with six minutes to play. No turnovers, few deflections and getting beat in crunch time helped Missouri leave with a win.  Grade: D+

    Reed: This group graded out very well in the first half when Maty Mauk was just 6-15 for 78 yards. They missed a couple tackles on the opening drive but were solid otherwise. The second half told a different story. Mauk was 6-10 for 152 yards in the final 30 minutes, including a couple of long, backbreaking completions late in the game. Coleman and McNeil gave up two long pass plays which all but sealed Tennessee’s fate. Fatigue likely played a role in their 4th quarter struggles, but that’s just where the program is right now. The secondary, despite playing well for most of the game, just didn’t get the job done in several big moments. Grade: D+

    Average Grade: D+

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