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Report Card: No. 20 Missouri 29 Tennessee 21

Evan bERRY-1

 Special Teams

Daniel: Really solid game for Tennessee’s special teams units. A kickoff out of bounds, one decent kickoff return by Marcus Murphy and a stumble by Evan Berry on a kickoff return were the only minor issues at all and they were far outweighed by the positives. The fake field goal was executed to perfection and was one of the plays of the year for the Vols. Medley also converted two field goals and forced two touchbacks. Matt Darr was a weapon as a punter, going out in style on Senior Night with a 46.5-yard average and four downed inside the 20. Coverage was pretty good all night as the Vols forced a couple block in the back calls by getting down the field quickly. Berry, who had a kickoff return of 58 yards, and Jacob Carter both had at least one nice play in the return game. Those few minors gaffes mentioned earlier kept it from being a perfect performance, but the Vols clearly won this phase. Grade: A-

Houston: Very solid night for Tennessee in this area. They scored on a fake field goal, had a few nice returns on kickoffs, Medley went 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and they recovered an onside kick that was overturned after a very questionable offsides ruling by the officials. Matt Darr also had a strong performance and was Tennessee’s most consistent weapon. Darr really answered the call by flipping the field for the Vols on numerous occasions. As Daniel mentioned, one stumble on a kick return by Berry and a decent Missouri return kept this from being a perfect grade.  Grade: A-

Reed: Mark Elder, Tennessee’s special teams/tight ends coach, needs a raise. The Vols have lost this phase of the game for years, but this year has been different. Special teams play, overall, has been an asset, not a liability, for Tennessee and Saturday was no different. Their outstanding first half special teams play kept the Vols in the game. Evan Berry provides a spark nearly every game with his returns. Medley was fantastic. Darr had one of his best games and Tennessee perfectly executed a fake field goal. The Vols were a bad offsides call away from recovering an onside kick as well. Despite a couple of minor issues, Tennessee decisively won this phase of the game. Grade: A

Average Grade: A-

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