5 Observations from Vols 63-37 Win Over Missouri

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    Photo Credit: Craig Bisacre/UT Athletics

    Photo Credit: Craig Bisacre/UT Athletics

    It was another ugly, high-scoring affair at Neyland Stadium, but the Vols managed to find a way to out-score their opponent again, this time pouring on nine touchdowns en route to a 63-37 victory over Missouri.

    Tennessee piled up the points and the yards as they racked up 609 total yards of offense against the Tigers. The Vols allowed plenty of yards and points themselves, but they were able to force a couple turnovers and make a few defensive stands when it mattered most.

    Here are the five observations from the Vols’ 63-37 barn burner against Missouri.

    Still No Run Defense 

    In what’s become a common theme to the season, the Vols’ rush defense was nowhere to be found on Saturday. Missouri, who is known for their passing attack, racked up 251 rushing yards by halftime and finished with 420 yards on the ground. Running back Damarea Crockett ran for 225 of those yards, setting a record for most rushing yards by a freshman in Missouri history.

    Tennessee has allowed at least 400 rushing yards to opponents three times this season. They allowed over 400 yards to Alabama and Kentucky in previous weeks. It was also the fourth time the Vols have allowed at least 350 rushing yards in a game.

    On the whole, the Vols’ defense allowed the most yards in school history. Missouri’s 740 yards are the most any Tennessee defense has ever allowed.

    Dobbs Impresses on Senior Day

    Tennessee’s defense may have struggled mightily, but senior quarterback Josh Dobbs put together one of the best performances of his career in his last game ever at Neyland Stadium.

    Dobbs completed 15 of his 22 passes for 223 yards and three scores while adding 190 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. His 190 rushing yards were a career high, and his 413 total yards of offense is the second-highest total in his career (he totaled 455 yards against Texas A&M earlier this season).

    Josh Dobbs saved one of his best performances for his last game in Neyland Stadium, and he helped will the Vols to yet another victory.

    Barnett Inches Closer

    Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett got another sack closer to breaking Reggie White’s school record with a third quarter sack against Missouri. Barnett’s sack gave him 11 on the season and 31 in his career. He’s now one sack away from tying White’s record of 32 and just two sacks away from breaking the record.

    Barnett’s sack of Drew Lock also set a career-high in a season for him. Barnett had 10 sacks in 2014 and 2015, and his sack today was his 11th of the year.

    Piling on the Points

    The Vols dropped 63 points on Missouri’s hapless defense on Saturday, marking the first time since 2009 that Tennessee had scored 60 points in a game.

    The last time Tennessee scored over 60 points in a game was in a 63-7 victory over Western Kentucky in 2009 to kick off the brief Lane Kiffin era. Josh Dobbs was responsible for 5 of Tennessee’s scores, while Alvin Kamara scored two and John Kelly scored one. Defensive lineman Jonathan Kongbo even returned an interception for a touchdown to cap the scoring for the Vols.

    Result Didn’t Matter

    It didn’t matter what the Vols did against Missouri on Saturday. At least not in regards to their SEC East title hopes.

    The Florida Gators used a goal line stand to edge past the LSU Tigers 16-10 while the Vols were still in the first quarter against Missouri. With the win, the Gators clinched the SEC East, and the Vols were left playing for just postseason positioning.

    This season marks the first time since 1992 that the Vols beat both Florida and Georgia in the same season and failed to win the SEC East.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.