Saturday afternoon’s showdown between Tennessee and Missouri was a one-sided offensive masterpiece. Tennessee took the lead at the beginning of the game, and never let it up. Four touchdowns in the first quarter helped propel the Volunteers’ offense into territory it has not seen in five years.
There were big plays on the ground, in the air, and on defense.
Tennessee running back Tiyon Evans took a 92-yard run to the house, which was one of his three first-quarter touchdowns. In addition, the Vols’ first touchdown of the game was a 35-yard strike from Hendon Hooker to JaVonta Payton.
The Vols’ defense came to play, too. Against the third-ranked passing attack in the SEC, Tennessee did not let up a passing touchdown. In fact, the Vols defense didn’t give Missouri their first touchdown until there were only six minutes left in the game. Additionally, Tennessee came away with two interceptions on the day, from Jeremy Banks and Jaylen McCollough.
Tennessee did advance to 3-2 on the year with the win, as head coach Josh Heupel finds his first SEC win as a program leader. Speaking of Heupel, he also spoke to the media on Saturday after Tennessee’s win.
The Vols will return home for the first time in two weeks this upcoming Saturday afternoon. Tennessee will host South Carolina in another crucial SEC East divisional matchup.
Tennessee RB Tiyon Evans
“I would say this is the first time we have really played together for four quarters as a team,” Evans said on Saturday afternoon. “If we can continue to do that, we’re going to continue to have great outcomes.”
Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker
“It all starts up front,” Hooker said on Saturday. “The guys up front had a great day. They were really explosive off the ball, they communicated well, I could hear them every play. So hats off to them for having an incredible day. And Tiyon is a bad man. Him breaking it and getting to his top speed in no time- he’s just amazing to watch.”
Tennessee DB Jaylen McCollough
“It helps a lot,” McCollough said about when the offense can jump out to a big lead. “It puts a lot of pressure and stress on the opposing offenses. It gets them out of their rhythm, and that always gives us an advantage when the offense is playing that fast.”