Missouri Head Coach Keeping His Cards Close Before the Upcoming Tennessee Game

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    Tennessee Missouri

    Missouri HC Eliah Drinkwitz. Photo via 247sports.

    Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz is well aware of the challenging task at hand this weekend for his Tigers.

    AP No. 5 Tennessee is eagerly waiting to get back on the field after suffering their first loss of the season next weekend. And it will be Drinkwitz and the Tigers that the Vols will be hosting.

    In last year’s matchup in Columbia, Tennessee bounced Missouri out of their own stadium with a 62-24 beatdown. The Vols’ run game was firing on all cylinders, racking up a whopping 458 rushing yards in the game.

    Former Tennessee back Tiyon Evans ran for 156 yards and three touchdowns, while Hendon Hooker added 80 yards and Len’Neth Whitehead dropped in another 76 yards on top of that.

    Drinkwitz says that he has plenty of learning moments and takeaways from that game, however, nothing that he cares to share during game week.

    “A whole list of things,” Drinkwitz said about what he learned from the 2021 matchup via KMIZ ABC 17. “I’m not sharing them with you. Maybe after the game. But there’s a whole list of things that you look back on and you say ‘Okay, I have to do this a lot better on both sides of the ball.’ I think we’ve attacked that on one side of the ball and made a lot of improvements in that case.”

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    Drinkwitz knows that part of Tennessee’s prowess is the experience that they have, in particular, on the defensive side of the ball.

    “They are very experienced when you look at the depth chart,” Drinkwitz said about Tennessee on Tuesday. “The defensive line 一 senior and the backup is a senior; junior and the backup is a redshirt senior; redshirt junior and the backup is a senior; redshirt senior backed up by a junior. Both linebackers are redshirt seniors backed up by a redshirt senior. So, very experienced. Two safeties, seniors. We’ve played against both of those guys since I’ve been here and then obviously the corners are juniors, juniors, redshirt juniors. So, a lot of experience, a lot of speed.”

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    While he isn’t too keen on revealing his game plan, Drinkwitz certainly is in need of a good path forward this week. LSU head coach Brian Kelly began his Tennessee-week Monday presser explaining what Tennessee was and wasn’t going to do, which didn’t necessarily turn out to be the case. The Vols won that game by a score of 40-13 in Death Valley.

    AP No. 5 Tennessee will host Missouri in the final home game of the 2022 season this Saturday at noon ET.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.