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RTI Game Predictions: Missouri At Tennessee

Tennessee vs. Georgia odds
Tennessee Football. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee returns home from Neyland Stadium looking to bounce back from its lone loss of the season at Georgia.

Each week, the RTI team will provide game predictions for Tennessee’s weekly opponent.

We move on to Missouri.

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Ric Butler

As I said on a radio show earlier this week, we know that Tennessee had plenty of mistakes, many self-inflicted, in the game against Georgia last weekend. But here’s the thing. I don’t expect those specific mistakes to be a worry against Missouri this weekend. I don’t see Tennessee having communication problems thanks to the return to Neyland, I don’t see Missouri being more physical than Tennessee because of the guys they have on the roster, so on and so forth. It’s just not the same type of game compared to what was seen last week.

That’s why I see this game being a return to form for Tennessee this weekend. I think Missouri much more resembles the other teams that Tennessee has played this year. Where they have been able to get out to a commanding lead, play their game, force the opposition into careless mistakes, and so on.

Missouri brings a good defense to Knoxville. It’s even a group that ranks No. 13 in total defense this year. But let’s go ahead and sum this thing up quickly. The No. 11 and No. 12 total defenses, respectively, are Alabama and Kentucky. Tennessee put up nearly 100 combined points against those teams. I expect that Tennessee team to come out during Senior Day in Neyland.

Prediction: Tennessee 42, Missouri 14

Ryan Schumpert

It’s a bounce back week for Tennessee. Georgia eliminated the Vols from the SEC Championship race but Tennessee still has plenty to play for with a College Football Playoff spot still on the line. Winning out is of immense importance for Tennessee and winning with style points would help as well. The final three matchups against Missouri, South Carolina and Vanderbilt afford Tennessee the opportunity.

Missouri is improved from last season and its defense is much improved. Tennessee ran the ball nearly every play last season and the Tigers had no answers for it. Under first year defensive coordinator Blake Baker, Missouri boasts the SEC’s fourth best run defense and has impressed with its physical defensive line. With rain in the forecast for Saturday’s game, Missouri’s improved run defense could end up mattering. Still, Tennessee’s offense has been very successful against a handful of good defenses this season. Unless Missouri suddenly adds a dozen five-stars and has Georgia’s athletes I don’t see the Tigers shutting down Tennessee’s offense.

Missouri does not have an offense that bodes well to beating Tennessee’s high powered offense. The Tigers have yet to score more than 23 points in SEC play and they’ll have to do in Saturday if they have any hopes of making the game competitive. Missouri’s offensive line is poor and sophomore quarterback Brady Cook is not overly impressive. This makes for a game where Tennessee’s pass rush is extremely successful much like it was against Kentucky and LSU. Tennessee washes the bad taste of the Georgia game out of its mouth with a lopsided win.

Prediction: Tennessee 38, Missouri 17

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