Tennessee football’s season reached a new low point in Columbia, Missouri, on Saturday with a 36-7 loss to the Tigers.
Outside of a 46-yard touchdown to Dont’e Thornton in the second quarter, there wasn’t much going for Tennessee. A late first-half fumble by Jaylen Wright led to a field goal for the Tigers to make their halftime lead 13-7, and then it was all Missouri in the second half.
The Tigers scored 33 unanswered in route to victory, handing the Vols their third loss of the season.
Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III and CB Gabe Jeudy-Lally met with the media following the loss and reflected on what went wrong in the defeat.
Everything they said is below.
JOE MILTON III
On what the first quarter was like:
“You didn’t get the ball that much as an offense. And as our offense, because we’re a fast-paced offense, we want to be able to get the ball and keep going. But at the same time, based on their offense, they held the ball and ran the ball a lot more, and actually got yards off of it. So, we had to sit there and wait our turn.”
On if it’s hard to not push more when you aren’t getting the ball as much:
“No, you just have to take what the game gives you. Control the controllables. Their offense is out there still getting first downs, and we needed to figure out what we needed to do on offense so we could get going, too.”
On why they couldn’t finish drives offensively:
“Shooting ourselves in the foot, pretty much the same time that happened in the Florida game. All the self-inflicted wounds: false starts, holding, things like that that can kill a drive, and that’s what happened.”
On if the team should wipe this loss clean or remember the hurt:
“Kind of want to do both. Kind of in the middle of both. Want to wipe it clean, but you also know next week is very important as well. Just like this week, you want to be able to go into next week and flush it. Once we get off the plane, it’s a whole new week.”
On if it’s nice to have Georgia next week:
“It’s nice having any game. It’s an opportunity for us as a team to go out there and showcase our talent. Having them come into our stadium next week, there’s only one way we play when we get inside that stadium, so that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
On what happened on the fumble:
“That’s just me. I just have to clear the back. That has nothing to do with the whole offense. That’s just me. I have to clear the back if I’m ready to throw.”
On if he’s surprised to see how the game got away:
“Mistakes happen. You just have to be able to correct them and correct them fast. Especially in games like this and when you have an offense that has a great running back and a great quarterback and some guys on the outside that’ll make plays. You have to be able to flush it and re-focus and get ready for your opportunity to show up.”
On the late interception:
“Just Cover 4. That’s all it is. Just Cover 4 with double slants. Just take care of the ball pretty much.”
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On what happened in the first quarter:
“I think they moved around a little bit, got us out of our gaps, and we weren’t fundamentally sound. And when you are not fundamentally sound, the result is going to show that.”
On if there was any motion or anything different Missouri was doing:
“No, we just have to go out there and be able to do our job. Play with clean eyes, that’s the biggest thing. Your eyes, if they’re in the right place, then you have the ability to make the play at the end of the day.”
On if the defensive adjustments were too slow:
“I personally don’t believe so, but I think that as a defense, we just have to be able to go out there and make the plays when they’re given to us. I think we beat ourselves sometimes, and if that happens, things are going to happen like what we saw tonight.”
On what led to being unable to get off the field on third down:
“We knew the quarterback was a good athlete, and you have to commend him. He made some plays on third down when we had it covered up pretty well. So at the end of the day, we just have to be able to, even though we are downfield, get down there and be able to tackle the quarterback before the first down.”