A crowd of about 25,000 witnessed the Tennessee Volunteers control Mizzou from the opening possession inside a sun-drenched Neyland Stadium. An impressive opening drive led to a Ty Chandler three yard touchdown run and the Vols never looked back as the 35-12 victory gave the program its eighth win in a row dating back to last season.

Mizzou Tigers vs. Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, October 3, 2020. Hunter Dyke/Mizzou Athletics

Tennessee Topples Mizzou, 5 Reactions

  • Missouri did not bring the same defensive intensity to Knoxville. The Tigers seemed to be out to prove a point last week against Alabama. You could tangibly see the defensive physicality on display. I didn’t really see that against Tennessee. The Volunteer offensive line is one of the best in the country and pushed Missouri’s front around from the word go. Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano was able to keep Mizzou’s secondary on its heels with some tremendous deep balls and the pass rush was completely non existent.
  • The Tigers may have found a quarterback. After starting QB Shawn Robinson was ineffective the first couple Mizzou drives, Eli Drinkwitz went with redshirt freshman Connor Bazelak who played the rest of the game. The offense definitely looked better with him at the helm. He threw for 218 yards but a costly pick in Tennessee territory ended any shot at a comeback. “I was cool calm and collected. I don’t get very nervous. I think the offense kind of rallies around that.” Bazelak said after the game.
  • Receiver drops are…still a problem. Missouri’s receiving corpse were certainly a giant question mark heading into the season. Thus far, the group has done little to quell concerns. Junior receiver Dominic Gicinto dropped a wide open go route that may have resulted in an 84 yard touchdown. Jalen Knox did his part to contribute to the problem as well.
  • Larry Rountree III is a really good running back but it’s hard to get him in rhythm when the team is playing from behind. Rountree posted 84 yards on 18 carries with a score. He is now 55 yards shy of fourth on Mizzou’s all-time rushing list and tied for seventh all-time on Mizzou rushing TD list with his one-yard plunge in the third quarter. For this offense to run effectively, it must go through Rountree which is hard to accomplish when playing from behind for an entire game.
  • This Missouri team will likely win about two games. This is a team pretty devoid of talent. When you look at offensive line, receiver and defensive line, there just isn’t much there. Eli Drinkwitz is going to have to build a culture at Mizzou while also re-stocking the talent pool. The Tigers aren’t going to win many games this year and that should be understood and forgiven. They have had to add LSU and Alabama to its schedule instead of picking off a couple confidence building wins early on.

WATCH: Connor Bazelak and Larry Rountree speak after the game

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By Clint Switzer

Full-time sports fan, part-time contributor to society. GASN Sports co-founder, podcast host, filmmaker and writer.

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