Tennessee (2-2 | 0-1 SEC) at Missouri (2-2 | 0-1 SEC)
Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 | 11:00am CT
Columbia, MO | Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field | TV: SEC Network
Columbia, MO – The Tennessee Football team hits the road for the second straight week as the Vols will look to get back in the win column this Saturday afternoon against Missouri.
Both teams are coming off losses and will be looking to earn their first conference victory of the season this weekend.
Saturday’s game will be televised on SEC Network with Dave Neal (PxP), Deuce McAllister (analyst), and LVFL Andraya Carter (sideline) on the call. Kickoff is slated for noon ET/11:00am CT.
Fans can listen to Tennessee’s official radio broadcast on the Vol Network (WIVK-FM 107.7/WNML-FM 99.1) and satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 103, XM Ch. 192, Internet Ch. 963). A live audio stream of the broadcast will also be available on UTSports.com? and the Official Gameday App.
Bob Kesling (PxP), Pat Ryan (analyst), and Brent Hubbs (analyst) will call the action, with Kasey Funderburg handling sideline duties. Big Orange Countdown begins at 9:30am CT.
On the Road Again
Tennessee plays its second straight road game as it travels to Missouri this Saturday. Both teams are coming off losses with the Vols falling to No. 11 Florida, 38-14, and the Tigers dropping a 41-34 overtime contest at Boston College.
Josh Heupel is 11-5 in road games as a head coach, including an 11-4 mark in three seasons at UCF. Heupel is 6-1 following a loss in the same season as a head coach, and only one time at UCF did he lose back-to-back games in a season. Two of Heupel’s rare losses at UCF occurred in bowl games to end the season.
Look Who’s Back
Heupel returns to a familiar place this weekend after serving as Missouri’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2016-17 under then-head coach Barry Odom. Under Heupel’s watch, the Tigers led the SEC in total offense in both seasons, putting up 502.2 yards in 2017 and 500.5 yards in 2016.
Heupel mentored Drew Lock, who shattered a then-SEC single-season record for touchdown passes with 44 in 2017. Prior to Heupel’s arrival, Mizzou ranked 124th in the nation in total offense (280.9). Heupel’s final season in Columbia saw the Tigers win six straight games and reach the Texas Bowl.
Winning the Turnover Battle
After struggling to create turnovers in the first two games of the season, the Vols have turned things around in their past two contests, forcing five turnovers (four INTs, one fumble) in games against Tennessee Tech and Florida. UT has committed just one turnover in those two games.
Big Play Vols
Tennessee has already hit on five offensive plays of 40 or more yards from scrimmage this season, which ranks fourth in the SEC. By comparison, the Vols had only three the entire 2020 season (10 games). This year’s total is already halfway to the squad’s 2019 total of 10 (13 games). Quarterback Hendon Hooker has accounted for four of those 40-yarders with passes.
All About Tempo
A trademark of Heupel’s offenses is tempo. The Vols are averaging 3.01 offensive plays per minute, which is tops in the nation. Utah State is next closest at 2.95 with Ole Miss third at 2.90. UT is averaging 75.25 plays per game.
From 2018-20, Heupel’s UCF teams averaged a nation-high 3.04 plays per minute. The next closest was 2.78 by Wake Forest during that span. Heupel’s UCF squads averaged 79.97 plays per game.
Tennessee and Missouri Series History
Tigers lead series, 5-4
Tennessee and Missouri are meeting for the 10th time with the Tigers holding a slim 5-4 advantage in the series. However, the Vols have won the last two contests and four out of the last six in the series, including a 35-12 victory in Knoxville last season.
UT rushed for four touchdowns in that contest. The Vols are seeking three straight wins in the series for the first time. The series has played to a 2-2 tie in Columbia.
About the Missouri Tigers
The Tigers are led by second-year head coach Eliah Drinkwitz, who led Missouri to a 5-5 record in his first season with the program in 2020. Drinkwitz arrived in Columbia after leading Appalachian State to a 12-1 record and a Sun Belt Championship in his lone season as head coach of the Mountaineers in 2019.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Connor Bazelak leads a high-powered attack for the Tigers that ranks fourth in the SEC in total offense (483.0 ypg). Through four games, Bazelak has thrown for 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns. Mizzou’s best offensive weapon is do-it-all running back Tyler Badie, who leads the team in rushing yards (417), receptions (20) and total touchdowns (8) while also ranking second on the team with 176 receiving yards. Badie’s eight touchdowns and 593 total yards from scrimmage both lead the conference.
Defensively, Mizzou is led by veteran linebacker Blaze Alldredge, who is tied for fourth nationally with eight tackles for loss and ranks second in the SEC with four sacks. Alldredge also ranks third in the conference with 36 total tackles.