College Football
Preview
Missouri at Tennessee
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 3, 2020
Where: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee

No. 21 Tennessee takes the Southeastern Conference's longest winning streak into Saturday's home opener against Missouri in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Volunteers (1-0, 1-0 SEC) built off last year's season-ending six-game winning streak by eking past South Carolina 31-27 on the road last Saturday in their 2020 opener.

Third-year coach Jeremy Pruitt has a veteran squad, including senior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, but wants to see more efficiency after his team went 1-for-11 on third-down conversions against the Gamecocks.

"Something that has got to be addressed," Pruitt said. "We have to be able to finish blocks and have to understand the down and distance as a running back. ... But we did create explosive plays on offense; there's times when we moved the ball at will, but we have to make some consistency there."

Missouri (0-1, 0-1) didn't generate much on offense in its Saturday opener against Alabama -- a 38-19 home loss -- until it was too late. The Tigers scored 16 points in about the final 16 minutes, including a final-play touchdown, after falling behind 35-3.

Missouri wants to play fast under first-year coach Eliah Drinkwitz, who mostly went with quarterback Shawn Robinson, a dual threat who started eight games at TCU before sitting out last season as a transfer.

Robinson completed 19 of 25 passes for 185 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions, posting the best completion percentage (76.0) for a Missouri quarterback in his debut since Blaine Gabbert (75.8) in 2009. Redshirt freshman Connor Bazelak played late and went 7 of 14 for 68 yards.

"I'm comfortable playing multiple (quarterbacks) meaningful snaps throughout the season," said Drinkwitz, who also calls plays and serves as offensive coordinator.

"I don't think this is going to be a typical season like we've ever had before. I just think we have enough data to think that we're (not) going be able to go through the entire season with one quarterback."

Drinkwitz, who went 12-1 in his one season as head coach at Appalachian State in 2019 while Mizzou went 6-6, also has an SEC stalwart in running back Larry Rountree III. The senior enters the game with 2,815 career rushing yards -- 5.1 per attempt -- and 26 touchdowns.

Tennessee's running game is led by senior Ty Chandler, the team's top rusher in each of the past two seasons. He gained 86 yards on 13 carries versus South Carolina.

Sophomore Eric Gray is a talented tag-team partner running behind one of the best offensive lines in the SEC.

Tennessee's defensive star in Week 1 was senior edge rusher Deandre Johnson, who earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors after making 2.5 sacks and forcing a fumble.

Tennessee can't afford a stumble here as it goes for eight in a row. After this game, the Vols play four teams in six weeks that are in the current top 13 of the AP poll -- Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M and Auburn.

"We're 1-0 and the way I look at it, I count all of the games that you play as losses, so I say right now we're 1-9," Pruitt said. "We've got a lot of things that we need to work on, but we've got a lot of time to do it. This team, their identity, how they're going to be remembered, they've got nine weeks to decide that. It will be up to them."

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Missouri 0-1 L1 19.0 38.0 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1
Tennessee 1-0 W1 31.0 27.0 0-0 1-0 1-0 0-0 1-0
Last Meeting
Missouri Tennessee
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/23/19 TENN 24 MIZZ 20 280 99 181 526 111 415
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Missouri K. Bryant 57.1 166 1 0
Tennessee J. Guarantano 57.5 415 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Missouri L. Rountree III 16 43 2.7 0
Tennessee T. Jordan 14 74 5.3 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Missouri B. Banister 5 46 9.2 0
Tennessee J. Palmer 6 124 20.7 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Missouri T. Badie 2
Tennessee M. Callaway 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Missouri S. Robinson 76.0 185 1 0
Tennessee J. Guarantano 61.3 259 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Missouri L. Rountree III 14 67 4.8 0
Tennessee T. Chandler 13 86 6.6 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Missouri J. Knox 5 63 12.6 0
Tennessee J. Palmer 6 85 14.2 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Missouri T. Badie 1
Tennessee E. Gray 1
Quickchart Matchup
Missouri Missouri Off vs  Tennessee Tennessee Def
Missouri 322 yards
Tennessee 379 yards
Missouri 2 yards/rush
Tennessee 2.5 yards/rush
Missouri 6.5 yards/attempt
Tennessee 7.4 yards/attempt
Tennessee Tennessee Off vs  Missouri Missouri Def
Tennessee 394 yards
Missouri 414 yards
Tennessee 4 yards/rush
Missouri 3.1 yards/rush
Tennessee 8.2 yards/attempt
Missouri 9.5 yards/attempt