Missouri didn't really need style points when it played Tennessee on Saturday. At this point, all the Tigers have to do is continue to win, and they'll be in the SEC Championship Game. Even another loss somewhere along the way won't be fatal to the Tigers' hopes of winning an SEC East title, but win-and-in should still be the key principle for Mizzou from here on out.
But the Tigers went out and dominated anyway, which might be just what the team needed to convince itself that the loss last Saturday is not the end of the season. The game wasn't flawless -- Maty Mauk, for example, completed fewer than half his passes -- but it was pretty close. The defense held Tennessee to two third- and fourth-down conversions on 15 tries. The running game churned out 6.3 yards per carry. While the Volunteers quarterback Joshua Dobbs showed flashes of promise, he also showed at times that he's a freshman quarterback thrown into the SEC before he's really ready for it.
Missouri has one more tune-up game next week,at Kentucky before the year-end games against the SEC West that could pose the most serious challenge. There's nothing in Saturday's game that should cause anyone to think more or less of Missouri as it faces that year-end gauntlet. They did what they needed to, nothing more, and continuing to do that will lead to them clinching the SEC East sooner or later.