HOW TO WATCH
Time: Noon ET
TV: SEC Network
Spread: Tennessee -12.5
Mizzou: The Tigers did some little things that were good to see, which is what you have to focus on when you open the season with Alabama in your first year with a new head coach. Mizzou lost, 38-19.
Tennessee: Behind two Jarrett Guarantano touchdowns and a pick six on defense, Tennessee escaped South Carolina with a 31-27 victory.
For the second straight week, Mizzou’s depth chart lists the first-string quarterback as Shawn Robinson OR Connor Bazelak. If we look back to last week, Robinson had the edge, going 19-25 for 185 yards and a touchdown, while Bazelak went 7-14 for 68 yards. In theory, Robinson should see the majority of the snaps again this week, but when you put that “or” in the depth chart, it’s tough to get a definite read.
If Mizzou can pick up a victory at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, they’ll pass their road win total from 2019, where the Tigers went 0-4 away from Faurot Field, losing by an average of 15.5 points. Additionally, Mizzou is 3-1 all-time at Neyland, so a win would really get things on the right track for the Eli Drinkwitz Era.
Looking around the SEC last week, we saw all sorts of quarterback play. Some good, some bad, some in the middle. Some from inexperienced quarterbacks making their first starts, some, like Jarrett Guarantano, are four-year starters. In this very weird season, you definitely prefer to be in the camp with the consistent, experienced starter. Guarantano didn’t set the world on fire with his 259 passing yards and two touchdowns (one rushing) last week, but he did what Tennessee needed him to do the pick up the victory. Survive and advance.
Winds of Change?
It finally feels like things are coming together for the Vols under Jeremy Pruitt. They’ve been ranked for four straight weeks, they’re 1-0, Pruitt got a raise and extension, things are going well. Can it continue? The past decade would lead you to believe that it possibly cannot, but things feel different now. Pruitt is finally getting “his guys” fully incorporated, and the Vols have now won seven straight games dating back to last season. If they’re able to take care of business against Mizzou on Saturday, next week’s game against Georgia in Athens will likely be Tennessee’s biggest in quite some time.
Prediction: Tennessee 28, Missouri 17