Mizzou's defense looking to bounce back vs. Tennessee

Mizzou's defense looking to bounce back vs. Tennessee

Credit: Peter Aiken

COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 26: Defensive linemen Shane Ray #56 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates with teammate Michael Sam #52 after sacking quarterback Connor Shaw #14 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during the second half on October 26, 2013 at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri. South Carolina defeated Missouri in double overtime 27-24. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

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by Dan Greenwald / Missouri Football App

KMOV.com

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 11:29 AM

(Missouri Football App) – How does Mizzou bounce back after losing in typical Tiger fashion?

For starters, it helps to have rebuilding Tennessee as your next opponent. The Volunteers are a team that has surprised some with their play against better teams. Tennessee nearly pulled off an upset over Georgia and then defeated South Carolina, but both the close call and the upset came at home.

Away from Knoxville, the Volunteers have not been as competitive; where a 14 point loss to Florida has been their closest game (their other road contests have been against Oregon and Alabama, which skews their average margin of defeat). Overall, head coach Butch Jones has gotten a lot out of a squad that many thought would be bottom feeders in the SEC.

"I see a good football team. They beat South Carolina two weeks ago,” Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said. “Their running backs are good, and their offensive line is good. They have young receivers, but are athletic. Their defense runs well and they have a great linebacker and an athletic secondary.”

Offensively, Tennessee is nothing special ranking 96th in total offense. This week it will be coming to Columbia without its starting quarterback, Justin Worley, who injured his thumb against Alabama. Backup freshman QB Josh Dobbs will be the starter. Dobbs saw playing time n the second half of Tennessee’s loss to Alabama and put up respectable numbers.

The running game is led by senior RB Rajoin Neal. Neal has racked up 100 yards three times this year, but all three performances came against inferior competition or against struggling defenses. Neal has also gotten the job done in less spectacular outings; his 77 yard output against South Carolina is the best example.

Mizzou’s defense is not facing an offense that is a simple push over, but it should be able stop a Vols unit that is usually pedestrian.

If you are using your mobile device, click here to watch LB Andrew Wilson talk about Tennessee's offense

 

 

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