Schrader, defense lead No. 16 Missouri to emphatic 36-7 victory over No. 14 Tennessee
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Cody Schrader put together one of the most impressive performances in Missouri history Saturday night, running for 205 yards and a touchdown, catching five passes for 116 yards, and leading the No. 16 Tigers to a 36-7 rout of No. 14 Tennessee.
Schrader’s 321 yards from scrimmage were just 12 shy of the school record set by Devin West in 1998.
Brady Cook threw for 275 yards and accounted for two TDs, Luther Burden III had a touchdown catch and Daylan Carnell added a 38-yard pick-6 late in the game, helping the Tigers (8-2, 4-2 SEC, No. 14 CFP) finally beat one of their biggest nemeses.
The Volunteers (7-3, 3-3, No. 13) had won the last four in the series, and in the two since Josh Heupel took over in Knoxville, they had blasted the Tigers and coach Eli Drinkwitz by a combined 128-48.
The Vols’ Joe Milton III threw for 267 yards with a touchdown and an interception Saturday night. But he got little help from one of the nation’s best running attacks, which finished with 83 yards on 23 carries.
The Vols prefer to run plays quicker than a blink, and that often leads to some gaudy numbers. But when the Tigers were able to force some quick punts, the Tennessee defense exhausted itself spending long stretches on the field.
Missouri prefers to play quickly, too. But it employed a ball-control approach instead, holding possession for all but 1:45 of the first quarter and more than 21 minutes of the first half. That further exhausted the Tennessee defense, and allowed the Tigers to build a 13-7 lead heading into halftime.
It should have been 10-7 — or closer — but the Vols’ Jaylen Wright fumbled in Missouri territory with 20 seconds left. Schrader promptly ran for 35 yards and, after two more plays, Harrison Mevis kicked a 46-yard field goal as the half expired.
Missouri ran 42 plays for 300 yards in the half. Tennessee ran 23 for 201.
The Tigers extended their lead in the third quarter, marching 80 yards for a touchdown, then taking advantage of a dropped pass and personal foul on the Vols’ Omarr Norman-Lott to add a field goal a few minutes later.
Tennessee had a chance to make a big stop to start the fourth quarter, when the Tigers were facing third-and-10 at their own 1-yard line. But when Cook rolled out, he saw a yawning gap in the Vols’ defense and ran 24 yards for a first down.
That was costly. This was costlier: When the Vols finally got the ball, Milton had his throwing arm knocked by one of his own teammates. The play was initially ruled an incomplete pass, but replays showed it was a fumble and recovery by Missouri, giving Cook and Co. the ball back with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
Burden’s touchdown catch made it 29-7, and Carnell’s interception return put the game away.
Tennessee will look back on the momentum-changing field goal it allowed just before halftime and too many mental mistakes in the second half which, along with Schrader’s big night, allowed the game to get away.
Missouri lost leading tackle Ty’Ron Hopper to an injury in the first half, but everyone else stepped up. The Vols had a season-best 650 yards on offense in a 59-3 rout of UConn last week but were shut down on Saturday night.
Tennessee takes on top-ranked Georgia at Neyland Stadium next Saturday.
Missouri plays its home finale against Florida next Saturday night.
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