Hooker, Evans energy Tennessee previous Missouri

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10 hours in the past
AP

COLUMBIA, Mo. — – When requested by reporters on Tuesday about going through the struggling Missouri protection, Tennessee working again Tiyon Evans was initially coy however then stated, “We will have some enjoyable.” He obtained that proper. The Volunteers piled up 683 yards of offense and crushed the Tigers 62-24 on Saturday.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker accomplished 15 of 19 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns, and he rushed 15 instances for 80 yards and one other rating for the Volunteers (3-2, 1-1 Southeastern Convention). Evans carried 15 instances for 156 yards and three touchdowns.

“Some actually constructive issues right this moment – the flexibility to run the soccer, the flexibility to stretch the sphere vertically, to be correct and constant and to be good on the few third downs we had,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel stated. “However I stated this to the gamers: ‘That is the tip of the iceberg of what we’re able to.'”

The Volunteers constructed a 28-3 first-quarter lead with out ever needing to run a third-down play. Among the many many highlights was Evans’ 92-yard landing run wherein he ran by way of an enormous gap on the best facet and wasn’t touched by a Missouri defender. It was the third-longest landing run in Tennessee historical past.

“As quickly as I obtained the ball on the mesh, there was nothing however inexperienced grass in entrance of me,” Evans stated.

The Tigers (2-3, 0-2 SEC) entered the sport ranked 129th out of 130 FBS groups in speeding protection, permitting a mean of 269 speeding yards per recreation. Tennessee had 275 speeding yards within the first half alone because it constructed a 45-10 lead. It completed with 458 yards on the bottom.

The most effective second for Missouri got here on particular groups when Kris Abrams-Draine returned a kickoff 100 yards for a landing within the third quarter.

“We weren’t prepared right this moment,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz stated. “That is on me.”

FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME

It was the primary SEC victory for Heupel, and it got here at a spot the place he beforehand coached. Heupel was Missouri’s offensive coordinator in 2016-17 earlier than changing into the pinnacle coach at UCF. Heupel stated he connected no particular private significance to the victory.

“I will take pleasure in this one, take a bathe, get on the bus and begin watching the movie and begin corrections from there,” he stated. “Nothing private on this for me. I needed our gamers to get a outcome from the work they have been placing in.”

BOTTLING UP BADIE

The Tennessee protection contained Missouri’s big-play menace, Tyler Badie, holding the working again to 41 yards on 21 carries. Heupel stated stopping Missouri’s outdoors working performs was a degree of emphasis. The Volunteers made eight tackles for losses.

“It wasn’t only one man making a deal with, it was a bunch of white shirts,” Heupel stated.

THE TAKEAWAY

Tennessee: Hooker, a graduate switch from Virginia Tech, misplaced the preseason quarterback battle to Joe Milton, however since taking on because the starter in Sport 3, he has emerged as a stable participant. Hooker guided the Volunteers to scores on their first 9 drives. He delivered landing passes of 35 yards to JaVonta Payton, 35 yards to Velus Jones Jr. and 24 yards to Cedric Tillman.

Missouri: It has been a disastrous begin to the tenure of first-year defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, a former NFL head coach. After utilizing a 4-2-5 formation the primary 4 video games, Wilks began the sport in a 3-3-5 towards the Volunteers, however Tennessee was not bothered within the least by the brand new look. Missouri’s defensive position and linebackers could not get off blocks, permitting Tennessee working backs to get into the secondary with ease. When requested if he was contemplating making a change at defensive coordinator, Drinkwitz stated, “I simply stepped off the soccer discipline. I have never thought-about something like that.”

UP NEXT

Tennessee: The Volunteers play South Carolina at dwelling on Oct. 9.

Missouri: The Tigers meet North Texas at dwelling on Oct. 9.

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