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Mistakes pile up — Tennessee loses to Missouri 36-7

A hideous night in Columbia.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee went into Missouri still with a slim shot to win the SEC East. Very quickly, it became apparent that it wasn’t their night.

The Volunteers ran a grand total of three plays first quarter, but lived to tell the tale early on. The Missouri offense sustained drives a couple of times in the first half, eventually putting three points on the board.

Tennessee would answer with a Dont’e Thornton touchdown to go up 7-3.

Thornton would exit the game after that play due to injury.

Missouri’s Cody Schrader would answer quickly, putting the Tigers up 10-7. Missouri was able to sustain drives against the Tennessee defense, which gave them a chance with Josh Heupel’s offensive on the sidelines.

One of the biggest plays in the first half game on a Jaylen Wright fumble, which flipped the scoreboard. Tennessee was set to at least tie the game at 10-10, or perhaps take the lead. Instead, Wright was hit twice and ended up fumbling. That allowed Missouri to go quickly and add three more before halftime.

The Tigers took a 13-7 lead into the halftime break.

A Tennessee mistake on an option look killed the opening drive of the second half, forcing a punt. Missouri took advantage with a deep pass, then Cody Schrader went to work on the ground.

Brady Cook capped off the drive with a fake pitch, which sent him right up the middle for six more. Missouri failed to convert on the two point conversion, keeping us at a 19-7 score.

A Squirrel White drop ended the next drive, and the pressure was on the Tennessee defense once again. At a certain point, there’s only so much you can ask of a unit.

Tennessee simply had no answer for Missouri running back Cody Schrader. Running, catching passes — it didn’t matter. When the Tigers needed a play, it was Schrader making one. He powered yet another drive in the middle of the third quarter to make it a 15 point game.

Missouri led 22-7 as the third quarter came to a close.

Schrader and the Missouri offensive line continued to do its thing. Tennessee had no answers. Missouri worked their way out of a hole on their own one yard line, eventually punting. But the clock ticked down to under 12 minutes to go, and the Volunteers were down 15 points.

Joe Milton and Dylan Sampson would get tangled up on the next drive, which resulted in a fumble. The fumble was not initially called on the field, but the referees blew the next snap dead and reviewed the previous play. They ruled that Milton fumbled, all but ending Tennessee’s night at that point.

Schrader and the Missouri offensive line ended this one. They worked their way down the field, and Cook found Luther Burden for the final blow. Missouri led 29-7 — ending any hope Tennessee had of making it to Atlanta.

Missouri then picked off Milton and took it to the house to make it a 36-7 ballgame. That was the cherry on top of a really bad night for Tennessee.

Tennessee moves on to host Georgia next weekend, with nothing but pride on the line.