• When/where: 11:21 a.m. Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
• TV/radio: KSMO (Ch. 62), KMBZ (980 AM and 98.1 FM)
• The series: First meeting
• The line: Tennessee by 3
What’s at stake
Provided the Tigers beat a sub-.500 Syracuse team at home next week, Missouri also needs to win one of its final two road games to reach a bowl for the eighth straight season. The Nov. 24 game at Texas A&M, 7-2, looks pretty tough, so Saturday’s showdown could be the Tigers’ best shot. The Vols are playing for bowl eligibility too, though Derek Dooley may also be coaching for his job.
Cheers if …
Missouri’s offense builds on the strides it made last week against Florida, quarterback James Franklin bounces back from a four-interception game and the Tigers’ defense turns in another stellar performance.
Jeers if …
Missouri fails to score at least 35 points against Tennessee’s lackluster defense. The Volunteers have allowed an average of 44 points in their last five games.
Three things about Tennessee
1 The Volunteers have won eight straight SEC home games in the month of November, dating back to 2006.
2 Tennessee set a school record with 718 yards of total offense in a 55-48 win over Troy last week.
3 Tennessee is 11-3 all-time in first meetings against a new SEC member.
Missouri’s cornerbacks vs. Tennessee’s receivers: Tennessee boasts one of the nation’s top receiving duos in Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson, both of whom stand 6 feet 3 or taller and have playmaking ability in spades. The Volunteers also have a strong-armed quarterback in Tyler Bray, so expect veteran cornerbacks E.J. Gaines and Kip Edwards to be tested early and often.
Terez A. Paylor’s pick: Tennessee 34-31
It would be a little easier to pick a MU win if the offense didn’t turn the ball over so much against the Gators. Even still, the Tigers have a chance to win. After going toe-to-toe with the Gators in “The Swamp” last week, it’s unlikely they will be overwhelmed by one of the nation’s largest stadiums.
| Terez A. Paylor, firstname.lastname@example.org