Kansas City Star
Key play: MU receiver Jimmie Hunt returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown, which tied the score at 7-7.
Key stat: Hunt's touchdown marks the first time since 1976 the Tigers have returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same season.
Key play: One play after having a touchdown nullified for taunting, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray found tight end Mychal Rivera for 21-yard score that gave the Vols a 21-7 lead.
Key stat: Tennessee outgained Missouri 383-64 in the first half.
Key play: On MU's first play from scrimmage, running back Kendial Lawrence broke free for a 77-yard touchdown run that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Key stat: Lawrence had 137 of his career-high 153 yards through three quarters.
Key play: On fourth-and-12 at the Tennessee 25, MU quarterback James Franklin found Dorial Green-Beckham for the game-tying touchdown with 43 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Key stat: The Tigers controlled the ball for 18 minutes, 46 seconds in the second half, compared to just 11 minutes, 14 seconds for Tennessee.
Key play: With the Vols facing a fourth-and-3 in the final overtime, redshirt freshman Ian Simon knocked the ball away from Tennessee receiver Zac Rogers to give MU the ball back, needing only a field goal to win.
Key stat: By the end of the game, Missouri had converted all four of its red zone chances, while Tennessee converted 7 of 9. Those extra points made the difference.
A; Offense;The offense looked abysmal in the first half but later dialed it up, gaining 390 of its 454 total yards after the break. Extra credit here for playing (mostly) turnover-free football in the second half as it rallied back for the win.
B; Defense;The defense got lit up in the first half for 383 yards, though some of this can be attributed to fatigue caused by having to routinely pick up a struggling offense. The group improved in the second half, but Tennessee finished with 585 yards so there's room to nitpick here.
A; Special teams;Missouri returned a kick for a touchdown, converted a game-winning field goal and received an excellent outing from Trey Barrow, who averaged almost 50 yards on five punts. Aced it.
B;Coaching;Missouri came out uninspired and could have been trailing by more than 14 at halftime if Tennessee wasn't so error prone. But the kids played hard in the second half, and offensive coordinator David Yost and defensive coordinator Dave Steckel each made halftime adjustments that contributed to the win.
Player of the game: Quarterback James Franklin completed 19 of 32 passes for four touchdowns and an interception. Most importantly, he came up with several key plays down the stretch to seal the upset.
Reason to hope: Forget Tennessee's struggles this season. The Vols dominated the first half thoroughly but Missouri never quit, instead showing the kind of resolve that could lead to a bowl berth for the eighth straight season.
Reason to mope: Missouri looked lost and listless in the first half, so there's that. But the ending should remove any memory of that.
Looking ahead: A huge 6 p.m. home game against Syracuse looms large for Missouri, which can become bowl eligible with a victory. Lose, and the Tigers will need to beat an impressive Texas A&M team on the road to get their sixth victory. So yes, they'll want to win this week against a 5-5 Syracuse team. Quote: “There's nothing magical. We started making plays, and our tanks got full with enthusiasm.” | Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, when asked what he told his team at halftime training 21-7.
| Terez A. Paylor, firstname.lastname@example.org