Jeremy Pruitt and the Tennessee Vols are riding high after their season-opening win over South Carolina.
As we roll onto week 2, Tennessee will take on the Missouri Tigers at noon in Neyland Stadium.
This is the home opener for the Vols and the earliest the two teams have ever faced each other.
Missouri is coming off a 38-19 loss to Alabama.
Tennessee managed to beat Missouri the last time the two faced each other in a 24-20 win in Columbia, Missouri.
Jeremy Pruitt will be looking to extend their win streak against Missouri to two and win their first game in Neyland against Mizzou since 2016.
The Vols is 3-5 all-time against Missouri.
Tennessee has only won one time ever in Neyland against Missouri, which was in 2016 when they defeated the Tigers 63-37.
Vols Must Put Pressure On Missouri’s Line
Tennessee managed to do a decent job last weekend on putting pressure on the Gamecocks offensive line.
Vols Defense managed to wrack up 4 sacks, 9 TFLs, and a pick six in their victory.
2.5 of those sacks and TFLs came from senior Deandre Johnson.
Henry To’o To’o had another great performance that saw him pick up 6 tackles and an interception that he returned for a Touchdown.
Missouri’s weakest part of their offense is their offensive line.
Despite only getting 3 sacks last weekend, Alabama managed to put constant pressure on QB Shawn Robinson and only allow 3 points in the first half.
If Tennessee manages to put pressure on the offensive line and force Shawn Robinson out of the pocket, the Vols will have a great chance of winning Saturday.
Must Find a Way to Contain Larry Rountree
Tennessee must find a way to contain Missouri’s biggest threat on offense, running back Larry Rountree.
Rountree made the coaches preseason All-SEC third team this season.
He is regarded as one of the top running backs in the conference.
The senior ran for 1,216 yards and 11 TDs in 2018, and 829 yards and 9 TDs in 2019.
Last weekend, Bama was able to contain him to 67 yards on 14 carries last weekend.
One of the things that led the Vols to a victory over Mizzou last fall was that they could contain Rountree.
Rountree only rushed for 43 yards on 16 carries the last time the two teams faced, averaging 2.68 yards a carry.
Vols managed to do a great job on rush defense last Saturday, only allowing 89 yards on 35 carries.
All Comes Down to number 2
The biggest key to a Vols victory is on how Jarrett Guarantano performs Saturday.
Yes, I know I said the same thing last weekend, but this will be a reoccurring theme this fall.
Guarantano managed to play a decent game in last Saturday’s win over the Gamecocks.
He went 19/31, 259 yards, a passing TD, and a rushing TD.
Jarrett had some great passes in the victory, including his beautiful 32-yard touchdown pass to Josh Palmer in the 4th quarter.
He also managed not to turn the ball over as well.
However, Guarantano once again missed too many throws.
Vols only went 1-12 on 3rd downs last Saturday.
Guarantano himself admitted that he threw off his back foot too many times, and it is great that he is acknowledging this.
But, the senior from New Jersey must improve on these things come kickoff.
This Missouri team is much like South Carolina.
If the Guarantano that played against Mizzou last season comes out, Tennessee will win this game by 3 TDs.
But if Guarantano continues to be inconsistent, this game will come down to the wire.