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Tennessee ignites offense in rout of Missouri

Oct 2, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver JaVonta Payton (3) catches a touchdown pass against Missouri Tigers defensive back Allie Green IV (24) during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver JaVonta Payton (3) catches a touchdown pass against Missouri Tigers defensive back Allie Green IV (24) during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee scored on its first nine possessions, including six for touchdowns, en route to a 62-24 win over Missouri in a clash of Southeastern Conference East Division teams Saturday in Columbia, Mo.

The Volunteers (3-2, 1-1) amassed 667 yards in total offense, topping the 600-yard mark for the first time since they had 609 yards against Missouri in 2016.

Sophomore Tiyon Evans rushed for a career-high 156 yards and Hendon Hooker completed 15 of 19 passes for 225 yards. The Vols rushed for 452 yards to eclipse the 400-yard mark rushing for the first time since 1994 against Vanderbilt.

Marcus Pierce’s 27-yard touchdown run gave the Vols their highest point total since their 63-37 win over Missouri in 2016.

Connor Bazelak passed for 322 yards for the Tigers (2-3, 0-2). He also had two interceptions, with the first setting up the second of Evans’ touchdowns from 1 yard out.

Tyler Badie and D’iOnte Smith each rushed for touchdown and Kris Abram-Drane scored on a 100-yard kickoff return for Missouri. It was the Tigers’ first kickoff return for a touchdown since 2014.

Evans also had a career-long 92-yard run for a touchdown but was denied a fourth score when the Tigers stopped him on fourth-and-goal from 1 yard out midway through the fourth quarter.

The Vols amassed 425 yards in the first half alone, with 275 coming on the ground. Evans already had already surpassed his career high in rushing with 123 yards by then.

The Tigers managed a respectable 210 yards in the first two quarters but hurt them selves with eight penalties, half of them on holding violations Three of the holding calls came on one drive that eventually forced them to settle for a field goal when a touchdown would have tied the game at 7-7.

–Field Level Media