It wasn’t the Senior Day the Tennessee football team wanted on Saturday.
The Vols saw Missouri pull away in the second half in a 50-17 loss on Saturday inside Neyland Stadium. With the loss, Tennessee must win next Saturday at Vanderbilt.
“I have to give Missouri credit; they beat us in all three phases of the game,” Tennessee Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt said. “They out coached us, out played us, out toughed us. They had fewer turnovers and scored touchdowns in the red zone. They took advantage of the mistakes we made and created negative plays for us on offense.”
The Vols saw Keller Chryst take over at quarterback after starter Jarrett Guarantano went out in the first half.
“I haven’t seen the doctors yet,” Pruitt said of Guarantano’s status, “but Keller takes every rep that Jarrett does; they split the reps. We moved the ball there, we just had a couple of turnovers that hurt us, and one time down there we had to settle for a field goal. So you take away the turnovers, which unfortunately is part of the game, you have a chance to put some points on the board there. We really didn’t change our plan based on the quarterback.”
Tennessee’s defense bended but didn’t break in the early going making the Tigers settle for two first-half field goals.
The Volunteers got on the board early in the second quarter as Ty Chandler capped off a six-play drive with a six-yard touchdown run. The Brent Cimaglia extra point gave Tennessee the 7-6 lead.
Missouri, however, didn’t waste time answering as Tyler Badie added a touchdown to regain the lead for the Tigers.
Tennessee got on the board with a field goal on the next drive, but Missouri added two scores in the final minute and a half – one of which came after a Tennessee interception – to take a 26-10 lead into the half.
In the third quarter, Tennessee quickly moved into striking position, and scored as Chandler found the end zone from two-yards out to close the gap to nine points. That, however, would be the last time the Vols were able to find the end zone as the Tigers scored 24 unanswered points to secure the win.
Chandler finished with 82 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns, while Chryst was 7-of-19 for 173 yards through the air.
Marquez Callaway had 98 yards receiving on two catches.
Defensively, Nigel Warrior, Alontae Taylor and Kyle Phillips had seven tackles apiece.
Tennessee has one more game to extend their season with a bowl game. The Vols are set to travel to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt at 4 p.m.