After losing for the first time last week, many observers were keeping a close eye on how the Missouri Tigers would respond. After all, through three quarters of last week’s game against the South Carolina Gamecocks, the Tigers were in control. Mizzou led 17-0 heading into the fourth quarter before watching South Carolina’s Connor Shaw rally his team to tie the game at the end of regulation, and win it in double overtime.
Any questions about Missouri not bouncing back were answered early on Saturday evening as the Tigers jumped on the Tennessee Volunteers and never let up, winning 31-3 in Columbia.
Quarterback Maty Mauk led the attack with three touchdown passes and 114 yards rushing in the game. The Mizzou defense was also stellar in the contest, holding Tennessee to 94 yards on the ground.
Coach Gary Pinkel deserves the credit for getting his team ready to play after a tough loss last week. Missouri was picked to finish sixth in the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference, but have been the biggest surprise in the league so far this season. Mizzou entered the game ranked in the Top 10 nationally.
Missouri has three games left in the regular season, and the Tigers control their own destiny in the SEC East. If they win out, they will play in the SEC Championship Game. The Tigers visit the Kentucky Wildcats next week, before closing with a trip to Oxford to face the Ole Miss Rebels and a home game with the Texas A&M Aggies. It won’t be easy for Missouri, but they showed quite a bit of resilience on Saturday, which bodes well for the season’s final three contests.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.