As Will McBride showed off plenty of scrambling ability to give the Tennessee offense some juice at Missouri, the Tigers seemingly answered each score against the Vols. And then some.
It was Senior Day at Missouri, and running back Ish Witter took advantage of the festivities with a big game as the high-powered Missouri offense kicked into gear, especially in the second half. Missouri won 50-17 after it pulled away with 17 points in the third quarter. At one point with six minutes left in the third quarter, Witter averaged 12 yards per carry as he racked up 181 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. He finished with 24 carries for 216 yards.
It helped Missouri that McBride through two second-half interceptions, and Missouri recovered a fumble, as the Tigers pulled away. At one point, Tennessee had three turnovers on three straight offensive plays. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock, meanwhile, threw four touchdown passes and was 13-of-28 passing for 217 yards, with an interception as the Tigers reeled off 33 unanswered points.
It was the fifth loss in six games for Tennessee, which fell to 4-6 and 0-6 in the SEC. Missouri improved to 5-5 and 2-4 in the SEC.
It continued a theme in this series.
#Mizzou is averaging 112 yards rushing per quarter against Tennessee in the last two seasons.
— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) November 12, 2017
McBride had 25 rushing yards at halftime, and one of the best plays of the season for Tennessee came from the freshman quarterback who just last week saw his first action. He had one completed pass in his career entering Saturday.
On fourth and two late in the first half, McBride converted a 22-yard play to Brandon Johnson that then led to a 19-yard touchdown to tight end Ethan Wolf. That helped erase an unsportsmanlike penalty against running back John Kelly earlier in the drive.
McBride kept it going in the second half with a 43-yard run early in the third quarter. His play made it a no-brainer to go with the freshman after Jarrett Guarantano was available and both players participated in warmups.
McBride did his best to keep pace with the Missouri offense led by Lock, who threw his 32nd touchdown pass of the season on a 31-yard play-action play in the first quarter to Emanuel Hall. One of Lock’s mistake came in the first half when he was picked off by Nigel Warrior, who returned the interception 70 yards for a Tennessee touchdown.
Lock found Hall again in the second half for a 50-yard touchdown with 10:56 left in the third quarter.