Rapid Reaction: Dobbs dominates on Senior Day, carries Vols past Mizzou
Tennessee was looking for two victories Saturday. One in Knoxville over Missouri and one in LSU with a Florida loss.
It got one. Joshua Dobbs dominated Missouri on Senior Day after the Vols learned early the first quarter that Florida held off LSU and won the SEC East.
Dobbs threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more as Tennessee closed out its home schedule with a 63-37 victory over the Tigers. He left late in the fourth quarter to a standing ovation and received an extended hug from coach Butch Jones.
The Sugar Bowl is still in play for the Vols, who finish the regular season next Saturday at Vanderbilt.
What I liked
Dobbs set the tone offensively and finished with a career-high 190 rushing yards. And as poorly as the Tennessee defense was in the first half, the defense set an early tone on Missouri’s first offensive drive to start the second half. Micah Abernathy intercepted a pass from Drew Lock, which led to a short touchdown drive. The drive was capped off with a touchdown pass from Dobbs to Jauan Jennings.
Jennings totaled four receptions in the game, for 67 yards, and reeled in two touchdowns.
Defensive end Derek Barnett was once again a presence, recording a sack and five tackles (2 solo).
Barnett is one sack from tying Tennessee legend Reggie White for the school career sack record (32).
What I didn’t like
Tennessee’s defense was suspect for most of the game. Damarea Crockett ran for 225 yards and a touchdown. Drew Lock passed for almost 323 yards.
The Vols allowed 743 total yards, the most in program history.
Tennessee fell behind again, a problem all season. But Jonathan Kongbo returned an interception late in the fourth quarter for a touchdown to erase most of the scars.
Both defenses were non-existent in the first half after giving up a combined 700 yards of offense. Missouri put up 383 total yards (251 rushing yards, 132 passing yards) in the first half.
The kicking game continues to be hit-and-miss for the Vols. Aaron Medley missed a 47-yard attempt in the second quarter due to a bad hold. Medley has a strong leg but is not always accurate and not having a good
Who’s the man
Dobbs took the field for the final time inside Neyland Stadium. The senior quarterback dominated, capping his performance with a 70-yard touchdown run that opened a double-digit lead and ended Missouri’s upset hopes.
The senior signal caller now has one regular season game remaining and a bowl game, he will look to add to his 81 career touchdowns that he has produced in 35 games.
Tennessee (8-3, 4-3) heads to Nashville to take on in-state foe Vanderbilt – with not as much on the line after the LSU loss to Florida. Missouri will finish the season on Friday at Arkansas.