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Tennessee @ Missouri Stat & Score Predictions
7:15p on ESPN2
Posted: Saturday, November 21st, 2015, 3:38 PM
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Conference Game and Score Predictions from our Picks Panel on Page 2!!

This one will be short and sweet, folks. The medical school semester is winding down, and I have a full slate for the holidays on top of studying for finals. So, without further James Michael McAdoo...

We all know the potential buzz saw of a situation our beloved Vols are walking into today in Columbia, MO. The cival unrest, Gary Pinkel--the greatest coach in program history--coaching his final home game after receiving the HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE diagnosis of cancer that you wouldn't wish on anyone outside of someone who belongs on death row, Missouri's status as a top-notch defense, freezing game-time temps, etc.

But, although I am clearly in the minority of people (located outside of Las Vegas and related sports books, apparently), I think the Vols win going away this week.

"Why?" you ask? Because this version of the Football Volunteers does NOT lack talent. It lacks maturity. That immaturity has manifested itself in playing up or down to their perception of the opponent's ability, whether that be going into the game or after getting or surrending a big lead once the game starts. The results of the last 2 weeks have had more to do with that than our offense's supposed sudden regression. A lack of focus against teams they think they are much better than--along with a few bumps and bruises to key starters, most notably Josh Dobbs and Jalen Hurd (not to mention all of the starters and contributors lost to injury either permanently or temporarily)--has led to closer than expected results against below average teams.

But today, the Tennessee players will be aware of the aforementioned situation and the caliber of Mizzou's D. As a result, they will focus for the first time since Alabama, and they will win by 2+ TDs, covering the spread of 8-10 pts (depending on where you look...Vegas knows things.)

So, expect Dobbs to return to super-running-QB with 18 carries for 102 yards a 1 TD. Expect Hurd and Kamara to combine for 218 yards and 2 TDs with Mizzou's big DT out of the game.

Expect the passing game to be improved, with Dobbs completing passes to 7 different receivers for 210 yards and a TD to Josh Smith.

Expect K Aaron Medley to continue to improve, going 2-3 on FG attempts with makes from 32 and 44 to go with a 41-yd miss. Expect our return specialists--Evan Berry, Cam Sutton, and Alvin Kamara--to continue to shine, setting up 2 short fields that break open the game late.

Expect the defense to lull in the 2nd and 3rd quarters but to otherwise keep Mizzou RB Russell Hansbrough and the rest of the Tiger offense in check.

And expect a final score of...

Tennessee 34, Missouri 17

GO VOLS, BABY! Let's break this stupid little 3-game losing streak to the SEC newbie, build some momentum for the game against a stout Vandy defense next week, and position ourselves for a good bowl game to top off the season!

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