This week, the Missouri Tigers travel to Knoxville with hopes of ruining Tennessee’s chances of winning the SEC East. Last year, the Vols overcame a slow start and spoiled Gary Pinkel’s final home game by beating the Tigers, 19-8. However, this Missouri team is much different than the team last year.
Last week, the Tigers’ were able to defeat Vanderbilt, 26-17, but have only been able to accomplish a record of 3-7 so far this season. On the other end of the spectrum, the Volunteers were able to overcome Kentucky’s running game and win 49-36. In a game that will be much closer than what some expect, here are some Vols to keep an eye out for.
Stephen Griffin, Safety
Usually only a star on special teams, Stephen Griffin came in off the bench to play when star Todd Kelly Jr. went to the locker room with an ankle injury. Two plays after he came onto the field, he forced Kentucky running back Benny Snell to fumble. A couple of plays later, Tennessee’s offense was able to score a touchdown. With Todd Kelly Jr. being doubtful to play, look for Griffin to make a strong impact the second week in a row.
Derek Barnett, Defensive End
Derek Barnett is only three sacks away from breaking Reggie White’s all-time sack record and there is a good chance he could accomplish that feat this weekend. With many people believing that Barnett is a top-five NFL Draft selection this year, this could be his final home game at Tennessee. Look for Barnett to go out with a bang and be a force all over the field.
Joshua Dobbs, Quarterback
This will be Josh Dobbs’ final home game and it would not be surprising for him to have a career day against the Tigers. Dobbs was the man who led the charge for rebuilding the Tennessee program and although there have been some mistakes, he’s been an integral part in Tennessee’s rise to national recognition. Look for Dobbs to have a going-away party and light up the Mizzou defense.
Drew Richmond, Offensive Tackle
Like Griffin, Richmond came in last week because of injuries at his respective position. With Chance Hall and Dylan Weisman being injured, Richmond came in and performed well against the Kentucky pass rush. It’s questionable that they both come back this week, so look for Richmond to see a fair share of playing time.
Edited by David Bradford
Feature image by Sumner Gilliam