The embattled head coach started 2017 as the leader of a ranked program, but now stands to go down with the ship as his Volunteers have fallen to 4-5 on the season without a single SEC win. He’ll need to get back on track against the Missouri Tigers Saturday night to even have a slim chance at retaining his position; the two teams will kick off at 7:30 pm ET and will be broadcast live on the SEC Network (live stream).
The odds don’t favor Jones’ chances. Tennessee is a double-digit underdog thanks to Mizzou’s recent resurgence. The Tigers have gone from doormat to potential postseason participant thanks to a mid-season turnaround punctuated by last week’s 45-16 win over Florida. The Vols stand to pose more of a threat — they’ve still got their original coach, at least — but a win against UT would be a major statement and building block for Missouri’s future.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Faurot Field, Columbia, Mo.
- TV: SEC Network
- Streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: Missouri is favored by 11 points
Tennessee at Missouri news:
Tennessee opens as a 10-POINT underdog at Mizzou. If Vols lose Saturday, they'll have a current losing streak against every single SEC team.— Jesse Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) November 5, 2017
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Please respect my decision. pic.twitter.com/ANvoIpP1Bf— Cade Mays (@_mayc2) November 7, 2017
For the first time this season, there’s some hope with this Missouri team, a feeling that your preseason expectations will be proven right. You couldn’t ask for a much better closing stretch of SEC games. Missouri’s bowl hopes are right there for the taking.
Gary Pinkel was 37-35 in his first six seasons at Missouri heading into 2007, with just one bowl win under his belt. Things didn’t just happen overnight, it took time and patience—maybe more time than people thought and maybe more patience than people had—but it eventually happened.
- That’s because, over the past three weeks, they’ve statistically been one of the NCAA’s hottest teams.
The emergence of junior receiver Emanuel Hall (21 catches, 500 yards, four TDs in these five games) and freshman tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (six touchdown catches in the last four) has given the Tigers too many weapons for most defenses. Combine that with Drew Lockthrowing one hell of a deep ball, and you’ve got Mizzou leading the nation with 13 passes of 50-plus yards.
Can anyone stop Mizzou’s newfound offensive splendor?
Quarterback Drew Lock has transformed his team into one of the nation’s most explosive offenses in the past month. Since losing to Georgia, the Tigers have scored 55 points per game in wins over Idaho, UConn, and Florida. However, that slate of opponents — a future FCS team, a bad AAC program, and a Florida team without an actual head coach — isn’t exactly inspiring. Can the Vols stop them Saturday, or will they have given up too?
Tennessee at Missouri prediction:
The Vols are marching toward oblivion, and it’s tough to have any confidence in Jones or his team the way 2017 has gone. Missouri’s heater continues with a key home win.