Missouri emphatically proved Saturday it knows how to rebound. Kentucky’s next opponent bounced back from a heartbreaking overtime loss to South Carolina by manhandling visiting Tennessee 31-3 thanks in large part to a dominating running game.
Gary Pinkel’s club ground out 339 yards, its highest rushing yardage in a conference game since 2003 when the Tigers were in the Big 12. Quarterback Maty Mauk led the way with 114 yards on 13 carries. That’s the most rushing yards by a Mizzou quarterback since Brad Smith back in 2002.
After struggling against South Carolina, Mauk missed his first four passes against the Vols. He warmed up after that, however, completing 12 of his next 21 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns. James Franklin, whose sprained shoulder promoted Mauk to starter, dressed for the first time since the injury on Oct. 12.
Missouri gained 502 yards, the fifth time the Tigers have passed the 500-yard mark. And the Tigers will arrive at Commonwealth Stadium with plenty of incentive. With a 4-1 conference mark, Missouri owns the driver’s seat in the SEC East.