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Tennessee-Missouri Preview

October 31st, 2013 1:24 pm by Associated Press

Tennessee-Missouri Preview

Tennessee (4-4, 1-3 SEC) at No. 10 Missouri (7-1, 3-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Missouri by 11 ½

Series Record: Missouri leads 1-0

WHAT'S AT STAKE


Missouri is seeking to maintain its SEC Eastern Division lead one week after blowing a 17-0, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-24 double-overtime loss to No. 14 South Carolina. Eastern Division foes Florida, Georgia and South Carolina each have two conference losses. Tennessee is two wins away from becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2010.

KEY MATCHUP

Tennessee pass protection vs. Missouri pass rush. Tennessee boasts an experienced offensive line that has given up only eight sacks all season. Missouri has 25 sacks this year and is eager to bother freshman quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who will be making his first career start Saturday.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tennessee: Dobbs made his collegiate debut in the second half last week and led Tennessee to all 10 of its points in a 45-10 loss to top-ranked Alabama. Now the freshman makes his first career start in place of Justin Worley, who is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery this week on his injured right thumb.

Missouri: DE Michael Sam leads all FBS players with 16 tackles for loss and is tied for the FBS lead with 10 sacks. All 10 of Sam's sacks have come in his last four games, including a trio of three-sack performances against Arkansas State, Vanderbilt and Florida.

FACTS & FIGURES

Missouri has forced at least one turnover in 38 straight games. ... Missouri CB E.J. Gaines is expected to return this week after missing two games with a quadriceps injury. Gaines has a team-high three interceptions. ... Missouri QB James Franklin has been listed as questionable this week. Maty Mauk has started for Missouri the last two games while Franklin has been sidelined with a sprained right shoulder. ... In the only previous meeting between these two teams, Missouri erased a 14-point halftime deficit and won 51-48 in quadruple overtime. ... Tennessee has lost its last 18 road games against ranked opponents. The Vols' last road win over a ranked foe was a 51-33 victory over No. 10 Georgia on Oct. 7, 2006, which also represents Tennessee's last win over a top-10 foe. ... Tennessee has lost 11 straight SEC road games. ... This is Tennessee's fifth straight game against a ranked opponent.

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