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  Tennessee's easy yards were Missouri's nightmare. The Tigers often settled for a four- or five-man rush against that bulky offensive line, and the result was only two tackles for loss. Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano said the Volunteers "want to be one of the best short-yardage teams in all of college football," but they had eight runs of 10-plus yards and five passing plays of 15-plus. When runners broke free into the flat, there was no one around. "We've got to maintain gap integrity," Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton said. "Throughout the game, I felt like we got out of the gaps a couple of times. That led to a couple of big runs down the stretch. We've got to be assignment-sound. Stay in our gaps. Be physical at the line of scrimmage." Bolton's 17 tackles were seven more than anyone else for either team Saturday, but even he over-ran and whiffed on a tackle that led to Tennessee's third touchdown late in the first half. In another tide-turning sequence, Bolton stripped a receiver and strong safety Martez Manuel returned it into Tennessee territory, only to have the play negated by a hands-to-the-face penalty before the pass. It was ruled an incomplete pass on the field anyway, but the penalty ensured no chance at a review that might have overturned it. Moments later, Gray ran for a 20-yard touchdown. "It was deflating as a defense," Bolton said. "We had a chance to get off the field, and we didn't." - Post-Dispatch

(DS#2 ILB) Jr/2021 ILB *Nick BoltonMissouri
News Source: Post-Dispatch



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