A strong running game from Ish Witter and Larry Rountree helped Drew Lock, who passed for four touchdowns, to lead Missouri past Tennessee on Saturday night. (Tennessee)


To hear Mizzou Head Coach Barry Odom's Post-Game Remarks, click the audio player: (Audio by Mike Reeves)


By Spencer Gleason

After starting the season 1-5, the Missouri Tigers reached the .500 mark on Saturday night and need one win in their last two games to become bowl eligible.

The Tigers roared to a 50-17 win over Tennessee, running their winning streak to four games behind a big nights from Ish Witter, Larry Rountree and Drew Lock, who passed for four more touchdowns.

Witter gained 217 yards rushing and had a touchdown, and Rountree picked up 155 yards and also scored as the Tigers pounded the Volunteers.

The game was close early with the two teams tied 17-17 late in the second quarter before Rountree’s touchdown gave Missouri a 24-17 lead at the half. The Tigers then outscored Tennessee 26-0 in the final two quarters.

The victory was Missouri’s second consecutive conference win and the four-game winning streak equals the longest streak since the end of the 2014 season and beginning of the year in 2015.

Tennessee’s secondary entered the game ranked fourth nationally against the passing game and they held Lock to just 13 completions on 28 passing attempts, although seven passes were dropped. Lock finished the day with 217 yards and the four touchdowns added to his already league-leading 31 touchdown passes this year.

Lock now has 35 touchdown passes, which places him in the SEC’s Top-10 all-time list for passing touchdowns in a single season. He is tied for eighth, along with Aaron Murray (2011) and Danny Wueffel (1995) and is one behind Peyton Manning (1997), Tim Couch (1998) and Aaron Murray (2012).

In addition to Missouri’s passing game, the Tigers were able to run the ball all day against the Vols and totaled 659 yards of total offense. inst Tennessee, the most yards allowed by the Volunteers this season.

Roundtree III and Ish Witter combined for 371 rushing yards and as a team the Tigers tallied 433 yards on the ground.

Witter’s day included a 52-yard run that set up a touchdown pass from Lock to J’Mon Moore. It was Moore’s 20th touchdown grab this season.

Defensively, the Tigers continually threatened Vols’ quarterback Will McBride. The freshman quarterback was making his first career start and is the third quarterback this season to start a game under center for head coach Butch Jones.

McBride threw for 139 yards, completing 16-of-32 attempts and had one touchdown pass that briefly tied the game at 17. Missouri sacked him five times and had nine tackles in the backfield.

Senior Michael Frazier made his last game under the lights at Faurot Field count, sacking McBride twice and is just 0.5 sacks away from tying teammate Terry Beckner Jr. for the team lead.

Tennessee fell to 4-6 on the year and is 0-6 against SEC teams. Under Jones, the Vols have struggled in conference games and are now 14-24 against SEC opponents in his five seasons at Tennessee.

Saturday night’s win also had historical value, as Missouri head coach Barry Odom has helped his team turn a corner. Missouri became the third team in SEC history to lose five consecutive games and then rattle off at least four consecutive victories. Tennessee did it in 1988 and South Carolina did it again in 1992.

Missouri will hit the road and travel to Nashville next Saturday as they continue conference play against Vanderbilt. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.