In his first start since mid-September Jarrett Guarantano led the Vols to their fourth consecutive victory, besting Missouri 24-20. With the win, Tennessee becomes bowl eligible for the first time since 2016.
Guarantano went 23-40 for 415 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Vols sixth win of the season. The red-shirt juniors 415 passing yards is the fourth-most passing yards in a game in Tennessee history (the most since 2012), joining Peyton Manning and Tyler Bray as the only quarterbacks for the Vols to reach such a feat.
The Tennessee receiving corps set a school record in the win -with three receivers ending the night with plus 100 receiving yards. Josh Palmer with 124 yards on six catches, Jauan Jennings with 115 on five catches and Marquez Callaway with 110 yards on six catches.
Tennessee’s banner evening started off rocky, after going three-and-out on the opening series and having a 34-yard field goal attempt blocked the Vols trailed Mizzou 3-0 after the first quarter.
The Vols night changed when freshman Quavaris Crouch capped off an 86-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown. The freshman’s first career score. Tennessee led 7-3.
The Tigers quickly responded as Kelly Bryant connected with Tyler Badie for a 7-yard score. Missouri’s first touchdown since October 26th put the Vols back 3.
The Vols first passing touchdown of the night came with 1:32 left in the half, Guarantano connected with Jauan Jennings who willed himself into the end-zone for six. The Vols added a 27-yard field goal before the break and Tennessee led 17-10.
Tennessee’s start to the second half, much like the start of the first half, was rocky. Mizzou blocked a second field goal attempt, as Brent Cimaglia’s 48-yarder was blocked null by Devin Nicholson. Nicholson’s 14-yard return set the Tigers up at the Tennessee 41-yard line.
Missouri capitalized on a short field, Micah Wilson’s 17-yard pass to Tyler Badie capped off an eight-yard, 55-yard drive to tie the game in Columbia.
With 33 seconds left in the third quarter, Tennessee would score the go-ahead touchdown. Guarantano to Marquez Callaway on the jump ball made it 24-17.
Tennessee’s defense held the Tigers without a touchdown in the fourth quarter to secure the 24-20 victory.
WATCH: Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt address media after clinching bowl eligibility with win over Missouri.
The Vols return home to Neyland Stadium for their final game of the regular season. Tennessee (6-5) will host Vanderbilt (3-8) for senior day.