KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Both Tennessee and Missouri are teams searching for an identity after losing their first Southeastern Conference games. The Vols are shifting away from Florida and on to Mizzou — an important game as the Vols continue to pursue a winning season.
The situation is particularly sticky for the Vols as they’re dealing with injuries all over the place. Two quarterbacks, Hendon Hooker and Joe Milton III are banged up at this time, Hooker was injured during the tail-end of the Florida game and Milton was injured against Pittsburgh.
Vols coach Josh Heupel said that Milton didn’t reaggravate his injury playing on Saturday and is progressing toward full health. He said, “You know there are multiple guys that got injuries or got nicked up during the course of the ballgame the other night. Don’t know where those guys are at. Hendon at quarterback, not sure if he’ll be available or not so, we’ll see how that transpires over the course of the week and go from there.” He also said that Hooker is not in concussion protocol.
No starter at quarterback has been named for the Vols’ Oct. 2 matchup against the Tigers.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for Heupel as he was once the offensive coordinator for the Tigers in 2016-17. The Vols have won their last two meetings against Mizzou as it was part of Tennessee’s three wins last season.
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In order for the Vols to have a chance this weekend, they’ll need more from their wide receivers. The quarterbacks and receivers continue to miss on easy connections — between overthrows and dropped passes, it’s an issue that Heupel is well aware of.
“At the end of the day, you gotta go execute on the field, handle the environment, handle the competitive situation. Throw and catch it. Things that we’ve seen those individuals do at a high level. At the end of the day, we gotta perform on Saturday and finish the play,” Heupel said.
The Vols and Tigers will kick off at noon in Columbia, MO on SEC Network.