COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Maty Mauk threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, leading No. 10 Missouri's dominant and resilient effort in a 31-3 victory over Tennessee Saturday night.
The Tigers (8-1, 4-1 SEC) responded smartly a week after squandering a 17-point cushion in the fourth quarter of a double-overtime loss to South Carolina. Andrew Baggett banged another chip-shot field goal attempt off the left goalpost, eerily similar to his game-ending misfire a week earlier, but instead of heartbreak they still took a 24-3 cushion into halftime.
Missouri forced three turnovers and committed none in Mauk's best game in three starts in place of injured James Franklin. Mauk had 114 yards on 13 carries, and threw touchdown passes to Dorial Green-Beckham, L'Damian Washington and Marcus Lucas in the first half. Franklin (shoulder sprain) warmed up before the game.
Tennessee (4-5, 1-4) is 0-4 on the road, all but one of them blowouts, and fell hopeless behind just like a week earlier when No. 1 Alabama was ahead 35-0 at the break. The Volunteers have lost 19 in a row on the road and mustered only a 51-yard field goal by Matt Palardy in the second quarter.
Freshman quarterback Joshua Dobbs was intercepted twice and lost a fumble in his first career start in place of injured Justin Worley, out indefinitely after thumb surgery. Tennessee was 2 for 13 on third down.
E.J. Gaines and Braylon Webb had interceptions for Missouri and Matt White had a fumble recovery on a strip by Darvin Ruise. Missouri has forced a turnover in 39 consecutive games, the longest streak in the nation.
Mauk entered with 22 yards rushing on 21 carries. His 27-yard scramble to the 11 with one second left in the half led to Baggett's 29-yard miss.
Dobbs had 101 yards passing and 43 rushing in the first half, dulled by two turnovers. Washington was alone in the end zone on a 26-yard catch set up by Gaines' team-leading interception to make it 17-0 midway through the second quarter.