KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Joshua Dobbs left his mark at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.
The senior quarterback, playing his final time in front of the home crowd, accounted for 413 yards and 5 touchdowns as No. 19 Tennessee held off Missouri 63-37.
Dobbs was one of 14 seniors honored before the game, in front of 101,012 fans. The attendance Saturday brought the season average at home games to 100,967, the highest mark since 2008.
Even with the win, Tennessee was dealt a blow that came from over 650 miles away. No. 23 Florida denied No. 16 LSU on a 4th and goal as time expired to clinch the SEC East with a 16-10 win in Baton Rouge. The Gators will meet No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship on Dec. 3 in Atlanta.
Back at Neyland, Missouri would strike first after Damarea Crockett rushed 22 yards for a touchdown. Ben Tesson missed the Tigers PAT to keep the score 6-0. The touchdown marked the ninth time in ten games against FBS opponents Tennessee had trailed in the first quarter.
The Vols scoring began with a Dobbs 49-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings that would give Tennessee a 7-6 lead. While the game remained close, the Vols would never trail again.
Dobbs’ second score of the day came later in the second quarter after he hit Josh Malone for a 57-yard score. Malone finished with 83 receiving yards on three receptions.
Missouri would cut the Vols lead to 14-13 after Drew Lock capped off a 71-yard drive with a 2-yard sprint to the end zone.
While Dobbs led the way in both the passing and running game, Alvin Kamara provided 55 yards and a pair of touchdowns. John Kelly also added 101 yards on the ground and a trip to the end zone for Tennessee.
After leading 21-20 at halftime, Tennessee would start the second half with a spark. Lock’s first pass in the third quarter landed in Vols defensive back Micah Abernathy’s hands. Dobbs would connect with Jennings on the ensuing drive from five yards out.
While Dobbs set a new career high with 190 rushing yards, Derek Barnett continues to close in on Tennessee’s all-time sacks record. The junior defensive end recorded his 31st career sack, bringing him one short of all-time leader Reggie White with one game left in the regular season.
The Vols defense struggled once again Saturday, allowing a school record 743 total yards, 420 of which came on the ground.