For Missouri defensive back E.J. Gaines, Saturday's showdown with Tennessee will be a blast from the past.
"I just get excited for it," Gaines said during Missouri's media session Wednesday. "It kind of takes me back to the Big 12 a little bit, as far as them passing the ball, and we really haven't gotten that so far in the SEC."
Tennessee's offense is certainly capable of putting up Big 12 shootout numbers. The Volunteers (4-5, 0-5 SEC) have averaged an impressive 485 yards of offense and 37 points per game, both second in the SEC to Texas A&M. Tennessee is also first in the conference in passing at 323 yards per game, with quarterback Tyler Bray leading the SEC in yards. Bray will be sure to keep Gaines and his fellow defensive backs busy during Saturday's game.
"It'll be different because they actually get the ball downfield," said Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel. "They put a lot of yards and a lot of points down against a lot of people."
Luckily for Missouri, Tennessee's defense turns opposing teams into juggernauts. At 483 yards allowed per contest, the Volunteers have had a hard time shutting teams down. So if Gaines and the Tigers' defense can slow down Bray and the Tennessee offense, Missouri will have a fighting chance at its second conference win.
Kickoff is set for 12:21 p.m. on Nov. 10 in Knoxville.