KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Senior quarterback Josh Dobbs starred in his final home game at Neyland Stadium, rolling up more than 400 total yards and 5 touchdowns in Tennessee’s 63-37 win over Missouri.
Once again, the Volunteers were gashed on the ground, allowing an astounding 740 total yards — 420 rushing. And yet, for second straight week Tennessee won a shootout because Dobbs & Co. proved too explosive, especially in the red zone.
Tennessee racked up 609 yards and 8 offensive touchdowns, adding a Jonathon Kongbo 59-yard pick-6 late in the fourth quarter.
The blowout win briefly stunted a somber evening for Tennessee, as Florida clinched the SEC East with an upset win at LSU earlier in the day.
Here’s what coach Butch Jones said after the victory.
* Jones opens by thanking the seniors, says they’ll always remember their final walk into Peyton Manning locker room.
* “I love you guys. Best fans in America. … We talk about the Neyland Effect. Every week we have the Neyland Effect.”
* “I liked the way we came out in the second half. I challenged them at halftime.”
* Jones calls Dobbs’ final performance “fitting.”
* Jones notes Tennessee is 14-3 in its last 17 games.
* On explosive offensive performance: “It starts with protection.”
* Jones on the Florida-LSU game: “We never addressed it one single time.” Jones said “you never heard me talk about” the SEC East.
* On calling a timeout and taking out Josh Dobbs: “He deserved that.” … Said that was four years in the making. Praised how the senior quarterback has responded since the loss at South Carolina.
* Jones says missed tackles were major issue in run defense. “We were able to show some resiliency defensively. … I didn’t particularly like our intensity in the first half. That’s why I challenged our players. I thought we had much better intensity in the second half.”
* On being eliminated from the SEC East: “Nothing changes. We want to be 1-0 next week. We know we have two opportunities left.”
* Jones on injuries: “Hopefully we’ll get (Todd Kelly Jr.) back, Dylan Wiesman back next week.” … Doesn’t mention LaTroy Lewis, who was in a boot postgame.
* “Josh Dobbs could be the president of the United States if he wanted to. … He’ll accomplish anything he wants.” … Jones recounts story of Dobbs’ recruiting visit, how he treated his parents with respect. “In Josh Dobbs’ world, there’s never a bad day. … A young man like that only comes around so often.”
* “Jonathan (Kongbo) played inside today. He stepped up.”