Can Tennessee finally get over the Mizzou hump? Jeff Blake USA TODAY Sports
The last two seasons, Missouri has featured arguably the premiere defensive line in the SEC, which created matchup nightmares for Tennessee.
In 2014, Mizzou piled up six sacks on the Vols and held them to 53 rushing yards. The Tigers combined to have 19 tackles-for-loss against Tennessee the previous two seasons.
"I'd definitely say that's the best defense we've played (against)," Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd said after playing Missouri a year ago.
Vol fans shouldn't expect any let up from the Tigers this season, as Missouri ranks in the top four in the SEC in scoring defense, rushing defense, passing defense and total defense. But this year, Tennessee is more equipped to handle the challenge.
Senior offensive tackle Kyler Kerbyson is eager to show Missouri these aren't the same old Vols.
"This year we're definitely a better offensive line than we were in years past," Kerbyson said. "We are more in sync and we know what we are doing. We aren't as inexperienced as we were last year. So I feel like it will be different in that way.
"It won't just be their front four running around and running all over us. I am hoping that our experience and our know-how will really help us."
If the Tennessee program is ready to take the next step and earn its first winning SEC season under Butch Jones, it must win this game. Will they do it, or is this the same old Tennessee team that gets beat up front by the class of the SEC?