The college football season is approaching. Each SEC team will be previewed before the season. Here is the 2022 SEC Football Preview: Missouri Tigers.
2021 Record: 6-7 (3-5), 4th in East
L vs Army in Armed Forces Bowl
It was another average year under young head coach Eliah Drinkwitz. The Tigers once again finished at .500 but this time with a loss in the bowl game. Starting quarterback was battling injury throughout the year and the defense was horrendous.
Bazelak entered the portal after the season and explosive running back Tyler Badie moved on to the NFL. The Tigers return plenty of starters from last year’s team as they hope to elevate the program in the 2022 season.
When Bazelak went down with injury the redshirt freshman Brady Cook did a remarkable job. Cook is more of a dual threat than Bazelak which showed in his impressive showing against Army in the bowl game.
Other positives are the return of 4 of 5 starters on the offensive line. Leading receiver Tauskie Dove is back with his team leading 576 yards. Luther Burden III could be impactful as part of a loaded 2022 class. Drinkwitz has done a great job recruiting, helping provide some depth Missouri has sorely been missing.
Defense Needs a Pulse
Missouri’s defense was atrocious last year, better only than Vanderbilt in the SEC. Drinkwitz is on his third defensive coordinator in three years at Missouri, fourth in four years as a head coach. The defense does return some strong pieces.
A lot of experience comes back from 2021, most notably on the defensive line. Isaiah McGuire and Trajan Jeffcoat combined for 24 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks. The secondary also has plenty of experience back. Martez Manuel and Jaylon Carlies are the leading returning tacklers from 2021. And Kris Abrams-Draine had a fantastic first year with three interceptions after transitioning from wide receiver.
The loss of Tyler Badie hurts the offense which relied heavily on the ground game. Bazelak was 13th in the SEC in yards per attempt. A dual threat quarterback might make the offense more dynamic. Defensively Missouri will have to be better. The pieces are back to make that happen.
Ideally you’d like to see improvement. Getting Auburn as the West opponent does bode well for Missouri. The Tigers are perceivably one of the easier West draws. Overall though it’s looking like another 7-5 ceiling type of year though.
“From Our Haus to Yours”