Mizzou football exceeds expectations

Jackson Meyer, Reporter

Before this football season had started, Mizzou did not go into the year with high expectations. Heading into the season with a completely new staff and the wacky situation with COVID-19, Missouri was projected to only win two games in the SEC preseason polls. Now heading into the final two games of the season, Missouri sits at 5-3 and is on the brink of a top 25 appearance. Here are three reasons why this turnaround has taken place.


  1. A new culture: If you are a Missouri football fan, you know that the excitement around the program has been something that the team has not experienced in quite some time. New head coach Eli Drinkwitz has the players playing at a high level that they never had before, recruiting has excelled, and now Missouri is even getting new indoor facilities. “The excitement levels are different for sure. We all love coach Drinkwitz.” Said senior wide receiver, Micah Wilson. 
  2. Connor Bazelak: Usually it would be hard to say that one player has changed a team’s fortune, but freshmen quarterback, Connor Bazelak, has done just that. In the first two games of the season, Missouri struggled heavily against Alabama and Tennessee, putting up 19 against Alabama, and only 12 against Tennessee. The biggest factor? Bazelak was not starting at the time. In week three against defending national champions LSU, Bazelak made his first start and carried Missouri to a 45-41 victory with 406 yards and four touchdowns. Ever since Bazelak has been the starter, Missouri has been 5-1. 
  3. Secondary play: While Missouri does not have an excellent secondary play, they have had some of the best in the conference and this has helped them win several games this season. Missouri’s defense ranks first in the SEC in total yards given up passing and ranks third in passing yards per game. Missouri has an excellent safety duo in Tyree Gillespie, as well as Joshua Bledsoe. Sophomore Martez Manuel has shined this year as well with 52 total tackles this season. The biggest piece has been a senior linebacker, Nick Bolton. Bolton has 80 total tackles and is the front runner for multiple defensive awards. He has helped stop the run each week and has been the commander in chief for the defense each week.

It will be interesting where Missouri goes from here. They have an opportunity to finish 6-4 this season, which would place them 3rd in the SEC East behind Florida and Georgia. Momentum is on the Tiger’s side, we will now have to see what they do with it.