Missouri Tigers Preview 2022: Offense
It was this simple. The Army bowl loss aside, the offense was great against the average teams, and the Mizzou won. It didn’t do enough against the good teams, and Mizzou lost.
In the regular season, Missouri was 5-0 when it got to 400 yards and 1-6 when it didn’t. The running game was inconsistent, the passing attack fell off late in the year, and there wasn’t any downfield threat whatsoever.
There are some massive changes being made, and it’s going to take all of fall camp to figure it out – and it’s almost all positive, starting with …
The quarterback situation is unsettled, but stronger. Connor Bazelak was fine, but replaceable – now he’s at Indiana. Brady Cook was the No. 2 who stepped in and was solid against Army, and Tyler Macon is a good prospect.
On the way is superstar recruit Sam Horn to make some noise – he’s the most talented one of the bunch. Mizzou didn’t get transfer JT Daniels from Georgia, but Mississippi State’s Jack Abraham is coming in to throw yet another option into the mix.
The receiving corps is even more interesting. Leading yardage receiver Tauskie Dove is back after coming up with 576 yards on 38 grabs, and Dominic Lovett is a rising star who got his feet wet.
That’s fine, but the corps is all about super-recruit Luther Burden – the coaching staff is going to get the ball in his hands as many ways as possible.
Tyler Badie led the team in rushing and receiving. Mizzou doesn’t have another back like him, but Nathaniel Peat is a solid veteran and kick returner from Stanford. He’ll be the lead back, but the Tigers will likely work in a slew of other backs in a rotation.
The offensive line will be a work in progress. It was good for the ground game and great in pass protection, but it allowed a few too many plays behind the line. Javon Foster is a good left tackle to work around, and senior Hyrin White is a reliable right tackle. The interior will come together, helped by Buffalo transfer Bence Polgar pushing for the center gig.
Missouri Tigers Preview 2022: Defense
The defense needs to do a whole lot more. It was the second-worst overall in the SEC, it was dead last in the conference against the run, it got pounded on too easily, and it allowed 24 or more in every game but the 24-23 win over Florida.
There’s hope for a big improvement with a few good gets from the transfer portal to go along with a slew of veterans who should be ready to do more. It starts for new defensive coordinator Blake Baker with …
No, Missouri doesn’t have the best defensive end tandem in the SEC, but it’s got a great one with Trajan Jeffcoat and Isaiah McGuire two fantastic veterans who’ll get behind the line. There’s decent toughness inside and a new potential interior pass rushing star in Oklahoma State’s Jayden Jernigan.
Florida transfer Ty’Ron Hopper should be the team’s leading tackler in the middle of the linebacking corps, and Chad Bailey will fill the stat sheet from his spot on the weakside.
The secondary has the guys. They just need to be healthy. Kris Abrams-Draine is a future NFL starter. He’ll own one corner job, and Ennis Rakestraw will be on the other side once he’s back from a knee injury.
The safeties are there, but their roles might change depending on how fall camp goes. Clemson transfer Joseph Charleston adds good size and experience to the defensive backfield, Martez Manuel is the team’s leading returning tackler, and Jaylon Carlies was the team’s No. 3 tackler last season.