If you’re a glass half-full Mizzou fan, I’m guessing you’ve told yourself that message at least once in the last month. And it’s true. Unlike last year when the NCAA decided to make an example out of the Tigers’ tutor case with a bowl ban after the university cooperated with the investigation, there’s no more cloud. This year’s squad shouldn’t have to deal with that midyear motivation question.
But the reality is that 2020 has been an uphill climb from the moment that Mizzou stepped off the field against Arkansas. From the confusing coaching search to the pandemic-fueled canceled spring to the switch to the 10-game conference-only schedule, the challenge is obvious.
Um, give me a few weeks and I’ll let you know. Sound good? We don’t know yet about the quarterback situation, which Drinkwitz said he doesn’t plan on revealing before the opener against Alabama. Will it matter for that particular game? No, but why not keep us guessing a little longer?
He might decide to do that with Shawn Robinson, who sat the 2019 season after transferring from TCU. He has the most experience by far, though he struggled with consistency before getting hurt in 2018. Connor Bazelak is intriguing because he’s a former 4-star recruit who’s coming off a season-ending knee injury last year. Drinkwitz said he’s back to 100%, which seems significant. Drinkwitz once recruited him to come to NC State.
To say that 2019 was a letdown for Rountree would be an understatement. After entering 2019 as one of the conference’s better backs fresh off a 1,200-yard season with 11 rushing scores, his production took a significant hit. He only hit 90 rushing yards once in SEC play, where he was held to 3.8 yards per carry. His overall yards per carry went down (5.4 to 4.6), he wasn’t effective in the passing game and he ended up sharing touches with the more versatile Tyler Badie.