Bazelak was welcomed back, and got pulled.
I don’t know the degree of Connor Bazelak’s health. Football teams love to obfuscate their injury reports as much as possible. On Thursday, Missouri released an injury report which listed Bazelak as Questionable. He was listed as Questionable last week and watched the game in street clothes. It’s been reported to be an issue with a hamstring but we don’t know more than that.
So take some of this with a little caveat of not knowing the degree of which he’s playing hurt.
But Bazelak is the captain, starting quarterback, and through those two things, a leader on this football team.
So what should we read into the fact Drinkwitz pulled Bazelak after his second awful turnover of the day, and inserted Brady Cook for the final drive of the game? One in which Mizzou ran the ball right down South Carolina’s throat, including an 11 yard 1st down run by Cook himself.
After 3 quarters, 10 minutes and 30 seconds of trusting his QB, the other shoe dropped. And with the game on the line, Drinkwitz went to a backup at Quarterback.
Bazelak has had quite a few stretches of maddening play, enough so there’s been a chorus of calls to give the younger guys a shot. His injury, poorly timed since it allowed him to sit against the best defense Missouri will see this year, left a small window open. While the two younger QBs didn’t exactly set the world on fire, they definitely did enough to warrant a longer look.
Coming off the Georgia game, the Missouri defense showed some improvement. Against South Carolina they harassed Jason Brown all day, forced three turnovers, and only gave up 57 rushing yards (some of that is due to Brown’s -50 — MINUS FIFTY — yards rushing). So it looks like the defense is turning a bit of a corner.
Meanwhile, Tyler Badie continues to just be incredible. 209 yards rushing, 22 yards receiving, another touchdown.
This team can win one more game and be bowl eligible, provided their quarterback play doesn’t shoot them in the foot. Both of Bazelak’s interceptions were horrible, head-scratching, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!” kind of throws. The last one was nearly a back breaker. The Gamecocks had two drives where they went 75 and 80 yards, and two that were on short fields. With Mizzou nursing a 10 point lead after the Gamecocks had just scored a touchdown, Bazelak needed a short completion to convert a 3rd and short, and he popped it up to Badie instead. As the ball fluttered into the hands of South Carolina linebacker, Brad Johnson, you could see the trust Eli Drinkwitz had in his QB erode right with it.
At this point, I don’t know how you handle the QB position. It seems clear Drinkwitz has been most comfortable with Bazelak. He knows the offense the best, and has performed. He’s done it. But he can’t keep killing the team with turnovers.
Stats from Statbroadcast:
Here are your other SEC scores:
- 1. Georgia 41, Tennessee 17
- 2. Alabama 59, New Mexico State 3
- 15. Ole Miss 29, 11. Texas A&M 19
- 25. Arkansas 16, LSU 13
- Florida 70, Samford 52 (yes this is a football game)
- Kentucky 34, Vanderbilt 17
Yesterday at Rock M
- Missouri vs South Carolina football GameDay: info, where to watch, predictions, odds
- Gamethread: South Carolina @ Mizzou
- Five Takeaways from Mizzou’s 31-28 win vs. South Carolina
- Mizzou staves off Carolina rally, retains Mayor’s Cup