Zach Calder – 23 Sports

The Missouri Tigers start off this football season with a difficult, but important , question to answer. Who will be their starting quarterback as the season kicks off this Saturday? It is down to Shawn Robinson and Connor Bazelak. Robinson is more of a dual-threat quarterback, which is what head coach Eliah Drinkwitz ran within his one year stint as head coach of Appalachian State. On the other hand, Bazelak is more of a pro-style quarterback, but tends to make fewer mistakes on the field than Robinson. 

The Tigers have a daunting schedule ahead of them as they are only playing SEC opponents due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting week one at home against the Alabama Crimson Tide led by an NFL laden defense. The Tigers will need to bring their A-game if they want to take down the Tide. 

Things don’t get any easier for the Tigers as 5 of their first 6 games are against ranked opponents. With Tennessee, defending champions Louisiana State and Florida being away games. 

The defense for the Tigers will need to be elite to stop these high powered SEC offenses, so a player to watch for this year will be linebacker Nick Bolton. Bolton led the SEC in tackles last year, and he will need to do that and be the leader of this defense as the Tigers have a rough strength of schedule.

It’ll be an uphill battle this season, but new head coach Eliah Drinkwitz will bring in a scheme that made Appalachian State one of the best non-power five teams last year. This will be a season to remember as fans will be allowed at Faurot Field, albeit in a limited capacity. People are just excited to have sports back, and the Tigers are preparing to battle their inter conference foes all year. 

My record prediction for the year: 3-7, I have the Tigers beating Arkansas, and Vanderbilt at home. I also have them beating South Carolina on the road for a total of three wins. Drinkwitz’s first season should be a rebuilding year, but with the work he did at Appalachian State it seems he can turn around the Tigers too.

About Smith, Kayler (MU-Student)

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