The 2021 Missouri Tigers were another of the up and down teams in the SEC. They finished the season fourth in the SEC East and with a record of 6-7 after a frustrating loss to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl.
By Steve Wright
Here are three keys to Missouri having a better 2022:
1. Jack Abraham wins the Quarterback Gig
Eli Drinkwitz has been in desperate search of a quarterback through the transfer portal after incumbent starter Connor Bazelak moved on to Indiana. The Tigers need a finished article at the position to distribute the ball to a set of skill position players that have the tools to be a success in the SEC.
It looks like Drinkwitz has found his man in Jack Abraham, a player transferring in from Southern Miss. If he can be anything like the player that threw for a shade under 3,500 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2019 then Mizzou will immediately be a better team. The addition of 5-star wide receiver signee Luther Burden should also help improve the Tiger offense.
2. The Defense has to Improve
The defense got better as the 2021 season went on but it started at such a low place that some improvement almost had to happen. Losing a star at defensive tackle like Mekhi Wingo hurts – especially with his going to LSU – but Drinkwitz has worked hard to find more talent on this side of the ball. Ty’Ron Hopper was a top 100 overall player when he committed to Florida in 2019. Jayden Jernigan should make the defensive line better. They are just two of many who will need to hit the ground running.
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3. Replacing Tyler Badie
Tyler Badie didn’t make as much noise nationally as he deserved but he was everything to Mizzou in 2021. The running back finished second nationally in all-purpose yards with 161.6 last year and that is a lot of offense to replace. One player to watch out for is Nathaniel Peat, a transfer from Stanford. The way the Mizzou offense is crafted makes it a fit for a runner like Peat, a player that can do a little bit of everything and excel in that role that Badie played so well a year ago.