Its QB battle over, Missouri faces Middle Tennessee next

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Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz allowed his quarterback competition to extend into the season, but it appears settled now.

Incumbent Brady Cook excelled as Missouri handled visiting South Dakota 35-10 in its opener.

Cook figures to take the leading role Saturday when the Tigers (1-0) of the Southeastern Conference welcome Middle Tennessee (0-1) of Conference USA to Columbia, Mo.

Cook completed 17 of 21 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown while playing just the first half. He also had a 15-yard scoring run.

Sam Horn played the second half and completed 3 of 5 passes for 54 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

“Brady scored 28,” Drinkwitz told SEC Network. “And Sam scored seven. So, that’s my initial thoughts. We will go back and look at the tape and see what it was. But, at the end of the day, we are judged on who gets the team in the end zone the most.”

Cody Schrader rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown behind the zone blocking scheme implemented by new Missouri offensive coordinator Kirby Moore.

The Tigers will seek improvement in their kicking game after Harrison Mevis missed field goal tries from 48 and 34 yards.

“That’s something that’s got to get corrected in a hurry,” Drinkwitz said.

Middle Tennessee is coming off a 56-7 loss to Alabama. The Blue Raiders hung tough well into the second quarter, but they buckled after Zeke Rankin missed a 32-yard field goal that would have cut their deficit to 14-3.

“I was proud of our team and how we fought, how we competed extremely hard,” Blue Raiders coach Rick Stockstill said. “When you play teams like this, you gotta play perfect, and we didn’t play perfect. But I like our team. I told them … we’re gonna have a heck of a team this year, heck of a year.”

Quarterback Nicholas Vattiato completed 21 of 32 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown against Alabama. He also had a 30-yard run.

But the Crimson Tide held the Blue Raiders to 78 rushing yards on 26 carries and outgained them 431-211 overall.

“We just got to make corrections where we made mistakes and get ready for another really good SEC team,” Stockstill said.

–Field Level Media

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