2020 was a season unlike any other. Will the Missouri football team improve upon its 5-5 finish in 2020?
Head coach Eliah Drinkwitz is set to begin his second year in Columbia, Missouri following a middling 2020 season. While many are expecting little of the Missouri football team this season, some experts are predicting improvement for the Tigers.
Sportswriter Phil Steele predicted another .500 season for the Tigers, going 6-6 and finishing 4th in the SEC East, behind Georgia, Florida, and Kentucky respectively. However, in his annual college football publication, Steele marked the Missouri Tigers as one of 25 teams in the country that will either reach or improve their 2020 record.
These predictions come despite the Tigers losing NFL talents such as running back Larry Roundtree III and linebacker Nick Bolton. Transfer players such as wide receiver Mookie Coper and linebacker Blaz Aldrige figure to contribute immediately, but will their arrival offset the exodus of players transferring from Missouri?
Quarterback Connor Bazelak seems to be the key for the Tigers’ 2021 season. The 2020 SEC Co-Freshman of the Year had a statistically bland year but posted a 77.4 passer rating following taking over the starting job in 2020. PFF currently has him ranked as the 15th-best quarterback in the country entering 2021.
On the defensive side, defensive end Trajan Jeffcoat looks to be a force in the SEC. His six sacks in ten games earned him 2020 First Team All-SEC honors and harken to the DLineZou history. While the front line looks strong, the secondary and linebacking corps look like a weakness. Coupled with the arrival of defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, the defense may determine the course of Missouri’s season.
With the football season back to 12 games, there will not be a week without Missouri football from September trough November.
Predictions for the Tigers are ranging anywhere from 4-8 to 8-4. What five games will determine the Tigers’ fate this season? What are the five toughest games on the 2021 Missouri football schedule?