Drew Lock and the team have a big chip on their shoulder, something fans should be excited about.
“No one respects me as a quarterback, no one thinks I’m anything and that’s just always kind of kept a chip on my shoulder. I think it also comes with the whole University of Missouri thing. When we play well it’s because the teams are bad, when we throw a touchdown it’s because the guy was wide open, when we bust a run it’s because the hole is huge and the guys [defense] fits the wrong gaps. It’s not because we threw a great ball, we have great wide receivers, or that our offensive line is great. It’s because you know the other team did bad,” Lock said.
Lock isn’t necessarily wrong. A lot of people were saying those things when the team was wildly inconsistent during the 2017 season.
The way for Lock and Missouri to change what people are saying is to prove it on the field. Look at the first half of the 2017 season, Missouri was 1-5 through the first six games of the season. Then, Missouri went on to finish the season 6-1.
It’s frustrating for fans when you lose 35-3 at home against Purdue, but outscore Florida at home by 29 in a convincing 45-16 beating. Addressing the inconsistencies can be the difference between a 6-6 season and a 9-3 season.
The good news for fans, Lock has progressively gotten better ever since he arrived at Missouri in 2015. The senior is projected by many scouts and analysts to not only be a top Heisman candidate but perhaps a first round pick.
A lot of that will be hinged on whether Lock and Missouri can produce consistently against top-level opponents like Georgia and Alabama.
The inconsistencies don’t just fall on Locks' shoulders.
During the 2017 season, the defense would give up 35 and 43 points to Purdue and Missouri State respectively but held Florida and Tennessee to 16 and 17 points respectively.
A big pillar of the defense has been defensive lineman Terry Beckner. Beckner has proven he is a force in the SEC after improving dramatically from 2016 to 2017. In 2016 Beckner had 0 sacks while in 2017 he had 7.
This Missouri team seemed to be fired up during their media availability. A sign the team is eager for the challenges the 2018 season presents. Missouri opens the season at home against the University of Tennessee Martin on September, 1st at 3:00 PM.