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Will Missouri's Drew Lock get the help he needs in 2016?

Here are today's Mizzou Links.

Mizzou Tigers pennant What's On

Yours truly, of course! Here's this week's PAPN, in which we talked about why Houston maybe doesn't have a great shot at getting into the Big 12 just an hour or two before the University of Texas' president sort of announced he was endorsing UH, thereby negating our premise.

It was a podcast-heavy week, actually. Did this week's Rock M Radio and hung out with the Good Bull Hunting guys for a bit, too. Both of those should be worth a listen.

Mizzou Tigers pennant What's ELSE is on?

The Mizzou SEC Network Takeover!

Mizzou Tigers pennant Thoughts and prayers, OSU OSU Mourns Death of Tyrek Coger

Coger passed away during conditioning yesterday; if you'll recall, Coger was long ago committed to Frank Haith and Missouri, right around the time the Nevin Shapiro allegations came down. (Mizzou ties don't make it any more or less tragic, obviously -- just pointing that out in case you recognized the name.)

Mizzou Tigers pennant Something to build around

With fall camp around the corner (and all eyes on Drew Lock and the offense), I thought it might be interesting to flash back to a couple of pieces David Morrison wrote for The Trib at the end of last season:

The Trib (David Morrison): Which Returning MU Player Could Have the Biggest Impact on 2016?

Any way you slice it, Lock had basically the worst season of any SEC starting quarterback last year. [...]

The raw material is still there. Lock still has a strong, accurate arm and, when he's given time, he can make the right reads.

All you have to do is look at the BYU game for evidence of that. In the midst of all that struggling -- he completed 41.7 percent of his passes for 4.18 yards an attempt in his two games prior -- Lock came back with his most efficient start of the season against the Cougars.

He completed 68 percent of his passes for 8.7 yards an attempt and a touchdown. Yes, he threw an interception -- and should have thrown another, if not for a needless BYU pass interference in the end zone -- but that still qualifies as marked progress from the rest of last year.

Missouri gave up no sacks in that game and gave Lock time, as the line held and Josh Henson rolled the pocket to give him more room.

Which brings us to the next point: Lock needs help.

(Speaking of help, here's PowerMizzou on this year's receiving corps.)

The Trib (David Morrison): What, Pray Tell, Can MU's Offense Build Around in 2016?

One: vary your sets.

Missouri had five games in which it used its base, four-wide set half the time or less and it averaged 18 percent more yards per game (293) in those than it did the other six against FBS competition (248.2).

Two: if you're going to play four-wide to the hilt, you better be able to make it two-dimensional.

Against FBS competition, the four-wide was a 37-percent run set on the year, not counting sacks. In the four games in which Missouri ran more often out of the four-wide than that, it averaged 322 yards a game. In the seven games it ran less often, it put up 238 yards a game.

So...are those two things in Heupel's DNA? Judging from his playcalling with Utah State in the Potato Bowl, that appears to be a maybe.

No, seriously, fall camp really is around the corner. Amazing, huh?