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Missouri’s Drew Lock got a lot of help on his way to national player of the week honors

The benefits of your defense having the worst 25 minutes ever: your offense stays on the field long enough to set records

J’Mon Moore
Briar Napier

We’re going to walk through the stats from Missouri-Missouri State in greater detail in a bit, but here’s a teaser:

Drew Lock’s enormous day — 21-for-34 for 521 yards and seven touchdowns — drew national recognition, and of course it did. But when your 13 shortest passes of the day generate half of your yardage, that means others are putting in some impressive work. Mizzou averaged 20 yards per completion on passes thrown within five yards of the line of scrimmage, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that.

When Mizzou lost Bud Sasser, Jimmie Hunt, and company following the 2014 SEC East title run, the Tigers also lost the ability to consistently block on the perimeter. It was a constant drag in 2015, when they were desperate for occasional easy yardage, and while there were glimpses of improvement last year, the blocking was still inconsistent.

Granted, blocking Missouri State defenders isn’t the same as blocking DBs from South Carolina, Auburn, etc., but what we saw on Saturday was near-perfection. And once the sideline passes worked, everything else was going to work too.

Okay, I lied. Here’s a second stat:

Once the sideline passing game proved so effective, all Lock had to do was glance in that direction to confuse the safeties, then throw up the seam to the tight ends. Al Okwuegbunam, Jason Reese, and Kendall Blanton combined for five catches, 103 yards, and two touchdowns.

In all, seven players had at least one 16-yard reception. Mizzou was generating big plays from short and long passes, and Josh Heupel remained one step ahead of the defense in his play-calling. It was a pretty thing to watch, no matter how ugly the defense was.

It also won Lock a national award.

Mizzou Football junior QB Drew Lock (Lee's Summit, Mo.) was named Walter Camp National FBS Offensive Player of the Week, announced Sunday (Sept. 3) by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Lock quarterbacked a Mizzou offense that hung a school record 815 yards of total offense and 72 points on in-state foe Missouri State Saturday. Lock himself set Mizzou school records for passing yards (521) and passing TDs (seven).

In addition to setting school records in the aerial assault of the Bears, Lock's 521 yards were the fifth-most ever by an SEC quarterback while his seven TDs make him just the sixth SEC player to connect on seven touchdowns.

More links:

“Drew played about as good as I’ve seen him play. He’s practiced at that level for most of fall camp,” head coach Barry Odom said.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Johnathan Johnson said: “When they told me the stats, me personally, that’s what I always expect from him. That’s the type of quarterback he is. He always is focused on everything he has to do.”