Some late-breaking news hit the airwaves just hours before the Tiger’s game against South Carolina: Emanuel Hall and Nate Brown, Drew Lock’s two most dependable receivers, did not travel with the team.
Given the late-breaking nature of the news, we’re scrambling to figure out what this means for the Tigers. So we gathered a few voices to offer their outlooks.
Josh Matejka, Editor: How am I feeling you ask?
This is not one, but two major losses for the Tiger offense. Regardless of whether or not it changes your ultimate prediction, the loss of Lock’s first and (arguably) second receivers puts a lot more weight on the shoulders of guys like Johnathon Johnson, Jalen Knox and a group of other receivers who haven’t proven themselves quite yet. It also makes the success of the run game an absolute must.
Most of all though — and this is why the outlook doesn’t change completely — this means Drew Lock needs to have his A+ game for Missouri to walk out of Williams-Brice with a win. A performance on the level of the Georgia game won’t cut it. A win isn’t impossible for Mizzou, but things are probably more of a toss-up now than they’ve been all week.
Ryan Herrera, Football Beat Writer: The loss of Emanuel Hall and Nate Brown might make this game the biggest of the season for Missouri. Both are the starting wideouts in Derek Dooley’s system, and there isn’t a ton of experience behind the duo on the roster. Starting in their place, if depth charts tell the story, will be true freshman Jalen Knox and Kam Scott.
To me, the news make this a potential signature win for Drew Lock’s career. The Gamecocks aren’t the Tigers biggest rival or even a top-25 caliber team, but the last-minute loss of two of his top options will really show what Lock is capable of doing in the face of adversity.