It didn’t take long for Drew Lock to move to second on Missouri’s all-time passing list.
As I noted Saturday, Lock’s second touchdown pass to Emanuel Hall put him at No. 2 on the Tigers’ career passing leaderboard. He currently sits 3,531 yards behind No. 1 Chase Daniel with (fingers crossed) at least 11 games left in his Missouri career. That difference would be smaller had Lock not been taken out of the game for good in the third quarter, but nevertheless, Lock left Saturday with 8,984 career passing yards.
So, when we divide the difference between Daniel and Lock’s numbers by the number of regular season games left (let’s not jinx it and include a possible bowl game), we see that Lock has to average at least 321 yards a game to match Daniel. It seems like Lock should have a shot at closing that gap over the course of the season, and a couple variable could play into that.
For Lock to pass Daniel’s total, he will need to throw for 3,821 yards this season (including Week 1). In his best statistical season in 2017, Lock threw for 3,964, so this seems doable. His 289 yards Saturday were below the 321 average he needs, but again, he was pulled early in a blowout. There should be many more games in which he plays almost every offensive snap, so Lock should put up much gaudier numbers throughout the season.
Also, after seeing Missouri’s ground game Week 1, there might be more reliance on the passing game moving forward. It is an insanely small sample size, and Damarea Crockett and Larry Rountree III were also pulled early in the third quarter, but the two combined for just 100 yards on 26 carries. I don’t expect any future struggles from these two, but they should probably have put up more yards against that Skyhawks defense. If Crockett and Rountree do end up struggling come SEC play against defenses like Georgia and Alabama, Lock’s pass attempt numbers will go up, along with, hopefully, his passing yards.
Young receivers stand out
This new rule that allows players to play up to four games and still get a redshirt will help a lot of programs across the country, and we definitely saw it help Missouri on Saturday.
Coach Barry Odom threw young guys like Kam Scott, Jalen Knox and Dominic Gicinto on the field to see what they could do, and they didn’t disappoint. Gicinto made two catches for 15 yards, while Knox made a highlight-reel catch over a UT-Martin defender along the right sideline for a 38-yard reception.
The top freshman highlight, though, has to go to Kam Scott’s third quarter touchdown. Scott broke over the middle, rose up over one Skyhawk defender to make the grab and outran another on the way to a 70-yard TD (you can watch Scott and Knox’s catches below).
True freshmen shined today for Mizzou in its win over UT Martin. Kam Scott (@Killa_Kam0) made a monster grab for a 70-yard touchdown while Jalen Knox (@JalenKnox9_) followed it up with an equally impressive grab in the second half.— Tyler Murry (@TylerMurryABC17) September 2, 2018
Extended highlights: https://t.co/mbMPp7dQSe pic.twitter.com/hRzvE5MvyR
Overall, Missouri had 394 yards in the air, and Gicinito, Knox and Scott combined for 117 of them. Not a bad first game for the rookies.
Other notable Week 1 stats
- Another freshman looked solid in his first game in Columbia, as running back Tyler Badie ran for 32 yards on 10 carries.
- The man, the myth, the legend Corey Fatony continued to shine as the Tigers’ star punter, even when his offense didn’t give him many opportunities. Fatony kicked three punts for 123 yards, including a long of 49, and he dropped two of them inside UT-Martin’s 20.
- The defense had just four tackles for a loss and it forced just one turnover Saturday. That isn’t a huge deal when Missouri is facing an FCS offense like the Skyhawks, but when it comes time to play top-tier SEC offenses, the defense will need to put up some bigger numbers in those areas.