COLUMBIA, Mo- On Tuesday, the University of Missouri’s Head Football Coach, Eli Drinkwitz, addressed the press via zoom call.
This past Saturday, Drinkwitz and the Missouri Tigers demonstrated that they belong in the SEC. Despite coming in unfavored, the Tigers showed their resilience and ability to control a game’s tempo. The Tigers led the entire ball game until the clock ran out in the fourth quarter. It was a statement win.
Today, Coach Drinkwitz reiterated what he said on Saturday— that his team played well in all three phases of the game. He mentioned that he was incredibly proud of Larry Rountree III, who carried the ball for a career-high 37 times. For reference, Kentucky only managed to run 36 total plays.
“It’s not always rose petals in football,” Drinkwitz explained. “Nobody likes to hear about their weaknesses, but that’s the only way a player is going to improve their game. That’s what Larry [Rountree III] is willing to do.”
Coach also noted that quarterback Connor Bazelak preformed at an incredibly high level against Kentucky. Bazelak went 8-9 on third down against the Wildcats. “He’s got a long way to go as a player, and I’ve got a long way to go as a coach,” Drinkwitz said.
With the 2020 season being the way that it is, you can expect a lot of things to be unprecedented; just look at all the schedule changes that have happened. Drinkwitz says that this season has taught him and his coaching staff how to be flexible. He says that when you focus on the task at hand and nothing else going on around you, you will find success.
The one exception, however, has been the team’s social justice campaign. Coach has talked about the team’s plans to stand against social injustice for multiple weeks now, and although he hasn’t expressed every detail, it’s clear that those types of problems are being talked about inside the locker room.
According to coach, every player on the roster is registered to vote and the players will have next Tuesday off in order to do so.
As far as this week goes, Florida will be yet another challenge for the Tigers. The Gators will be the fourth ranked opponent Mizzou will have to play heading into their fifth game of the season.
Finding a way to shut down quarterback Kyle Trask will most certainly be a key to winning that ball game. Coach also pointed out that Florida has established an excellent game on the ground as well, which will require just as much attention.
Practicing in the snow this week and then preparing to play in 80 degree weather has its own set of challenges, but Coach compares it to this 2020 season in general, “You’ve got to be flexible to find success.”
We’ll see just how flexible this Missouri team really is on Halloween. Hopefully nothing too scary.