COLUMBIA, Mo- On Tuesday, the University of Missouri’s Head Football Coach, Eli Drinkwitz, addressed the press via zoom call.
The Missouri Tigers will end their 10 game SEC regular season on the road this Saturday. A win would put the Tigers at 6-4 on the season, and guarantee third place in the SEC East standings. Their opponent this week: The 2-7 Mississippi State Bulldogs. Missouri comes into the this matchup as a light 2.5 point favorite, but according to Coach Drinkwitz, no wins in this league are for certain.
With a win on Saturday, Missouri will definitely earn a trip to a bowl game. Drinkwitz said that his Tiger team is looking forward to getting the chance to play in a bowl, and won’t choose to opt out like other teams around the country have. “I’ve got a good feeling we’re going to get a big-time bowl game,” Drinkwitz said. Playing in a bowl game is crucial, think of all the potential recruits you’d attract by playing on such a big scale. “For us to have that type of presence on national television, it’s a reward.”
Coach Drinkwitz said that he’s only met Mississippi State Head Coach, Mike Leach on one occasion, and that was at an SEC head coach convention. Drinkwitz spoke highly about Coach Leach, and said that he thinks Leach has proven himself as a head coach offensively this year. This Saturday will be the first time either has ever played against one another.
The Tigers will be ready to go no matter what, but there will likely be a list of injuries. Coach Drinkwitz confirmed that Tyree Gillespie and Micah Wilson will be sidelined due to injury. Additionally, Jalen Knox and a series of guys on the defensive line are questionable for this weekend. A few notable players include Trajan Jeffcoat, Markell Utsey, and Kobie Whiteside. Drinkwitz mentioned that he feels fortunate that Mississippi State is a pass-heavy offense because of all the banged up players on Missouri’s defensive line. “I don’t think we could sit in the trenches this week,” Drinkwitz explained.
Despite the long list of injuries, alongside the grim number of scholarship players the Tigers have this week (56), Drinkwitz says that he’s still living the dream. “This season has been a war of wills and I think our guys’ wills have been strong,” he said. Drinkwitz continued and said he is constantly reminding himself to understand the position he gets to live every single day, even though there were times when things didn’t go the way he planned. “When you go to bed at midnight and have to wakeup at five in the morning, that’s all a part of the dream,” Coach said.
Drinkwitz was asked about Shawn Robinson’s current role on the team. Coach spoke highly of Robinson, saying that he’s handled everything the right right way this season and has been an excellent teammate. Shockingly, Robinson actually played quite a bit against Georgia. He now wears number 12 and is a part of the special teams unit. He was on the field for both the opening kickoff against Georgia, as well as the blocked punt. Drinkwitz said that he’ll continue to play this week against Mississippi State.
Another hot topic has been the possibility of Missouri assistant coaches taking other coaching jobs somewhere else this offseason. Drinkwitz says that he of all people understands that everyone has their own path that they need to follow, however he has asked that all of his staff remains focused until this Saturday.
That’s all the good stuff from today, no new COVID-19 cases either.