On Wednesday, the University of Missouri’s Head Football Coach, Eli Drinkwitz, addressed the press via zoom call.
Coach Drinkwitz made it very clear in his opening statement that he felt a tremendous honor to get to coach at the University of Missouri, where the plan is still to play football in an all-conference season. Though the time is extremely unprecedented and the future is unknown, Coach Drinkwitz assured us that the administration at the university, along with MU health officials are, “...doing everything they can.”
In addition to practicing social distancing in both the weight and meeting rooms, the team and all its staff are mandated to wear masks when in the building or nearby facilities. Coach Drinkwitz was proud to announce that the team has less than a 3% positive test rate, comparing that to the local positive test rate of 9% and the state’s positive test rate of 11%.
When asked if there were any concerns going forward due to the fact that the Big 10 and Pac 12’s seasons were postponed until spring, Coach Drinkwitz replied, “It’s completely up to the health experts, I’m just a football coach.” But in an effort to keep spirits high in the locker room, Coach Drinkwitz encourages the players to stay off their cell phones and not listen to any of the rumors concerning the postponing of an SEC season. Coach Drinkwitz made it clear that he and the players are willing to do whatever it takes to play football this fall. “Nothing in life is zero risk,” Drinkwitz said. “The players want to play.”
As far as actual news about the football team goes, there wasn’t too much to report. Coach Drinkwitz was happy to announce that four graduate players would be joining the team this fall and let us know that another four players had left the program and entered the transfer portal. Coach Drinkwitz also confirmed that quarterback Connor Bazelak is fully recovered after suffering a knee injury last season.
Having to face Alabama and LSU in the same season is tough enough of a challenge, but having to face them back-to-back weeks is another type of cruelty. “I chose to coach in the SEC because I wanted to coach against the best,” Drinkwitz said. “I look at those two weeks as a great challenge for our team.” As exciting as it will be to play the Crimson Tide and the defending national champions, there is still lots to sort out before opening week kick off September 12th.