Tyler Badie is having an outstanding season, and it’s no secret. Each week, he improbably seems to take his game to another level, and against Vanderbilt on Saturday, he might’ve put together the best performance for a Missouri skill position player in over a decade.
On 39 touches, the senior running back accounted for 294 yards of total offense and two touchdowns. After the stellar performance, Badie currently sits atop the SEC in almost every single statistical category for a running back, and his numbers look even better when you compare them nationally.
Badie is fourth in rushing yards, second in yards from scrimmage, third in touchdowns from scrimmage, and third in all-purpose yards all while going up against SEC defenses that key specifically in on him each and every week. In and around Mizzou circles, he’s been the talk of the land, but there really might not be enough words to describe just how impressive his season has been.
However, despite all the individual success, Badie is just focused on doing what he can for his team, not the accolades. “We were just trying to win the game,” Eli Drinkwitz explained regarding Badie’s massive workload. “He wants to win, I want to win, this team wants to win and we’re just trying to do whatever it takes to win this game. That’s what it took.”
After the game, Badie reiterated the same ideas as his head coach, “It’s the biggest thing I tell my teammates, whenever they need me, they know they can count on me.”
On almost every occasion this season, Badie has kept his word and delivered when his teammates needed him. Without him, the Tigers’ season would look even bleaker than it already has this year, and Eli Drinkwitz knows Badie’s play is what stirs the pot for his team, “He’s really the engine that drives us and he’s just got a big heart. He’s a competitor and showed it tonight.”
For all the statistics and numbers Badie stuffed the stat sheet with on Saturday, there was one play that largely might’ve gone unnoticed had his head coach not commended it as one of his best of the night.
Trailing 14-10 as the first half wound down, QB Connor Bazelak dumped the ball off to Badie in an attempt to get into field goal range. In an attempt to ensure the Tigers got another play, Badie went down so the Tigers could call timeout. On the next play, Bazelak converted a hail mary to WR Keke Chism giving the Tigers a halftime lead and some much-needed momentum going into the second half.
After the game, Drinkwitz made sure it was known the integral role Badie played in that game-altering sequence. “That’s just an intelligent football play by Tyler Badie,” he said. “Being in the middle of the field, if he tries to get too many more yards, the clock is going to run out, and we’re not going to have a next play.”
Filling the stat sheet at record rates and doing all the little things right… At this point, what can’t Tyler Badie do?