Welcome back to another season of the MV3!
For those who don’t remember, the MV3 was a series we introduced last season as a way of “rewarding” the players our masthead thought were most worthy of recognition in the previous weekend’s game. The name MV3, of course, stems from the mid-2000’s St. Louis Cardinals teams that boasted Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen down the middle. Did you need that bit of factual info? Probably not. But I gave it to you anyway.
Anyway, the voting was pretty straightforward after Mizzou’s 34-24 win over Central Michigan. The first choice should be pretty obvious (especially if you read the headline), but there were five other players who received votes from our masthead. In the end, the top two choices were runaways, while the third spot came down to one or two voters putting him higher on their ballots.
1. Tyler Badie
There’s really only one true choice to lead the first MV3 of the season. After an offseason of questions regarding whether or not he could be the feature back of an offense, Tyler Badie had every answer in his first game as the unquestioned starter. The senior rushed for a career high 203 yards and a score while adding 40 yards and another score through the air. When he got even the slightest bit of help from his blockers, Badie was uncatchable, hitting running lanes with ease and slicing through the Chippewa defense like a hot knife through butter. Missouri may have struggled as a unit in Week One, but there was never any doubt as to who the best player on the field was.
2. Blaze Alldredge
Yes, Coach Drinkwitz, we’ve seen the hair. And yes, Coach Drinkwitz, we’ve got a player on our hands.
Blaze Alldredge was hailed as Nick Bolton’s replacement the moment he committed this summer. While that’s an incredibly unfair expectation to place on the newbie, Alldredge seems to be aware of the high standard he’s aiming toward. The graduate transfer’s first outing as a Tiger was far from perfect — he missed quite a few tackles, overpursued a fair amount and generally struggled to the start the game. But he also created absurd amounts of havoc, notching 3.5 sacks, 2 QB hurries and a total of 8 tackles to lead a defense that managed to step its game up in the second half. Ideally Alldredge’s game won’t be quite as volatile as it was on Saturday, but you can live with some mistakes if the production stays that high in the coming weeks.
3. Akayleb Evans
More than a few brows were furrowed after Akayleb Evans failed to turn up as a starting corner on the first two-deep of the season. It only took the transfer one game, however, to prove that he may be the most electric talent in the secondary.
Evans was a dynamo in his first game as a Tiger, breaking up passes, bullying opposing wideouts and, most notably, snagging an interception that turned the early tide of the game. The pass he picked off was thrown behind the receiver, but Evans also had to display high-level body control to turn in mid-sprint and reel the ball into his body. Those kind of ball skills haven’t been present in the Tiger secondary since EJ Gaines. It was an exceptional debut for the Tulsa transfer, who should be listed as a starter on the two-deep from now on.
Others receiving votes: Connor Bazelak, Grant McKinnis, Harrison Mevis
Who were your MV3 for the week? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @RockMNation!