Just because it’s the bye week doesn’t mean we can’t have an MV3!
If you’re a regular here, you know that our staff chooses a weekly MV3 celebrating the best three players who took the field for the Tigers. Yes, we even did one for Kansas State!
With Missouri on the bye week, however, we need to take a broader look at the season thus far. Missouri is only 2-4, yes, but there have oddly been more than a few reasons to celebrate. The defense is legitimately excellent, Dominic Lovett has become a star and Harris Mevis continues to thicc his way to glory. And could we see some emergent young guns in the second half? At least Eli Drinkwitz seems open to it!
So who were our top three Tigers in the first half of the season? We got quite a few votes for different players, but three of them eventually won out.
1. Ty’Ron Hopper
When Ty’Ron Hopper joined the Tigers from Florida in the offseason, he was a consensus pick to be one of Missouri’s most important players. He’s lived up to the billing and more, bringing his aggressive style to one of the most surprising units in the country.
Hopper ranks second on the Tigers in tackles (37, one behind Jaylon Carlies’ 38) though it should be pointed out that he ranks first in solo tackles with 33. He’s also one of five Tigers with an interception, is tied for the lead in sacks with 2 and has a forced fumble to his name. More than anything though, his aggression has led the way for Blake Baker’s defense, which brings a similarly charged energy week in and week out. If the offense ever gets going, Missouri could be well on its way to surprising someone in bowl season.
2. Dominic Lovett
If you’d have given the Rock M staff a vote as to which wide receiver would be the most impactful in 2022, almost none of us would’ve picked Dominic Lovett. The shadow of Luther Burden, after all, is long.
But Lovett has more than left the shadow of his good friend. He’s casting a large one of his own. After six games, Lovett is third in the conference in receiving yards at 499, a full 333 yards ahead of the next closest Tiger receiver (Mookie Cooper at 166). He’s only found pay dirt twice, but Lovett has been the shining star of a sputtering offense, torching opposing secondaries with ease despite being Missouri’s only consistent threat. Once Luther Burden figures out Division I football, Eli Drinkwitz will have a special one-two threat on his hands.
3. Harrison Mevis
If someone had told you earlier in the year that Harrison Mevis would miss a chip shot to seal a road win against Auburn, you’d believe one of two things. First, that the person was trying to convince you of a pretty silly lie. Or second, that Harrison Mevis encountered a brutal case of the yips in 2022.
Well I’m sorry to say that it did happen — the first part, I mean. Fortunately, the yips haven’t been much of an issue. Despite his two missed field goals against Auburn, Mevis has been rock solid once again for the Tigers. He’s been so good that, after a career-worst game against Auburn, he almost kicked Missouri past the best team in the country the week after. That’s arguably even more impressive than anything else he’s done in his storied career.
Others receiving votes: Kris Abrams-Draine, JC Carlies, Joseph Charleston, Nathaniel Peat, Ennis Rakestraw, Jr
Now it’s your turn! Tell us who your MV3 are in the comments or on Twitter!