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How do the transfer QBs Mizzou courted in the offseason compare to Brady Cook this year?

Missouri had one good option at QB this offseason, and he’s playing for the best team in the SEC West

Syndication: The Daily Advertiser SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

The story of Missouri’s season is its quarterback play. That was always going to be the case, of course, for better or worse. The stage was set in the offseason when Connor Bazelak transferred, Eli Drinkwitz courted seemingly every transfer quarterback available and Sam Horn decided to forgo the MLB Draft to stick with his commitment at Missouri.

None of those moves ultimately mattered. Not for this season, at least. Brady Cook ended last season as the starter, and he has been the unquestioned starter this season.

The results aren’t what you want to see. The Tigers rank last in the SEC in passing yards per game against FBS opponents (191.5), they are tied for last in the SEC in scoring offense against FBS opponents (21.8 points per game), and they have the worst red zone offense in the conference (72 percent red zone scoring rate). Oh, and did I mention that Missouri’s three passing touchdowns against FBS opponents are the fewest by any power five team in the country?

It’s been a struggle.

Would it be better if Missouri landed one of the quarterbacks they attempted to court in the offseason? It’s hard to say. Situation matters. But I think we are deep enough into the season to compare the quarterbacks the Tigers considered in the offseason.

Mizzou 2022 QB Options:

Stats vs FBS Opponents: Brady Cook JT Daniels Gerry Bohanon Jayden Daniels
Stats vs FBS Opponents: Brady Cook JT Daniels Gerry Bohanon Jayden Daniels
Completions 141 177 74 177
Attempts 217 291 132 257
Completion Percentage 65% 61% 56% 69%
Passing Yards per Game 187 233 142 232
Passing Yards per Attempt 6.9 6.4 6.4 7.2
Passing Touchdowns 3 12 6 11
Interceptions 7 8 5 1
Rushing Yards per Game 24 -4 63 75
Rushing Yards per Attempt 2.45 -1 6.5 4.7
Rushing Touchdowns 5 1 3 9
Team Record in Starts 4-5 3-6 1-6 7-2

Jayden Daniels has been the best of the bunch by a wide margin. He has LSU atop the SEC West standings, and Daniels looks like he did when he burst on the scene as a freshman. His performance has been so impressive that he’s up to seventh in the Heisman odds. So, yeah, that’s quite the miss. But it’s hard to blame a player for choosing LSU over Missouri. Sometimes you miss. It happens.

JT Daniels and Gerry Bohanon are more interesting discussions. Neither has performed particularly well this season. Bohanon has been a low efficiency passer with value in the running game. Daniels has been a low efficiency, but high volume passer who adds nothing in the running game. Cook surprisingly been more efficient than either Daniels or Bohanon in the passing game, and he’s been somewhere between the two with his rushing ability. The three quarterbacks have a combined record of 8-17 in their starts.

Would Daniels or Bohanon have more success in this offense than Cook? I’m skeptical.

Daniels has zero mobility, and his arm is not what it was cracked up to be coming into college. He’s not in a great situation at West Virginia, but how would a statue of a quarterback look behind this offensive line at Missouri? I wouldn’t want to find out.

Bohanon is a bit more interesting. He adds even more in the running game than Cook, but he’s also a less efficient passer. He’s been hurt the past few weeks, and he’s in an impossible situation at South Florida. Could he have been better at Missouri than Cook has been? It’s definitely possible. Would it have been enough to flip some of the one-score games in favor of the Tigers? Again, that’s possible. But it’s hard to say, and it’s also no sure thing.

Missouri appeared to have four options at quarterback this offseason. They had one great option in Jayden Daniels, and what appear to be three below-average options in Brady Cook, JT Daniels and Gerry Bohanon.

The truth is the Tigers were always going to have a limited passing game this season. I’m not here to cape for Cook. I’m not here to make excuses for Drinkwitz. It needs to get better, and the hope is that it will.

The “fix” for Missouri was not, is not and will not be any of Cook, Daniels or Bohanon. The fix needs to be one of Sam Horn or Gabarri Johnson. Here’s to hoping they come through.