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MV3: Dud against Wake Forest still produces some compelling performances

Mizzou didn’t do much against the Demon Deacons, but some individual performances were still worth noting.

NCAA Football: Gasparilla Bowl-Wake Forest at Missouri Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

What a sour note to go out on, huh?

As I’m sure you’re tired of reading, Mizzou’s 2022 season went out with a whimper against Wake Forest last week, the last gasp of a team with few reinforcements and a few too many departures to best their ACC foe. Once again, it leaves a sour taste in the mouths of those who are itching to see the Tigers come up with some sort of bowl trophy. We were even willing to accept this one.

But it’s not all bad... as it never is. Our staff submitted their final MV3 ballots of the season and still found a few reasons to celebrate. Take a look and let us know if you agree/disagree.

1. Chad Bailey

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a bit unfortunate that Chad Bailey became the figurehead for Mizzou’s dysfunction that evening, because he was actually quite good on the field.

Bailey will be more remembered for feuding with Ennis Rakestraw, Jr. in a strange display of Tiger-on-Tiger crime, but he was the Tigers’ guiding light on defense for most of the evening. The veteran led the team in total tackles, tackles for loss and sacks while tacking on a defended pass for fun. The defense started slow, but picked up as the game went on, a direct tribute to Bailey’s leadership. If only that could’ve shown in a more productive way.

2. Luther Burden III

NCAA Football: Gasparilla Bowl-Wake Forest at Missouri Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

A fittingly uneven bowl performance to cap the young star’s first season in Columbia. Burden was a menace when he touched the ball against Wake — emphasis on when — regularly making defenders miss and creating positive yardage. He’d like to forget the muffed punt and missed a good chunk of the game due to injury treatment, but he still looked like Missouri’s most dangerous player with the ball in his hands.

3. Mookie Cooper

NCAA Football: Gasparilla Bowl-Wake Forest at Missouri Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t look now, but the crown jewel of last year’s transfer class may finally be settling in. It’s been a difficult few seasons for the former five-star recruit, but the departure of Dominic Lovett may have opened a role for Cooper to fill. He led the Tigers in total receiving yards against Wake Forest and flashed some of his ability to get open in the slot. Cooper will once again have competition next season, but he’s never looked better and will never have a better chance than now.

Others receiving votes: Brady Cook, Jaylon Carlies, Armond Membou

Now it’s your turn! Tell us who your MV3 are in the comments or on Twitter!