Brad Smith, Chase Daniel, Blaine Gabbert, James Franklin, Drew Lock.
Mizzou has been fortunate to have had a run of really terrific, and at times transcendent, quarterbacks. We’ve become used to good QB play, and know what it looks like when we see it.
With the acknowledgment behind us, I think we can say that Brady Cook has taken the step.
Cook didn’t hit the ground running the way many of us remember others doing. Instead, he’s needed to grow into the player he is. We knew he was a tough player, and a good runner. But the accuracy on his passing always seemed to be a bit lacking.
This is actually a good reminder that growth isn't linear and, specifically with a position like the QB, it’s often difficult to gauge. Players need time to grow and gestate, and in a lot of ways Brady Cook has done that over the last year and a half and in front of a lot of people. There’s a reason why his head coach, with a multi-million dollar job at stake, keeps putting Brady under center. Our patience for the process is nonexistent, and Cook and his head coach have been at the forefront for more than their fair share of criticism.
Some of the criticism has been warranted. For a long time the offense was unimaginative and the QB looked as if he wasn’t capable of stretching the field. Even as recent as three weeks ago it looked like we were in store for much of the same as we saw last season. But then Brady Cook was unleashed against Kansas State, and we haven’t seen anything other than stellar QB play since then.
He’s completed 74 passes on 101 attempts, which is a 73% completion rate. He’s thrown 8 touchdowns, and he’s throwing the ball with great pace and touch. The ball placement on his throws have been nearly perfect... and on deep balls he’s been excellent.
I’m sure Nate Edwards can give you the details, but if you have watched Mizzou’s offense over the last three weeks it looks precise and multi-dimensional... which is something you could not say four weeks ago. A big part of that has been the precision with which Brady Cook has been throwing the football.
Another big part, and it should not be overlooked, is how good the pass catchers have been. Obviously Luther Burden III has been dynamic; he’s had 28 catches for 431 yards and four touchdowns. But Mookie Cooper (12 catches for 188 yards), Theo Wease Jr. (19 catches for 219 yards), and the big play explosions from Marquis Johnson have given Cook the important weapons any quarterback needs to succeed.
But so many of these throws have just been elite. (forgive the crappy screenshots)
That’s just two of the MANY good throws from yesterday. These are throws that you didn’t see Cook make on a regular basis at any point in his career until a few weeks ago. He flashed a good throw here and there but it wasn’t consistent enough. Now it seems like each time he drops back he’s ready to drop the ball in a bucket yards down the field. And he’s got the playmakers to catch up to it.
Other SEC Scores:
- Georgia (1) 27, Auburn 20
- Alabama (12) 37, Mississippi State 10
- Ole Miss (20) 55, LSU (13) 49
- Tennessee (21) 41, South Carolina 20
- Kentucky 33, Florida (22) 14
- Texas A&M 34, Arkansas 22