The Missouri Tigers didn’t have a great offensive year in 2021.

Yes, they had the SEC’s leading rusher in Tyler Badie, who set a single-season Mizzou record with 1,604 yards. He also had 14 rushing touchdowns and contributed 54 catches for 330 yards and 4 scores as a receiver.

But Badie was really all the Missouri offense had going for it last year. Here’s where the Tigers stood in some important categories offensively:

  • 29.1 points per game (tie-9th in the SEC)
  • 180.2 rushing yards per game (8th in the SEC)
  • 233.5 passing yards per game (9th in the SEC)

In a 14-team league, those numbers are … fine. But you really can’t say anything more about them than that. The Tigers left a lot of points on the table in the red zone. The passing attack wasn’t as dynamic as many hoped. Outside of Badie, no stars really emerged.

Will that change in 2022? Here’s our breakdown of whether the Tigers’ offense will be better or worse this fall:

Passing offense

Spoiler alert: I think the Tigers’ passing attack will be better this year. And that’s not because I don’t like Connor Bazelak, who transferred to Indiana this offseason. He clearly wasn’t healthy this past year and it affected his game immensely.

But I also believe Eli Drinkwitz wants a more mobile quarterback. Even when healthy, Bazelak could hardly be described as “mobile.”

Enter Brady Cook and Tyler Macon. Cook is more of a pocket passer who can also run a bit, while Macon is your true dual-threat quarterback. Graduate transfer Jack Abraham is a threat to run in the red zone, compiling 6 rushing touchdowns in 2019 at Southern Miss.

However, Drinkwitz’s decision will come down to who can get the ball to Mizzou’s playmakers best. Luther Burden, a 5-star freshman, has the talent to make an immediate impact if his quarterback can get him the ball in space.

Transfer TE Tyler Stephens should be a nice safety blanket for the Tigers’ QB. WRs Tauskie Dove, Barrett Banister and Dominic Lovett are all set for more production in 2022, as well.

Faced with a relatively low bar to try to clear, I think the Mizzou passing offense will be a couple of notches better this fall.

Verdict: Better

Running game

This is the easiest call on this entire list. When you lose the SEC’s leading rusher in Badie, your running attack is going to be worse. Plain and simple.

That’s not a shot at Stanford transfer Nate Peat, a Columbia native who I think can pick up a big chunk of those 1,604 rushing yards Badie’s absence leaves behind. I also think the supporting cast will be better than it was in 2021, with Truman State transfer Cody Schrader and rising junior Elijah Young set to be Peat’s top backups.

Schrader led Division II with 2,074 rushing yards and had 25 rushing touchdowns in 2021. He’s a solid weapon to add to the mix.

Still, Badie was a guy who could make big plays even when the defense knew he was getting the ball. He could turn 3-yard losses into 30-yard gains. He was a workhorse who got stronger as the game went on.

That will certainly be missed this year.

Verdict: Worse

Kicking game

Harrison Mevis should be the preseason first-team All-SEC kicker, and it shouldn’t be particularly close.

He’s a perfect 69-for-69 on extra points in 2 years at Mizzou. He’s made 40-of-45 field-goal attempts, too, including 23-of-25 in 2021. That’s a 92% success rate. He has a long of 56 yards, so he has plenty of leg strength to boot (pun intended).

If he continues to improve, he could take another step toward some Mizzou records. Since he’s already one of the best kickers in the SEC, further improvement would have him among the nation’s best.

He’s a legitimate Lou Groza Award candidate and I’m expecting him to be even better in 2022 than he was in 2021.

Verdict: Better


As mentioned in the opening section, Mizzou’s offensive numbers in 2021 painted a picture of a slightly below-average SEC offense. Good, not great. Room for improvement, certainly.

Yes, the Tigers will have a new starting quarterback and have to replace one of the best running backs in school history, but both the quarterback and running backs will have the benefit of playing behind a very experienced offensive line.

Hyrin White, Javon Foster, Connor Wood and Xavier Delgado all have loads of experience and will have the benefit of all those games together when the 2022 season kicks off. Add in a highly-touted recruiting class, featuring potential superstar Burden, and there will be plenty of weapons in CoMo.

Of course, football is a quarterback-driven sport, so Drinkwitz will have to nail that decision from Week 1. If he does, this team can work its way from a slightly below-average SEC offense in 2021 to a slightly above-average SEC offense in 2022.

Verdict: Better