Eli Drinkwitz has been Missouri’s head coach for only 17 games. Before joining the Tigers, his only previous head-coaching experience came in 2019, when he went 12-1 at Appalachian State.

So Drinkwitz is still figuring out exactly what it takes to be a successful head coach, especially in a conference as competitive as the SEC. And games like this past Saturday’s loss to Texas A&M — a 35-14 defeat in Columbia — can serve as a learning experience for the 38-year-old Drinkwitz.

On Tuesday, Drinkwitz met with the media and discussed the knowledge he’s been gaining from Mizzou’s recent struggles.

“Some of that I’ll keep to myself because there’s still a lot left to learn and go through, but I think probably no different than the quarterback a little bit that you’ve got to have both mental toughness and physical toughness in this situation,” Drinkwitz told reporters (h/t Gabe DeArmond and Mitchell Forde of PowerMizzou.com). “Coach [Gene] Chizik used to always talk about you’ve got to have a 10,000-foot view. You’ve got to be able to see above the treeline and make sure you understand where the program’s going and where it’s headed. …

“Rise above and seeing where we’re going and how we’re going to get there and what it’s going to take to be able to get there. And you know, facing some adversity. I haven’t had my butt whipped like that before. Figuring out what is that combination, why is that, what is my ownership of that, how do I fix it? At the end of the day, the ownership lies with me, so I’ve got to continue to find ways to take lessons from losses.”

After losing 3 of its past 4 games to fall to 3-4, Missouri will look to earn its first SEC win of the season when it goes on the road to face Vanderbilt on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on SEC Network.