Now that the 2018 season is over, it’s the end of an era for the Missouri Tigers, who are losing star senior QB Drew Lock to the 2019 NFL Draft.
Lock is expected to be one of the first quarterbacks off the board, and that’s thanks in large part to how much he improved and developed during his time in Columbia. He has one of the biggest arms in the country, and he put together some intriguing game film over his Mizzou career.
As he prepares to play on Sundays instead of Saturdays, Mizzou fans should appreciate just how much Lock gave to the Tigers after being forced into an uncomfortable situation as a true freshman in 2015. Here’s a look at Lock’s top-10 performances in a Tiger uniform.
(Note: Lock set an SEC record with 44 touchdown passes in 2017, but this is more about impact than numbers. I excluded many, but not all, of his big-stat performances against lesser opponents, focusing instead on his best big games.)
10. 2015 vs. South Carolina — 136 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Lock’s first career start was also the best game of his freshman season. The Tigers pulled off a 24-10 home victory over the Gamecocks, and Lock did exactly what he needed to, taking care of the ball and letting the strong defense do what it did best.
The rest of the season was downhill from there, but Lock showed what he could do in that first career start.
9. 2017 at UConn — 377 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs
The Huskies didn’t do much in the way of defense in this game, but Lock was magnificent in the Tigers’ 52-12 road victory. He completed 31-of-37 pass attempts (83.8 percent) for his highest-ever completion percentage as a Tiger. The 5 touchdowns were also nice to see.
8. 2018 at Purdue — 375 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD
After getting embarrassed by the Boilermakers in Columbia in 2017, Lock and the Tigers bounced back in a big way in West Lafayette this year. Lock was excellent, amassing 4 total touchdowns.
Mizzou still needed a last-second field goal to pull off the 40-37 win, but without Lock’s incredible efforts, the Tigers wouldn’t have even been in that situation.
7. 2018 vs. Memphis — 350 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
In his final Homecoming game as a Tiger, Lock did exactly what he needed to do, shredding the Memphis secondary in a 65-33 blowout victory. He was as close to perfect as ever, throwing zero interceptions and completing 79.3 percent of his passes (23-of-29).
Coming after a tough loss against Alabama, this was a much-needed performance and one that helped set the tone for the rest of the season.
6. 2017 vs. Florida — 228 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Lock had the Gators’ number the past two years. This game, in Columbia, was a lopsided 45-16 win over a team that had just fired coach Jim McElwain.
That set the tone for a strong finish to the regular season, and continued the Gators’ slide.
5. 2017 at Arkansas — 448 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs
Two interceptions didn’t help, especially one early, as Lock has done a couple of times in his career. However, like he usually did, he bounced back in a huge way. The Tigers needed it, as they held on for a 48-45 victory despite trailing 28-14 in the second quarter.
Lock did what he needed to do down the stretch to help the Tigers send the Hogs to their eighth loss of the year, which cost coach Bret Bielema his job.
4. 2017 vs. Tennessee — 217 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
Lock didn’t throw for many yards in this game, but he was productive in the red zone in the first of two consecutive 50-17 wins over the Volunteers. Lock was very efficient, and it led to the Tigers picking up a big home victory and clinching bowl eligibility.
3. 2017 vs. Missouri State — 521 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT
I chose not to put too many of Lock’s performances against lesser opponents on this list, but this one was special. To kick off last season, Lock was absolutely dominant. After a rough start, he ended up setting a handful of Mizzou records while thrashing the Bears’ defense.
The Tigers needed it, too, as the defense was awful in what eventually became a 72-43 win for Mizzou.
2. 2018 vs. Arkansas — 221 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 2 rushing TDs
The Tigers mopped the floor with the Razorbacks at Faurot Field this year, winning 38-0 in Lock’s final home game. No, he didn’t go out the way he wanted to in the Liberty Bowl, but his last game at The Zou was one of his all-time bests.
In the cold, rainy conditions, Lock also scored multiple rushing touchdowns for the only time in his career.
1. 2018 at Florida — 250 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
This year’s game against the Gators (a 38-17 victory) at The Swamp was a huge one for Lock and the Tigers. It came after an absolutely devastating loss at home to Kentucky, so it was impressive to see Lock and the offense bounce back.
With this TD pass Drew Lock passes Tim Tebow and Chris Leak IN FLORIDA for 3rd all-time in TD passes in SEC history. He is tied with Peyton Manning with 89!!
Also… Mizzou's up 28-10 at the swamp! pic.twitter.com/27emueEgk7
— #NobodyDied (@ftbeard_17) November 3, 2018
Plus, the Gators talked a lot of trash toward the Tigers this offseason, so winning in Gainesville was extra sweet. The numbers weren’t his best, but it was a great game against tough SEC competition, so it’ll go down as his top performance in a Mizzou uniform.