In the 1st quarter on Saturday, Missouri looked like it was going to give No. 1 Georgia all it could handle. The Tigers were able to move the ball with backup quarterback Tyler Macon, who also ran the ball effectively and had the Dawgs confused.

The Tigers even took a 3-0 lead in Athens. Dare to dream?

No. After sleepwalking through the 1st quarter, the Dawgs woke up, remembered they were the No. 1 team in the country and cruised to a 43-6 win.

Beating Georgia in Athens would have been historic anyway, especially without injured starting quarterback Connor Bazelak. Mizzou definitely missed Bazelak at times. If nothing else, his experience might have given the Tigers a better chance to make it a more competitive game.

Ironically, the bright spot was the play of the 2 young Mizzou quarterbacks, Macon and Brady Cook.

Cook played well at times and looked impressive when the Tigers actually moved the ball in the 2nd half. He got them down around the Dawgs 30-yard line several times, resulting in a missed field goal and a made one. Macon also got the Tigers in the red zone a few times with his running and passing ability.

Early in the game, Macon was able to run the ball, and Georgia was not prepared for that at all. If Bazelak is out next week, you wonder if coach Eli Drinkwitz will go to a 2-quarterback system with Macon running and Cook passing.

Impressively, neither quarterback had a turnover. That has to be promising. And both made a few plays on that Georgia 1st-team defense that might have raised a few eyebrows.

Which now raises the question: Did the play of Macon and Cook open the door for another quarterback competition?

We all know about Bazelak’s struggles leading up to last week’s Vandy game. With both Cook and Macon looking pretty good in a loss, does Coach Drink have a quarterback controversy on his hands?

You have to think that if Bazelak is sidelined for a while, it could create an opportunity for Macon or Cook. But which one does Drinkwitz choose?

Cook was able to move the ball by throwing downfield, but he wasn’t able to get it into the end zone. Although Macon didn’t score a touchdown either, he was able to move the chains into the red zone with hands and feet a few times.

A quarterback who can run and pass is a dangerous combination, especially in this conference. All you have to do is look at Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral, who is at his best when he creates opportunities for himself by running.

Drinkwitz needs to decide who gives his team the best chance to win. He could also play both quarterbacks. What would he have to lose? At this point, you can play both, and whoever has the hot hand keeps the job.

And by playing both, an opponent wouldn’t know which quarterback to prepare for, which would give Mizzou an advantage.

Solid and consistent play at quarterback is something the Tigers have been missing since the 1st half of the season. If they can get any kind of decent quarterback play in the next few weeks, they have a chance against Florida, Arkansas and South Carolina.

Mizzou doesn’t need Cook or Macon to win a game by himself; it just needs them to play well enough not to get beat. If they can do that, then maybe, just maybe, Mizzou will actually win their 6th game this year and go to a bowl game.