Mizzou Football Notebook: Drink call plays and search for QB coach & OC

A few days after the bowl game against Wake Forest in the Gasparilla Bowl, Missouri (6-6) will continue as usual, despite the departure of several players through the transfer portal and a more recent departure in the coaching ranks.

Quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan left for the Boise State offensive coordinator job, and he won’t be at Raymond James Stadium on Friday to coach the Tigers.

Hamdan took over playcalling duties for the Tigers starting Week 11 against Tennessee, as first reported by PowerMizzou.com. Despite losing 66-24 to the Volunteers, the game marked a season high in points for the Tigers versus a Power 5 team. They followed that up with 38 points in the 45-14 win over New Mexico State before setting another season high against a Power 5 opponent with a 29-27 win over Arkansas in Week 13.

Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz will resume the lead caller role on offense and has worked with the quarterbacks in practice.

“Yeah, I love it and I’m excited to be back,” said Drinkwitz. “The game plan really hasn’t changed much, just go back and run it and invoke it and see what it looks like.”

Before Hamdan took over, the team averaged 23.11 points per game and 17.42 against Power 5 opponents.

Quarterback Brady Cook was perhaps the greatest benefactor of Hamdan’s playcalling. During the three-game stretch, Cook appeared to be the best player on the team, making 55 of 86 passes for 714 yards, seven touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also added 315 rushing yards and a touchdown.

“Not much is changing,” Cook said. “Of course I’m pretty bummed. Coach Hamdan and I were very close. He was a great coach for us, but at the end of the day it’s Coach Drinkwitz’s system and he knows how to get us right in the quarterback room and he knows what to call the transgression.


When can you expect a quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator?

While the players have had a chance to recuperate and heal since the team’s last game on Black Friday, Drinkwitz and his coaching staff have kept busy. In between dealing with the transfer portal and Hamdan’s departure, Drinkwitz has been making visits to recruits across the country, preventing him from really digesting the season, which he sees as somewhat positive.

“I haven’t had time to think about the season and I think that’s good and bad,” said Drinkwitz. “I think this will allow us to 一 once this game is over 一 put the season aside, celebrate Christmas with the family and figure out what we need to do to continue to improve and that will really be the charge once this game is finished.”

However, once this game is over, Drinkwitz said at that point he can focus some of his attention on replacing Hamdan and maybe add an offensive coordinator.

“I know my focus is now completely on gas,” said Drinkwitz. “I’m trying to win this football game and so nothing I can do now will help us do that. So after the game I’ll sit down and figure out which direction to go.” for that position and what we are looking for to move forward offensively.”

Drinkwitz received a contract extension the morning of the Week 10 game against Kentucky, which included an additional $1.2 million to be spent on assistant coaches.

Role players will see the field, but Cook has the QB spot

There will be some players who would normally have had a smaller role on the team, but will get more playing time on Friday, but Jack Abraham and Sam Horn will probably not belong to that group. Drinkwitz dismissed the idea of ​​Cook splitting snaps with the backup pair.

“Yeah, this is Brady’s game,” Drinkwitz said.

While Cook gets most, if not every, rep in the bowl game, there will be a decent number of reps available at the wide receiver with the All-Southeastern Conference second-team selection Dominic Lovet in the transfer portal. Drinkwitz said so Mechi Miller and the return Barrett Handrail will man the castle and he will keep it Luther Burden III on the outside a move many believe Burden could and will make next season.

“It’s a great opportunity for Miller and Demaryion “Peanut” Houston looks to get a lot more looks and Barrett is working his way back to being healthy and ready to go,” said Drinkwitz. “I also appreciate the NCAA ruling that allows Yes’Marion Wayne and DJ Wesolak to play in this game without losing a redshirt. Searched for Tavorus Jones to get some chances and on the defensive side of the ball, the Walker brothers (Arden and Johnny) will be the bookends for us. in safety, Isaac Thompson and Tyler Hibbler I’ve taken the lion’s share of the reps with the second group and I’m looking forward to getting those guys in the game too.”

Wake Forest Defense

Wake Forest's All-ACC third team defensive lineman Kobie Turner.

Wake Forest’s All-ACC third team defensive lineman Kobie Turner. (Andrew Kovar/Wake Forest Athletics)

Much has been made about Wake Forest’s top 10 passing offense and top 20 scoring offense, but that praise isn’t directed at the 95th-ranked defense that allows 410.6 yards per play. That doesn’t mean the team isn’t doing anything right though, the Demon Deacons are actually a good running defense, something the Tigers have struggled with offensively all season.

Coming Friday, Drinkwitz said the team will need to be able to win in the trenches and be successful in the run game.

“I think the strength of their defense is in the penalty area,” said Drinkwitz. “They do a really good job of stopping the run and keeping the ball in front of them. It’s going to be a challenge for us to control the line of scrimmage on both sides.”

Wake Forest enters the game tied for 44th in the FBS in run defense, allowing 137.6 yards per play, while Missouri enters the game with the 62nd ranked rushing offense averaging 158.7 yards per play.

The Tigers have said time and time again that they need to be able to run the ball to open the pass and that may be even more important this week due to Lovett’s aforementioned loss and the number of inexperienced players getting snaps. the wide receiver unit.

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