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Pinkel confirms Lock will start Saturday

Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel confirmed Wednesday freshman QB Drew Lock will make his first career start for Mizzou on Saturday against South Carolina.

“Well first of all, I think he’s very excited about it. He’s a very talented player, and I’m very thankful we got him some of the work he has,” Pinkel said during the SEC teleconference Wednesday morning.

Pinkel said he’s more worried about the players surrounding Lock than his freshman quarterback performing at a high level against an SEC opponent.

“You know, the offensive line playing well, receivers you know, getting open and making some tough catches,” Pinkel said. “Trying to run the football better, a combination of all those things. That’s what will help him quarterback better.”

Mizzou announced Tuesday night junior quarterback Maty Mauk is suspended for a violation of team policies. Offensive lineman Malik Cuellar is also suspended for disciplinary reasons.

“When we make those type of decisions, we don’t look at circumstances, and who the player is, the type of game it is, what have you. We just do what I always say is the right thing to do,” Pinkel said.

Lock has played in each game this season. The freshman from Lee’s Summit, Missouri has completed 60 percent of his passes in limited action throwing for one touchdown and one interception.

Mauk has had another inconsistent season, throwing for six touchdowns and four interceptions. However, his QB rating is 112.5, which is lower than Lock’s 141.3. Mauk has also played a significant role in helping the Tigers reach the SEC Championship game for the last two seasons.

In a statement, Mizzou Athletics said the status for each player will be evaluated after Saturday’s game against South Carolina. If Mauk is cleared to play, this raises another question – Who will be the starting quarterback moving forward?

“Anytime we have a suspension, we assess the position of the player coming back on Sunday’s after it. That’s happened in any suspensions I’ve ever had in the 25 years I’ve been a head coach, and we’ll do that the same this way.”

Mizzou plays South Carolina this Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Kick off is set for 11 a.m.

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