COLUMBIA, Mo (KMIZ)
Despite missing months of practice due to COVID-19, Missouri football is still moving forward with the installation of Eli Drinkwitz's new offense.
There has not been a lot of information on what this new offense could translate to on the field.
“It’s very fast tempo. You’ve got to know what you’re doing right away. But if you know what you’re doing and you’re able to move fast, it’s very very smooth. Fast is smooth and smooth is good," said Missouri wide receiver Maurice Massey.
One coach added that the offense has an interesting vibe.
"It's pro ideals with. a college spirit," said MU tight ends coach Casey Woods.
From Drinkwitz's first press conference as Mizzou's coach, he said the offense would be quarterback driven.
Despite that, coach Drink said he will not be announcing who will be starting behind center.
“I ain’t announcing it. So, don’t worry about it, week one, we ain’t telling nobody," he said. "Everybody is going to have to guess and it’s going to be used as an advantage for us.”
The Tigers will meet the Alabama Crimson Tide on week one of the all-sec season.
"The person who's going to play us first has no idea if they're going to scout Washington tape, UAB tape, TCU tape, App State tape, NC State tape. They don't know which quarterback to prepare for," Drinkwitz said. "Will they watch high school tape from a kid? They don't know if they will watch the Georgia game from last year or a TCU game from two years ago."
Out of the five quarterbacks MU has, there are three contenders with the most experience: Taylor Powell, Shawn Robinson, and Connor Bazelak.
The hallmark of Drinkwitz's offense is building the foundation around its strengths.
“Coach Drink is really great about putting guys in the best situations to win their matchups," said Missouri running back Dawson Downing.
Missouri has a history of strength at the quarterback position, but this season the Tigers return an experienced running back duo.
Larry Roundtree returns as MU's top running back, but Tyler Badie also has room for his own contributions after a break out season last year.
"Over the years we just really got to know each other better. We can really sense what the other needs during a possession," Badie said. "Just knowing each other and what are our strong suits."
Roundtree leads all SEC players in career rushing yards, while Badie led the team in receptions.
On Monday, Badie said there are still things that he and the offense needs to work on before week one.
"We just need to be more consistent," he said. "I feel like everyone needs to see just a little bit more out there. Everyone just needs to see little sparks and I just want to show that I can do it."
For now, Drinkwitz said he is focusing on building the foundation of the offense, before getting into the specifics or worrying future matchups.
“Mizzou is worried about Mizzou right now. Mizzou’s got plenty of issues to fix, things that we’ve got to work on. If we start focusing on week one opponent right now, then we’re going to miss laying the foundation and improving," he said.
Coach Drink placed building blocks around the offense: graduate transfers to remedy a young receiving core and a battle at the offensive line.
But one player managed to sum up the offense pretty quickly.
“Plays are plays, man," said offensive lineman Case Cook. "We have to go out there and make plays work, regardless of what the play is, what it's called, or who calls it.”