Week 4 for Boston College sees them headed back home to take on Missouri. Now we don’t get many SEC visitors up north, so we needed Sammy Strava over with our SB Nation friends at Rock M Nation to give us the scoop. Hear what he had to say about a program that’s overall in a pretty similar
state (commonwealth) as BC, and his thoughts on their coach’s interesting choice of words this week.
2-1 start to the season for the Tigers. What happened so far, and what are the biggest takeaways from those first three games?
A 2-1 start to the season was just about as expected from Missouri. The Tigers had a solid Week 1 win over a respectable Group of 5 opponent in Central Michigan, a very tough loss to begin conference play at Kentucky which was decided by a touchdown, and a blowout win over FCS opponent SEMO. Nothing about their start has changed the outlook of their season going forward, positively or negatively. The biggest takeaways is that the offense is more than fine, and the run defense is the biggest concern right now.
Seems HC Eli Drinkwitz doesn’t really want to travel up to Boston. He does have some experience in the ACC, serving as OC for NC State during the Ryan Finley days. In all seriousness, does this feel weird to be facing BC? The Eagles haven’t faced an SEC team since Vandy in a 2008 bowl game, and one hasn’t traveled to Boston since 1987.
Yes, no disrespect to Boston College (Drinkwitz explained that in his press conference) but this just feels like a weird non-conference game to play. That doesn’t mean it isn’t an interesting match up — it is an SEC vs ACC game, so it will be a fun battle for conference supremacy, but nothing about it has a regional feel. Boston College does come to Missouri in 2024, so I guess it is technically a home-and-home. I believe a lot of Mizzou fans are making the road trip. All in all, should be a fun weekend in Boston also with the Red Sox hosting the Yankees at Fenway.
Speaking of Drinkwitz, 5-5 in his first season and seems like he has the program going in the right direction. What’s the buzz around him and what are reasonable expectations moving forward in the SEC East?
Last season, Missouri exceeded their expectations with the 5-5 record, but didn’t to play in their bowl game due to COVID which was kind of a bummer. Drinkwitz’s first win of his Mizzou career came against the defending National Champions in LSU – and that really jumpstarted the special vibe around him and this program right now. He is recruiting at an absolutely high level right now with a Top 25 ranked class, with a shot at the nation’s top 2022 wide receiver. That’s all you really need to know – the Mizzou fanbase is really buying in to his culture. His yearly expectations at Missouri should be to consistently finish third in the SEC East behind Georgia and Florida, and every once in a while — perhaps compete for a division crown in a season where the Bulldogs or Gators might be down.
Soph. QB Connor Bazelak and dynamic RB Tyler Badie have already formed quite the connection. What do those two bring to the table, and who else is there to watch out for on this top-25 statistical offense?
Connor Bazelak and Tyler Badie have been tremendous so far, and part of that is due to their experience and familiarity with Drinkwitz’s offensive gameplan. The only question going into this season was if Badie could handle a heavy workload, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue so far because he’s been outstanding. Bazelak has thrown for nine TD passes, already more than he had all of last season. Some other players to watch is at the wide receiver position. Keke Chism is the senior leader of that group and he’s had a solid start to the season. The two newcomers Dominic Lovett and Ohio State transfer Mookie Cooper have some exciting talent and explosiveness, but they’re still a work in progress and will go through some growing pains.
The Tigers have struggled to defend against the run thus far, particularly against Kentucky. How will they hope to stop a still very capable BC offense despite the loss at quarterback?
Mizzou allowed 174 rushing yards to Central Michigan, 340 to Kentucky, and 294 to SEMO. Safe to say, the run defense is the biggest concern right now for this team. This game will be a huge test to see if they can fix those issues. I’m sure it will improve as the season goes on, but right now I just think they’re just trying to get used to new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks’ scheme and gameplan. Without Phil Jurkovec, Boston College will need to run the ball if they want to win this game. For Mizzou’s sake, they’re fortunate enough that the Eagles don’t have A.J. Dillon anymore.
Mizzou sits as a 2 point favorite on the road. Care to venture a guess at the score and how the game plays out?
I’m liking Mizzou in this one. I think the Tigers will end up taking care of business on the road. 30-21. It should be a good game.
Big thanks to Sammy Strava (@StavaonSTL) for taking the time to share his thoughts. Sammy also covers the Cards and the Blues down in St. Louis. Be sure to check out his, along with all of the other, great content at Rock M Nation for all your Mizzou-related content.