On the first play from scrimmage against Georgia, freshman quarterback Drew Lock fumbled the snap from senior center Evan Boehm.
Missouri, which started at the Bulldogs’ 1-yard line after senior safety Ian Simon’s interception, settled for a field goal after two Russell Hansbrough runs were stuffed on subsequent downs.
Those missed points loomed large in a 9-6 loss. The touchdown there could have turned the game, and it’s not the first time Lock has had trouble handling a snap under center.
Before this season, Lock had taken snaps under center a handful of times in his high school career, so it’s a new experience for him.
He’s working hard to get the mechanics down and avoid future errors.
“I just have to work on it,” Lock said. “We’re taking 50 snaps a day from now on. I think I just pulled my hand too early. I should’ve kept it underneath there. I was getting a little antsy trying to score our first touchdown.”
As Lock spoke with the media Monday during the Tigers’ weekly media availability, Boehm came up and whispered in his ear.
There was no practice that day, but Boehm still wanted to get in those 50 snaps on the mezzanine after he wrapped up the weekly senior meeting with coach Gary Pinkel.
Lock’s numbers since taking over the starting role when junior Maty Mauk was suspended haven’t been glossy, but recent history suggests actually favors Lock over Mauk.
The Tigers played South Carolina, Georgia and Florida in succession each of the last two seasons. While neither Mauk last season nor Lock this season set the world on fire during that stretch, the stats favor Lock across the board except in rushing.
Here’s a comparison:
Drew Lock 2015
vs. South Carolina
Maty Mauk 2014
at South Carolina
Lock expects much more from himself and is his own harshest critic, which isn’t uncommon for elite athletes (or, let’s face it, people generally).
“This is going to pay off,” Lock said.
To be clear, neither Missouri quarterback played well in the season’s toughest trio of games during the last two seasons.
Objectively comparing the two, it’s hard be overly critical of Lock, especially considering that Mauk had eight starts under his belt before undertaking that stretch of play and also had considerably better personnel around him.