COLOMBIA, Missouri — Late in the Missouri football season, coach Eli Drinkewitz resisted making a midfield change and insisted for weeks that Conor Bazelak, despite stumbling with a leg injury, gave the Tigers their best chance of winning.
Brady Cook’s Wednesday play suggested otherwise.
If there was anything to take away from the Tigers’ recent 24-22 loss to the Army in the Armed Forces, Cook’s promising performance challenged the assumption that Mizzou’s backup options were not appropriate to operate the offensive against a good opponent. Cook was consistent in controls all night, completing nearly 80% of his passes while accounting for both MU touchdowns.
The offense had to settle for field goals in three consecutive first-half rounds, but in the final minutes of the game, Cook fired a forward kick for 83 yards in 93 seconds, without the luxury of a timeout.
If the baby’s nerves get in the way, they won’t show. Before the final drive, the former Red Devil Chamenade said he thought to himself, “This is it. This is why we play football.” Two minutes on the clock and a chance to win the game.
The only silence chosen for Cook’s late TD pass to Keke Chism was that he left Army 71 seconds to win the match. But after three consecutive goalless possessions, the Tigers had to score first and worry about the second hour. A better pass for the failed two-point conversion attempt to Dawson Downing would have also helped. However, Cook’s landing forced Army to put the ball in the air with the third-series quarterback – not exactly a Black Knights specialty – and then kick off the longest field goal of the year. The military managed to achieve both, which took nothing away from Cook’s impressive start.