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Mizzou Football: Brady Cook silenced critics in stellar performance against Kansas State




 

Missouri versus Kansas State was circled on the calendar for just about everyone inside the Mizzou football program this fall. After a 40-12 dismantling last year in Manhattan, Kansas, there was a sour taste left in the mouths of the Tigers. They felt like they should've won and that they were the better team. Players weren't happy, but you wouldn't find many more upset at the loss than Missouri starting quarterback Brady Cook.


Fast forward a little over a year later and Brady Cook and the Tigers got theirs in a thrilling victory over Kansas State as Harrison Mevis nailed an SEC record 61-yard field goal to top the Wildcats as time expired. However, the result wouldn't have been what it was without an unprecedented performance from that of Brady Cook.


"Truly this game was revenge. This game meant a lot to me after what happened last year in Manhattan." said Cook following Missouri's 30-27 win over Kansas State.


Entering today's game, Brady Cook had never even thrown for 300 yards in a game. Against Kansas State, Cook was 23-35 for 356 yards and 2 TD's and added another touchdown on the ground. It was by far his best game as Missouri's quarterback.


Fans have had their doubts about Cook for a long time now, and a lot of their doubts were justified. Cook simply hadn't shown a consistent ability to push the ball downfield through the air up to this point. Missouri even struggled to sustain a consistent passing game through the first two weeks of the season against South Dakota and Middle Tennessee.



Not only that, but Missouri was nearly upset by Middle Tennessee at home when Cook fumbled through the end zone for a safety to make the game 23-19. The fanbase's confidence in Cook and the offense was at an all-time low. Unimpressive outings against an FCS and C-USA team? Nobody was predicting the Tigers to beat No. 15 ranked Kansas State in week three.


In fact, confidence was so low, that Missouri fans apparently booed Cook when he was announced as the team's starting quarterback during pregame. Head coach Eli Drinkwitz didn't like that.




There was some talk around the fanbase and media about Missouri potentially holding back some of the offensive playbook after lackluster performances in the first couple weeks. Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz was indifferent when answering questions about this idea. Some debated whether the issue was the play calling or quarterback play. Whatever that's worth, Missouri went from looking like all it was capable of was screen passes and handoffs to looking like a BIG-12 offense against former BIG-12 foe Kansas State with Cook at quarterback. Might be safe to say the team held back some concepts.


Brady Cook went to eight different receivers throughout the game and looked more comfortable than he ever had passing on Kansas State's secondary. Five Missouri pass-catchers totaled 40 yards or more receiving and Cook was hitting them all in different spots.



Almost any time Missouri desperately needed something on offense, Cook was airing it out deep for a big Missouri gain to get them closer to scoring position. Simply put, Missouri won today because of the offense and because Brady Cook outplayed Will Howard.


If someone told you that before the game, you'd think they were crazy, but that's what happened. Cook took this offense to a level it hasn't really seen since he became the starter. More impressive, Cook had the performance he did despite getting injured towards the end of the first half when he sprained his knee after being tackled near the sidelines.


The Missouri offense took a step back after Cook got hurt, but he went out there after the threat of him running was taken away and led a scoring drive with back to back dimes to Theo Wease and true freshman Marquis Johnson. Tough as nails, Cook put the Tigers on his back and totaled nearly 400 yards of offense by himself.


Leading Missouri to a win over a ranked Kansas State team, Cook cemented himself as a player Missouri can win a lot of games with under center in 2023. Cook has been doubted for a long time, but on Saturday he proved that he deserves not only to be the starting quarterback, but that he deserves to have the support of fans.



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