Missouri debuts new QB Bryant on road against Wyoming
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — When Wyoming coach Craig Bohl looks at the Missouri offense this year, he doesn’t see signs of any drop-off from an offense that averaged 36.6 point a game last year behind quarterback Drew Lock, who has since moved on to the NFL.
Rather, Bohl sees that the Tigers heading to Laramie on Saturday to meet the Cowboys have reloaded at the quarterback position with the addition of Clemson graduate transfer Kelly Bryant.
“It’s an explosive offense; he’s an explosive player,” Bohl said.
Bryant led Clemson to the 2017 national championship game before losing his job to Trevor Lawrence after four games last season and has a 16-2 career record as a starter. At Missouri, he’ll be asked to replace Lock, who accounted for 12,193 yards and 99 touchdowns over his career and led the Tigers to bowl games each of the past two years.
Bryant has a strong and experienced supporting cast that includes receiver Johnathon Johnson, who had 59 catches for 737 yards and five touchdowns last season, and running back Larry Rountree III, who ran for 1,216 yards as a sophomore and ended the 2018 season with three consecutive 100-yard games.
“I like the group that we got going into week one,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said. “I’m at ease with the group that we’ve got and our entire organization because I know that everyone’s aligned with the vision that we want and how we’re going to move this program forward.”
Bohl also likes his team heading into the new season.
“There comes a point where there’s a confidence that a team has and as a head coach you always look forward to how the team is going to play,” he said. “And typically you’re going to play how you practice, and I think we’ve been practicing well.”
Wyoming’s offense will be led by quarterback Sean Chambers, who played in four games last year and accounted for 595 total yards and five touchdowns before breaking his right leg in the second-to-last game of the season.
Other things to know heading into Saturday’s game:
SEC IN LARAMIE
Missouri’s visit to Laramie is only the second time in history that Wyoming has hosted an SEC opponent. In 2004, Wyoming hosted Ole Miss and defeated the Rebels 37-32. The Cowboys played at Missouri last year and lost 40-13. Overall, Wyoming has a 3-10 record against SEC teams. Wyoming last defeated an SEC opponent when it beat Tennessee 13-7 in 2008.
Both teams finished their 2018 seasons strong. Missouri won five of its last seven games to finish 8-5, while the Cowboys ended last season with four straight wins to finish 6-6. However, Missouri has lost four straight season-openers on the road since a 3-0 victory at Notre Dame to begin the 1978 season.