Missouri’s Lock shows Wyoming all facets of his game
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — For Drew Lock, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy.
With Missouri’s offense struggling to get going in a 40-13 victory over Wyoming, Lock imposed his will on the Cowboys. Wyoming’s defensive line was drawing near on a third-down play in the second quarter when the Missouri quarterback scrambled to his left, lowered his shoulder and bowled over cornerback Antonio Hull to pick up a first down. Then he let Hull know about it.
“As a quarterback, you know your team really well,” Lock said. “We hadn’t been playing up to our standards as far as finishing drives, so I needed to kind of poke the bear. We needed to get our offense rolling and get a little juice, and if it takes me talking some smack, I’m going to do it.”
His coach approved.
“He understands that the entire team is looking at every move he makes,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said. “I’m happy for him. It’s hard when you’re not able to be yourself. That’s maybe a little bit what he’s lived with. Now, you see who Drew is.”
He showed Wyoming all facets. He completed 33 of 45 passes for 398 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for a career-high 51 yards and another score.
“I’m glad I could put that on film to show people I am athletic, even though I knew I was athletic the whole time,” Lock said with a laugh.
In the second quarter, Lock showed nifty footwork dodging defenders on a 12-yard touchdown scramble. After building a 16-0 halftime lead, Missouri (2-0) scored on its first four possession of the second half to put the game out of reach.
“We got whupped,” Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said.
After a fruitless first half full of misfired pass attempts and stuffed runs, Wyoming (1-2) looked better offensively in the second half. Jevon Bigelow scored on a 7-yard touchdown run, and Cooper Rothe connected on field goals of 51 and 36 yards. Tyler Vander Waal completed 13 of 28 passes for 160 yards.
SECOND HALF STRUGGLES
For the second straight week, Wyoming struggled in the second half. Last week, the Cowboys led Washington State 16-13 at intermission before losing 41-19. After holding Missouri in check early, Wyoming allowed the Tigers to score on their first four possessions of the second half.
“It’s easy to execute in the first half when you’re fresh and you’re ready to go, and credit to them, they made us not execute and not finish,” Wyoming safety Andrew Wingard said.
THE FOG OF WAR
During home games, Missouri celebrates scores with a cannon blast. After Lock’s touchdown pass to Albert Okwuegbunam late in the second quarter, the smoke from the cannon hung over the field as a strange botched extra point unfolded. Missouri holder Corey Fatony couldn’t handle the snap and tried to run with the ball. He fumbled, and Wyoming began to work the ball downfield, with ball-carriers lateraling each time they were close to being tackled. The Cowboys made it to midfield but were called for an illegal forward pass.
“Fatony put on his moves, didn’t cover a lot of ground, but put on his moves. I can relate,” Odom said. “Then we turned the ball over, and it was lateral and lateral and lateral. I still don’t really know what happened. I look forward to seeing it on video, because I couldn’t see through the smoke.”
Wyoming: Senior running back Nico Evans, who had rushed for 279 yards in the first two games, didn’t make the trip to Missouri. Without Evans, who injured his ribs in the third quarter of Wyoming’s loss to Washington State on Sept. 1, the Cowboys rushed for 88 yards against the Tigers. Bigelow led Wyoming with 18 carries for 56 yards.
Missouri: Emanuel Hall didn’t even start the first four games of last season, but since then he has established himself as one of the nation’s most productive wide receivers. Hall caught 10 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown against Wyoming, giving him 14 catches for 342 yards in two games. “He’s matured as a competitor,” Odom said. “He’s matured in his ability to prepare the right way during the week. He has grown up. He has the ability at times to take over a game.”
Wyoming: The Cowboys will host FCS opponent Wofford on Saturday.
Missouri: The Tigers will try to avenge last year’s 35-3 loss to Purdue when they play the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Ind.