Missouri Tigers football coach Drinkwitz names starting quarterback for rest of season

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Brady Cook rides again.

For the second straight year, Missouri Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz has named Cook the Tigers’ starter, this time ahead of the second game of the season.

Cook earned the job over redshirt freshman and former four-star prospect Sam Horn and Miami transfer and redshirt sophomore Jake Garcia.

Cook, a Chaminade High product out of St. Louis, was the front-runner to earn the spot this season after Drinkwitz said he would open camp with the first team. That was subject to change should any of the challengers take charge.

Cook played the first half in Mizzou’s season-opening win over South Dakota, completing 17 of 21 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown. He added a score on the ground.

Horn played the second half, throwing just five passes for three completions, a touchdown and an interception.

Drinkwitz was complimentary of Cook’s performance, character and leadership after the win last Thursday. He announced the QB competition was over during his weekly media availability Tuesday. He said Horn will continue to get reps, but that the Tigers will move forward with Cook as QB1.

In late December, the team announced Cook had suffered a torn labrum in Missouri’s Week 2 loss against Kansas State. He played through the rest of the season with the injury, but underwent surgery in the offseason that caused him to miss the entire spring.

He told the Columbia Daily Tribune on July 30 that he was cleared for full activity in May.

“I think the only difference (this year) really is that experience behind me, that confidence I’m gonna have now just knowing I’ve seen all these looks, I’ve been here before,” Cook said at the beginning of camp. “I’ve competed in fall camp before, you know, it’s just a sense of confidence I’m gonna have. Other than that, you know, it’s fall camp. It’s fall camp number four for me, you know, it’s the same process and the same deal.”

Cook took over the starting role from an injured Connor Bazelak for Missouri’s 2021 Armed Forces Bowl loss to Navy. Cook had made eight appearances in a Tigers uniform before the 2022 season, all but one in reserve.

Horn and Garcia were seen as the main threats to Cook’s job security, but both are now set to begin the season as backups.

Missouri faces Middle Tennessee State on Saturday at Faurot Field in Columbia.