The Missouri Tigers are expected to use two quarterbacks–Drew Lock and Marvin Zanders–in their season opener at West Virginia.
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Dave Matter relayed following the Missouri Tigers’ practice on Thursday evening, the Tigers are expected to use two quarterbacks in their season opener at West Virginia. Sophomore Drew Lock, who started eight games and played in 12 as a true freshman last season, will share snaps–at least to some degree–with redshirt sophomore Marvin Zanders, who has appeared in just one game over his first two seasons with the Tigers.
More than being an indictment on Lock, who was ranked as the sixth-best quarterback recruit in the nation by ESPN, this could be a sign of how much Zanders has progressed over the past year. As recently as the spring of 2015, there was discussion about Zanders possibly moving to wide receiver or running back to take better advantage of his athleticism.
Last fall, though, senior QB Corbin Berkstresser urged the coaching staff to place Zanders above him on the depth chart as the third-string quarterback.
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He earned time as a goal-line quarterback for the Tigers against Mississippi State on November 5, and obviously he did enough to impress the new coaching staff this spring that he’s now earned a chance at regular playing time.
While anyone who was paying attention last year realizes that Lock was cast into starting action way too soon, he certainly didn’t do much to cement his status as a top recruit in 2015. He impressed early on in non-conference play while rotating with Maty Mauk, and he got off to a good start in his starting debut against South Carolina. Lock finished with just a 49% completion percentage (129-263), four touchdown passes, and eight interceptions, though, failing to throw for a TD in six of his last seven starts.
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That type of play isn’t going to earn him a ton of security as the starter, and especially with a new coaching staff, Lock’s playing time won’t be guaranteed if he doesn’t impress through the duration of preseason practice. Obviously Zanders has done enough to develop a reputation with the new staff, but in the same way, Lock’s status definitely could suffer if he looks unreliable early on this season.