Alabama Football: Winner of four-way QB battle at Missou may regret it


Alabama football will introduce a new Missou QB to the harshness of college football.

Alabama football fans relish an opening game with the Crimson Tide defense attacking an unproven quarterback. For the four young men competing to become the Missou starter, an old adage applies – Be careful what you wish for.

The four Missouri Tigers QB candidates are Shawn Robinson and Taylor Powell, both redshirt juniors, a redshirt freshman in Connor Bazelak and a true freshman in Brady Cook.

Robinson is a TCU transfer who sat out the 2019 season. In his two TCU seasons, he completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,518 yards. His 2018 stats were inflated because of mostly competing against Big 12 defenses (plus Southern University). Ironically, his best game was against Ohio State when he passed for 308 yards.

Taylor Powell is less experienced, having thrown only 76 passes in 2018 and 2019. His completion rate is 46 percent, totaling 431 yards. Connor Bazelak had surgery in December to repair an ACL injury in his right knee. It happened in his only start of the three games he played during his 2019 redshirt season. He should be healthy by opening weekend. The incoming freshman, Brady Cook was a 3-star, high school recruit.

New Missouri head coach, Eli Drinkwitz is in no hurry to choose a starter. Delaying the public release of that decision, until the last possible moment, is perhaps the only edge Drinkwitz has over Nick Saban. Speaking recently, Drinkwitz said,

"(Alabama) has no idea if they’re going to scout Washington tape, UAB tape, TCU tape, App State tape, N.C. State tape. They don’t know which quarterback to prepare for. Whether they’re going to watch high school tape for a kid, watch the Arkansas game from last year, the Georgia game from last year or a TCU game from two years ago."

Drinkwitz can’t be faulted for using what little edge he has. Still, a hungry Alabama football defense could play vanilla schemes and dominate an unproven Missouri offense. All the tape Drinkwiz mentioned above will be carefully analyzed by the Alabama Crimson Tide staff. Nick Saban’s penchant for preparation and his deep bench of analysts would do no less if Drinkwitz named a QB starter well in advance.

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Young and inexperienced quarterbacks typically relish any challenge. But being measured as a starter against what will be an amped-up Crimson Tide defense could be more than humbling – it could be ugly.