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Missouri sticking with QB Brady Cook against Abilene Christian

Missouri quarterback Brady Cook (12) runs away from a Kansas State defender during a game against Kansas State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas, on Sept. 10, 2022.
Credit: Madeline Carter/Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK

Missouri hopes to get its offense back on track when it hosts Abilene Christian Saturday.

The Tigers (1-1) suffered a 40-12 loss at Kansas State in Week 2. They mustered 222 offensive yards and 14 first downs against their former Big 12 rival.

“We obviously weren’t clean in running the ball or in protecting the quarterback and then just didn’t make plays,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said. “There were some plays early that I thought we missed that could have changed the tide, but we didn’t get it done.”

Now they face the Wildcats (2-0) of the Western Athletic Conference at Faurot Field. Abilene Christian overcame a 13-7 first-half deficit to defeat Prairie View A&M, 21-13, in its previous game.

“We’ve got an inexperienced young defense,” said first-year Wildcats coach Keith Patterson, who was previously defensive coordinator at Texas Tech. “We just have to get these guys to come out of the gate a little earlier. But I like the way that when stuff has happened the last two weeks, we’ve gone down in both games and our defense just keeps getting better and as the game goes.”

Missouri quarterback Brady Cook completed 15-of 27 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas State. He also rushed for 56 yards on 13 carries.

Backup quarterback Jack Abraham relieved Cook for two series and went 0-for-3 with two interceptions.

“Brady’s our quarterback,” Drinkwitz said. “I was just trying to light a spark or get something else going. But Brady’s our quarterback.”

Missouri rushed for 235 yards and piled up 558 total yards while beating Louisiana Tech 52-24 at home in its season opener.

But at Kansas State, running backs Nathaniel Peat, Cody Schrader and Elijah Young combined to gain 32 yards on 21 carries for the Tigers. Freshman receiver Luther Burden III, one of the highest-ranked recruits in school history, produced nine yards on one catch and one carry.

“One game doesn’t define the season. How we respond will,” Drinkwitz said. “There’s going to be a lot of negative thoughts and opinions out there about it. But this team’s got to stay together. Everything we’re trying to accomplish is still out in front of us.”

Abilene Christian has opened the season with two victories over Division I foes for the first time in school history. The Wildcats defeated Lamar 28-14 at home in their season opener.

Wildcats quarterback Maverick McIvor, a transfer from Texas Tech, has completed 42 of 72 passes for 483 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions in two games. Receiver Kendall Catalon has 11 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive lineman Tyrin Bradley recorded 10 tackles against Prairie View and earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

— Field Level Media