COLUMBIA, Mo. — Blame the pandemic-disrupted offseason.
Blame the hellacious schedule.
Blame the quarantine conundrum that’s shipped a dozen players off the practice field.
All those factors and more could explain why the offense Missouri puts on display in next Saturday’s season opener against No. 2 Alabama won’t truly reflect the system first-year coach Eliah Drinkwitz had planned when he took over the program. Hailed as one of the college game’s rising and innovative offensive thinkers, Drinkwitz, 37, landed the Missouri job in part for that reputation, conveniently at a time when a lifeless and uninspiring 2019 offense had stalled the program’s momentum in the wake of Drew Lock’s passage to the NFL.