Missouri has experienced an extraordinary improvement on offense this season, and it’s mostly thanks to the work of new offensive coordinator Josh Huepel and his work with sophomore QB Drew Lock.
Tigers head coach Barry Odom said on the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday that Huepel, who also serves as the team’s quarterback coach, has done great things in the quarterback room.
“Since we started back in January, they’ve outworked everybody in the program,” Odom said of Huepel and his quarterbacks. “And to play really well at that position, you’ve got to have 10 guys around them playing well also. But there’s ownership in protecting the football. There’s ownership in making sure that you’ve done everything throughout the week to prepare yourself to lead an offense. And those guys have embraced that.”
Under Huepel, Lock’s completion percentage is up more than 10 points from last season, 59.3 compared to 49 percent in 2015. He’s already thrown for more yards and 10 more touchdowns this year than he did in all of 2015. The Missouri offense as a whole has improved from scoring 13.6 points per game in 2015 to 44.5 points per game four weeks into this season.
That improvement in scoring and efficiency is what Odom expected when he brought in Huepel in the offseason. The head coach said that when he watched the offenses that Huepel has coached in the past, he saw that they were very efficient and didn’t make a lot of mistakes. He said Huepel’s experiences from his playing career as a national championship-winning quarterback at Oklahoma has helped him be a better coach as well.
“I think because Josh was such a great quarterback, and then he’s coached a lot of really, really good ones over the years,” Odom said, “he’s got a pretty good plan on everything those guys need to get done on a Sunday, the checklist that you do throughout the week to have success.”