Kentucky. Not a pretty name to lose to, but one that’s really on the rise. And if that’s no comfort to you in this time of football despair, it may come as reassurance to know that junior quarterback Maty Mauk’s loss to the Wildcats on Saturday wasn’t far off from what every quarterback has dealt with before, the bad loss.
The situation is similar to what Chase Daniel went through in 2006. After falling to Oklahoma at home and losing their No. 23 ranking, Daniel proceeded to lose to Nebraska before losing to Iowa State…a Cyclone team that had lost six games in a row. This was by no means a good Iowa State team, and Chase Daniel–who is arguably the best quarterback in Missouri history–played a poor game against a bad team after tough losses with the pressure being on him.
Daniel would go on to lose in the Sun Bowl to Oregon State. He would go on next year to have one of the best seasons in school history and lead the team to a No. 1 BCS ranking going in to the final week of the season.
Of course, Mauk is taking a lot of unnecessary speculation as well. His receivers, while working hard and playing tough for the most part, have certainly blown routes in key moments that would have kept drives moving. But receiving is coming together as we speak. The question is will it come together well enough to compete for the East?
It’s tough to say. On top of Missouri beating Georgia on October 17 in Athens, the Dawgs would have to lose another conference game. But that could be this weekend against a hungry Alabama team.
But as far as Mauk goes, let us not get too wrapped up in the idea that he’s failing somehow; all of the best quarterbacks Missouri has ever had will face adversity. It’s the response and growth that will separate Mauk. He’s also orchestrated some of the best drives since Chase Daniel in some of the most critical moments.
Mizzou plays its next two at home, against South Carolina on October 3 and then Florida for Homecoming on October 10.