COLUMBIA, Mo. – After one of the finest quarterback performances ever by a Mizzou freshman Saturday, Mizzou QB Connor Bazelak is the SEC Freshman of the Week, announced by the league office. In addition to the weekly award from the SEC, Bazelak also earned spots on the Manning Award Star of the Week and Davey O’Brien Great Eight lists.
In his second career start, Bazelak engineered an unbelievable day for the Mizzou offense as the Tigers defeated No. 17 and defending national champion LSU, 45-41, Saturday at Mizzou’s Memorial Stadium. The win marked Mizzou’s first over a ranked opponent since Nov. 3, 2018, at No. 13 Florida and it was Mizzou’s first win over a defending national champion since Sept. 9, 1978, when Mizzou defeated fifth-ranked Notre Dame, 3-0. It was also Mizzou head coach Eliah Drinkwitz’s first win since taking over the program.
At 85.3 percent (29-of-34), Bazelak posted Mizzou’s best-ever completion percentage against a ranked opponent or FBS opponent, a mark that is also a Mizzou freshman record and ranks second in school history. The only performance better than Bazelak’s was Chase Daniel’s 94.1 completion percentage against Southeast Missouri during his senior season in 2008. He is just the fourth Mizzou QB to have an .830 completion percentage or better when passing at least 30 attempts; the other three – Drew Lock, Blaine Gabbert and Chase Daniel – are all currently in the NFL.
Bazelak’s passer rating of 242.4 was the sixth-best mark in program history, with the other five coming against SEMO, Iowa State, Missouri State, Nevada and Idaho for the best-ever rating against a ranked team for a Mizzou QB. Before Bazelak’s performance Saturday, the previous best rating by a Mizzou QB in an SEC game was Drew Lock’s 210.3 at Florida in 2018.
The redshirt freshman passed for over 406 yards and four touchdowns – the first Mizzou freshman to pass for four touchdowns in a game since Maty Mauk against Kentucky in 2013. Only five Mizzou QBs have ever thrown for more yards than Bazelak did Saturday – keep in mind it was his second career start. Bazelak led the offense to 586 total yards, including 406 through the air, and at one point completed 15 consecutive passes, the longest such streak since Chase Daniel had 20 straight against Buffalo in 2008. Bazelak’s streak ended on a ball he had to throw away after being flushed from the pocket on a bad snap.
Bazelak and the Tigers return home this Saturday for the 109th Homecoming against Vanderbilt. Kickoff will be at 6:30 p.m. (CT) on SEC Network.