Transfer quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. stood under center for Team Black during the fourth quarter of Missouri’s Black & Gold Spring Game. He’d already had a chance to showcase his arm in a series with the first offensive unit.
The early drive didn’t end the way he wanted, and the late-game opportunity was another chance to move the ball down the field.
He received the ball, stepped back and delivered a pass.
Instead of reaching its intended receiver, the ball fell into the hands of linebacker Alex Pierce.
The interception was Scott Jr.’s second of the game, concluding Tigers’ fans first look at the highly touted redshirt sophomore from Zachary, Louisiana. And it was an underwhelming one for the quarterback who led East Mississippi Community College to a junior college national championship in 2017.
He completed just one of his eight passing attempts for 11 yards. Most of his passes fell short of the intended receiver, as did the two interceptions.
New offensive coordinator Derek Dooley didn’t name a clear front-runner at backup quarterback during spring practice. The competition for the No. 2 role holds significant meaning this season, and could give Missouri fans an idea of who might have the upper hand at replacing senior Drew Lock as the Tigers’ next starting quarterback. Many expected Scott Jr. to stand out as the clear front-runner.
But after a poor performance in the spring game, the race for the backup spot might be more open than anticipated.
Redshirt sophomore Micah Wilson, who served as Lock’s backup during the 2017 season, went 5-for-8 on the day for just 46 yards. Although he exclusively appeared at quarterback in the spring game, Dooley didn’t shut down the possibility of developing Wilson as a weapon for Lock as a receiver after he worked out wide a few times during practice.
Redshirt freshman Taylor Powell, in his first meaningful appearance for MU, had an impressive day leading the offense. He was a part of the most explosive play of the day, a 65-yard shot down the left sideline to true freshman receiver Dominic Gicinto for a touchdown. He only connected on five of his 18 attempts but accumulated 116 yards on the five completions.
And for Scott Jr., the spring game might have been a fluke.
“Lindsey’s going to let that go. I mean, he’s had a journey at this point, starting at LSU and going to junior college. That sure as heck is not going to affect him,” Lock said after the game.
Redshirt Junior Jack Lowary, a veteran presence on the quarterback depth chart, thinks the competition among backups is a healthy one.
“We’re all different in the quarterback room and we all have a different set of strengths. It’s been nice to just kind of learn from each other and do what we do best,” he said.
Lowary completed five of his six passes for 49 yards and accounted for one of the four touchdowns, a 29-yard strike to redshirt sophomore Harry Ballard III.
Although the competition for the backup role is far from settled, Lock is comfortable with whomever Dooley and the coaching staff chooses.
“I’ve been seeing the same thing I’ve been seeing from them all spring. They’re making plays. They’re going to be able to come out if something were to happen. We’re going to have guys that can come in and fill shoes and that’s huge,” Lock said.
So, when will the backup quarterback race be finalized?
“I think it’s going to go down to the end as usual,” Lowary said.
Supervising editor is Jason Lowenthal: email@example.com, 882-5730.