Tyler Badie gets off to a good historic start


How do you know when someone is ready to take on a bigger role? This is a question that anyone in a leadership position has asked themselves at some point. For Eli Drinkwitz, this was a question he had to ask himself and his staff during the offseason when it came to Tyler Badie.

The 5-foot-8, 195-pound ball carrier really ready for a huge workload?

Badie averaged just seven touches per game a year ago. He finished the season with less than 50 races.

He already has 39 carries in the first two games of the season. He touched the ball 52 times in the Tigers’ first two games. I think it’s fair to say that he did well to take over from Larry Rountree III.

Typically, an increase in volume results in a decrease in efficiency. It’s hard for a player to be as efficient on 20 touches per game as he could be on five. Badie seems to break the law of averages as often as he breaks the laws of physics.

Badie averaged 7.6 yards per touch in 2020. He averages 7.5 yards per touch in 2021. Volume plus efficiency equals production. And, my God, has Badie been productive. His new role sees him lead the country in yards from scrum until the first two weeks of the college football season. He’s just become Missouri’s first player in at least the past two decades with over 100 rushing yards and over 100 receiving yards in the first two games of the season.

This begs the question: how productive could Badie be in 2021?

Notables Mizzou RB in their final season

Year: To classify: To recover: Precipitation course: Reception course: Scrimmage Meters: Meters per key: Total number of affected:
Year: To classify: To recover: Precipitation course: Reception course: Scrimmage Meters: Meters per key: Total number of affected:
2003 RS Zack Abron 1,018 171 1,189 5.3 13
2004 JR Damien nash 792 176 968 5.1 8
2007 RS Tony Temple 1,039 68 1 107 5.7 13
2009 JR Derrick Washington 865 156 1,021 4.7 ten
2012 RS Kendial Laurent 1,025 114 1,139 5.2 12
2013 JR Henri josey 1,166 65 1 231 6.7 17
2014 RS Marcus Murphy 924 212 1,136 5.5 5
2017 RS Ish witter 1,049 87 1,136 5.7 7
2020 RS Larry Routree 972 100 1,072 4.8 14
2021 JR Tyler badie 264 128 392 7.5 3

He’s currently on the pace for nearly 1,600 rushing yards, 750 receiving yards and 18 total touchdowns. Seems … unlikely? Let’s use the story as a bit of a guide.

According to Sports Reference, Badie is the 10th player in the past 20 years with at least 250 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the first two weeks of a season. The latest to do so was Christian McCaffrey at Stanford in 2016. The roster also includes Ameer Abdullah, Jay Ajayi, Joseph Randle and Steven Jackson.

The previous nine players to accomplish this feat finished averaging 1,500 rushing yards, 350 receiving yards and 21 total TDs. If Badie matches those numbers at the end of 2021, it would be one of the most productive seasons in Missouri football history.

Okay, maybe we’re getting a head start here. Badie has been excellent, but is he really going to be this productive the rest of the year? It’s hard to say. Either way, he’s off to an incredible start and one that has only been matched by the best of the best of the past 20 years. Badie’s full skill set is perfect for a creative player like Eli Drinkwitz. It will be interesting to see how the Tigers keep Badie involved as the season progresses and teams begin to focus more and more on Mizzou’s star running back.

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