By Hunter Jones
Special to The Tuscaloosa News

While the Missouri Tigers will field a new quarterback this season, it won’t be a quarterback who hasn’t started before. Kelly Bryant transferred to Missouri from Clemson thanks to the new redshirt rule that allows players to appear in four games before redshirting.

During his time at Clemson, Kelly threw for 3,338 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for another 973 yards and 16 touchdowns.

“They were selling me on how Drew (Lock) had the success he had within the year when he put himself in the position to be where he wanted to be, and at the end of the year, he was a second-round draft pick,” Bryant said. “I was like OK, that’s a box check for me – how they can grow me into the quarterback that I want to be, being able to play at the next level.”

While a high-profile transfer quarterback like Bryant would normally be the dominating story behind a team before the season, the Tigers were unfortunately handed a bowl ban for the 2019 season. While the Tigers appealed the bowl ban and the appeal is pending, as of now they won’t have a postseason.

“The thing I talked about with the momentum I have going in our program, the amount of time we would spend on any of those thoughts, really it doesn’t do anything for beneficially to move our program forward,” head coach Barry Odom said. “It’s wasted. It’s out of our control, wasted thoughts.”

After Missouri received the bowl ban, the NCAA also allowed any seniors to be able to transfer immediately from the program. No Missouri players chose to transfer from the program.

“I think it says a lot about our entire program as a whole. Just looking first at the locker and the type of players we have, most of us are guys that have come up together since freshman year, either as redshirts or true freshmen,” said senior linebacker Cale Garrett. “We have been through a lot together. I think we want to go out together. We also know that we have a really good football staff, not only football wise but also in strength and conditioning that genuinely cares about us and give us their best on a daily basis. A lot of us understand that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It is greener where you water it. We all want to grow together and go out the right way.”

2018 record: 8-5 (4-4 conf./Tied for 4th-SEC East)
All-time SEC championships: None
All-time bowl appearances: 33 (15-18)

2018 results
Sept. 1 vs. UT Martin W 51-14
Sept. 8 vs. Wyoming W 40-13
Sept. 15 at Purdue W 40-37
Sept. 22 vs. Georgia L 43-29
Oct. 6 at South Carolina L 37-35
Oct. 13 at Alabama L 39-10
Oct. 20 vs. Memphis W 65-33
Oct. 27 vs. Kentucky L 15-14
Nov. 3 at Florida W 38-17
Nov. 10 vs. Vanderbilt W 33-28
Nov. 17 at Tennessee W 50-17
Nov. 23 vs. Arkansas W 38-0
Dec. 31 vs. Oklahoma St. L 38-33

Starters returning: 14 Offense: 7 Defense: 6 Specialty: 1
Starters lost: 10 Offense: 4 Defense: 5 Specialty: 1
Returning offensive starters: Trystan Colon-Castillo (OL, Jr.), Yasir Durant (OL, Sr.), Tre’Vour Wallace-Sims (OL, Sr.), Johnathan Johnson (WR, Sr.), Albert Okwuegbunam (TE, Jr.), Jalen Knox (WR, So.), Larry Rountree III (RB, Jr.)
Returning defensive starters: DeMarkus Acy (DB, Sr.), Cale Garrett (LB, Sr.), Chris Turner (DL, Jr.), Tyree Gillespie (S, Jr.), Christian Holmes (DB, Jr.), Akial Byers (DL, Jr.)

Returning statistical leaders
Rushing Att Yards Avg TD
Larry Rountree III 225 1216 5.4 11
Passing Att Yards Avg TD
Taylor Powell 14 134 9.6 0
Receiving Att Yards Avg TD
Johnathan Johnson 59 737 12.5 5
Tackles Total Int Sack TFL
Cale Garrett 112 0 1 6.5

2019 schedule
Aug. 31 at Wyoming
Sept. 7 vs. West Virginia
Sept. 14 vs. Southeast Missouri State
Sept. 21 vs. South Carolina
Oct. 5 vs. Troy
Oct. 12 vs. Ole Miss
Oct. 19 at Vanderbilt
Oct. 26 at Kentucky
Nov. 9 at Georgia
Nov. 16 vs. Florida
Nov. 23 vs. Tennessee
Nov. 29 at Arkansas