COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou opens up its football season Thursday against Louisiana Tech with Eli Drinkwitz in his third season at the helm.

The two teams have never met before. The game will air on ESPNU with Mike Monaco and Dave Steckel calling the game. The Tiger Radio Network broadcast will have Mike Kelly, Howard Richards, and Chris Gervino mic’d up. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

“This is going to be a team that plays really hard. It means something to this team to represent this state. They ought to be excited about the number of in-state players that we have,” Drinkwitz said during Tuesday’s pre-game news conference.

Drinkwitz announced on Aug. 9 that Brady Cook will be the team’s starting quarterback for the season opener. The Chaminade graduate has played in eight games as a Tiger, including five last season.

Cook shined in the 2021 Armed Forces Bowl vs. Army West Point, completing 27-of-34 passes for 238 yards and a score. He also rushed for a career-high 53 yards and a touchdown against the Black Knights.

There are 50 new Tigers on the roster, including 31 true freshmen and 19 transfers. 48 members of the roster are from Missouri. Nine are from the 573 area code, 24 are from the St. Louis area, and 11 are from the Kansas City area.

Outside of Missouri, three Tigers are natives of Louisiana: Carmycah Glass, Daniel Hawthorne, and MaKyi Lee.

This is the third straight year that the Tigers will start their season at home. They haven’t played a Thursday game since hosting Mississippi State on November 5, 2015.

Mizzou’s kicker Harrison Mevis is entering his third season as a first-team preseason All-SEC coaches’ selection. Last season, he had 19 field goals from at least 30 yards out, the most by a returning kicker. He has an 88.9% accuracy rate which is the best of any active kicker with at least 40 career attempts.

The Tigers’ second game will come Saturday, Sept. 10 in Manhattan, Kansas against Kansas State.