Nick Bolton played big for Mizzou football Saturday, and the Tigers will count on him going forward.
Mizzou football linebacker Nick Bolton was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week after his performance in the Tigers’ 38-7 bounce-back win over West Virginia on Saturday.
In Saturday’s win, Bolton had 10 tackles, three for loss, and a pair of interceptions, including a 20-yard touchdown to give the Tigers a 38-0 lead.
Bolton was starting his second game of his career for the Tigers, and it was one to remember for the sophomore linebacker. And Mizzou football needed him, too.
The Tigers lost in Week 1 37-31 to Wyoming, and in their home opener, the Tigers were looking to bounce back in a big way against the Mountaineers. Bolton provided a spark on defense that was not present in Laramie one week earlier.
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Mizzou football recorded zero turnovers in its first game, but against the Mountaineers, the defense grabbed three takeaways, the first on a Bolton INT. Ronnell Perkins added another interception in the first half, and in the second half, Bolton picked off a pass on the left side and took it in for the score.
Missouri wanted to make sure its defense came back after a such a disappointment early in the season. And in Week 2, it did just that behind Bolton and Co.
The Tigers held West Virginia to just 30 yards rushing and only 171 yards of total offense. The defense was solid all around, and Bolton led the charge. The now defensive player of the week added a quarterback pressure early in the game while his 10 tackles were a career high.
Bolton needs to continue to come through in big ways to help the Mizzou football team this year. He is one of only two starting linebackers in the new 4-2-5 defensive set, next to SEC first-teamer Cale Garrett. Bolton struggled in Week 1, but the whole team did. During camp, he held off a strong performance from fellow linebacker Aubrey Miller to start the year for the Tigers.
Miller is out for some time with an injury, so the Tigers are counting on Bolton to continue to improve, just as he did from Week 1 to 2.