The University of Central Missouri has been playing football since 1895. And in that time, no Mules quarterback had ever thrown for more than 500 yards.
That is, until Saturday in St. Joseph, Missouri, when senior Brook Bolles topped the mark against the Missouri Western Griffons. Bolles completed 19-of-36 passes for 506 yards and five touchdowns as the Mules improved to 3-0. For his effort, Bolles was named MIAA Offensive Player of the Week.
The win didn’t come easy. UCM jumped out to a big first half lead, weathered a ferocious Missouri Western comeback, and held on in overtime to win 48-45.
Bolles has now thrown for 1,023 yards this season. In just three games. That puts him on pace for 3,751 yards this season, which would be fourth best in school history. He’ll get a chance to build on those numbers this Saturday when the Mules host Washburn University at Walton Stadium/Kennedy Field.
The Ichabods (1-2) are seventh in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in passing defense. They allow 238.3 yards per game (which is eight yards fewer than Bolles threw for in the first half against Northeastern State two weeks ago). Washburn has allowed eight touchdown passes as well (Bolles has thrown for 12 with just two interceptions).
The Ichabods haven’t fared much better against the run, allowing 197.3 yards per game on the ground, which is eighth in the MIAA. The Mules average 215 yards rushing, fourth best in the MIAA.
Offensively, Washburn is sixth in the league in scoring and passing and seventh in rushing. Conversely, the Mules defense is fourth in scoring, ninth in passing and third in rushing.
If the Mules win Saturday, it will be the first time they’ve opened the season 4-0 since 2009 – when Bolles was in seventh grade.