On Tuesday afternoon, Missouri resumed spring practice in full pads on Faurot Field, where the Tigers went at it for about two-and-a-half hours. Enthusiasm continued to be high, and there was some hitting going on, too!
"It was a lot of energy," said Coach Pinkel, talking about the day's practice. "It's really good! It was a good practice. There's a lot of competition. It was really fun to see that........................... I love the competition. It makes us a better football team."
The Tigers spent a couple of periods with the QBs and TBs working on the options pitch plays. Coach Pinkel said afterward that they needed extra work on those options pitches because the timing and execution has not been what it needs to be.
There was also a segment involving inside running plays featuring two TEs, and two TBs. I think that's referred to as a twenty-two personnel package.
There were a couple of highlights on the day. The first was a catch that Jimmie Hunt made during 7-on-7s.
The second was a series that James Franklin ran during 11-on-11s. Franklin ran several plays that appear to be a series of option plays that all look similar. There was a hand-off, a pitch, a keeper, and a fake hand-off, followed by a quick pass out into the flat. Franklin looked smooth and in control, running that series. This came on the heels of what had started out to be a pretty rough day for the sophomore QB, as he threw a couple of interceptions, both picked off by Kip Edwards, during the early part of practice. Incidentally, Edwards was one of the stars of the day.
"The depth at (cornerback) right now, is probably as good as it's been for a long time around here," said Coach Pinkel, talking about his team's depth at the CB position. "That's a position where it's hard to get significant depth. For some reason, that's always difficult. (Cornerback), and defensive tackle, for some reason, it's hard."
Freshman offensive lineman Michael Boddie shed his red pull-over today, and participated in practice unhindered for the first time. All of the rest of the previously injured players continued to sit out, including Wes Kemp and Jaleel Clark, Dominique Hamilton and Marcus Malbrough, Elvis Fisher, Corey Sudhoff, Derrion Thomas, Luke Lambert, and Will Ebner.
In addition, L'Damian Washington and Tristen Holt each came up lame today during practice, with what appears to be hamstring injuries, and Donovan Bonner dislocated his elbow during one of the drills.
During the 1-on-1 pass rush drill, Austin Wuebbels took Jimmy Burge past the QB, then threw him to the ground. Travis Ruth picked up a win over Marvin Foster, in a closely contested battle. Jayson Palmgren held off a charge by Brendan Donaldson, to register a victory. Brayden Burnett blew right by Mark Hill. Lucas Vincent bull-rushed his way past Nick Demien. Foster bull-rushed his way past Ruth. Brad Madison put an all-conference spin move on Jack Meiners, that left Meiners with that same feeling of wonderment that several Big 12 OTs experienced last season. What a move!
During 7-on-7s, Edwards stepped in front of a Franklin pass attempt, and came up with an interception. Franklin came right back, and dropped one off to De'Vion Moore, out in the right flat. Franklin surveyed the field, and showed good patience, before getting the ball to Gahn McGaffie, on a crossing route for about a twenty-yard gain.
Ashton Glaser found Andrew Jones sitting down near the left hash. Braylon Webb broke up Glaser's pass attempt, which was intended for McGaffie. Glaser found Marcus Lucas sitting down near the left hash for a first down. Glaser's pass hit Steven Drain right in the hands, but it bounced off of his hands. Glaser came right back to T.J. Moe out in the right flat. Moe turned it up for a nice gain. Glaser threw the ball up high in the end zone. Hunt went up in the air and caught the ball. The DB drove through Hunt, taking his feet out from under him, and knocking Hunt upside down. Hunt did a complete somersault, and landed in the end zone, holding onto the football. What a catch!
Tyler Gabbert checked down to Jared Culver, out of the backfield, along the right side. Gabbert hit Hunt near the numbers on the right side of the field, just in front of Xavier Smith and Tony Randolph, for a first down. Gabbert found Kerwin Stricker out along the left sideline, in front of Randy Ponder, for near first down yardage.
Ryan Howerton completed a pass to Wesley Leftwich, out along the left sideline, for a first down.
During the Tiger Drill, Kenji Jackson tackled Jerrell Jackson. E.J. Gaines utilized excellent form, in tackling Wesley Leftwich. Trey Hobson tackled Kendial Lawrence. Henry Josey got past Kenronte Walker. Rolandis Woodland slipped out of Robert Steeples' grasp. Jimmie Hunt spun out of an attempted tackle by Xavier Smith.
During 11-on-11 action, Franklin pitched the ball to Henry Josey, who took it around the right side for a nice gain. Franklin came right back to Marcus Murphy, out in the left flat. Murphy turned it up for a nice gain. Franklin faked the pitch, then kept it, and ran up the gut for a first down. Franklin faked the pitch to Josey going right, then quickly hit McGaffie out in the left seam for a nice gain. Franklin hooked up with McGaffie again, over on the left side. Edwards came up right away, and laid a big hit on McGaffie.
Gabbert hit Woodland on the slip screen. Zaviar Gooden and Andrew Wilson were all over it, and stopped Woodland for no gain. De'Vion Moore took an inside hand-off from Gabbert, and took it up inside. Gooden was right there again, to limit Moore to a short gain. Gabbert found Moe, sitting down near the right hash, for a first down.
Video of Coach Pinkel's post practice thoughts and some sights of practice in video below.