On Saturday, the Missouri Tigers held their 12th practice of the spring, and their second major scrimmage. This is the big one, that is weighted toward player evaluation, and setting the depth chart coming out of the spring. Each unit, got in for about 40-50 plays. Tyler Gabbert and James Franklin each worked about equally with the first and second-team offenses, and against the first and second-team defense. Ashton Glaser worked mostly with the third unit, and against the third unit.
Several players wore the red jersey of the non-participant, including Elvis Fisher, Stephen Carberry, Kyle Peasel, Rolandis Woodland, Derrion Thomas, Donovan Bonner, Luke Lambert, Will Ebner, Tony Randolph, and Xavier Smith.
Fisher was seen running sprints along with Kurtis Gregory. Rumor has it that Gregory is under consideration to replace John Kadlec on the radio broadcast.
The day belonged to James Franklin, who continued the elevation in his play that we've seen since returning from spring break, and dominated the QB competition, even more than the statistics would suggest. Coach Pinkel was reluctant to talk about the QB competition, preferring to focus on the frequent poor snaps, and things like interceptions, and dropped passes. He said that because of the mixing and matching going on up front, that he wasn't overly concerned about some of the protection issues.
"When you have problems, you come back out and correct the problems, and you're better the next week," explained Coach Pinkel. "That's how you become a better football team.............................. Certainly, I think we're making progress, but we've got a lot of work to do."
At the beginning of practice, the punt units took turns working on punts, and punt coverage. It did provide the opportunity to identify the present pecking order at the punt return position. It appears that T.J. Moe is the first-team punt returner, followed in order, by Marcus Murphy, Gahn McGaffie, and Jimmie Hunt. Trey Barrow was absolutely booming the ball today!
As usual, each unit began with the ball at their own 2-yard line. Gabbert took the snap from under center, and handed off to Kendial Lawrence, who drove straight ahead for about 4-5 yards. Two more hand-offs to Lawrence netted a first down.
Franklin came out with the second unit, and went against the starters, the reversal of Gabbert's first series. A pair of direct hand-offs to De'Vion Moore netted no gain. Facing third and ten, Franklin found Eric Waters out along the right sideline. Waters was tackled immediately, just short of the first down.
Franklin brought out the first unit, with the ball on the 25-yard line, and found Michael Egnew out along the left sideline for about 5 yards. Franklin came right back to Egnew, who picked up the first down, before he was run out of bounds by Daniel Easterly and Darvin Ruise. Wuebbels had limped off, and the first unit had Jayson Palmgren at right guard, Jack Meiners at left guard, and Justin Britt at left tackle. Lawrence took an inside hand-off over the right side for about 5 yards. Franklin's deep pass down the left hash sailed incomplete over Egnew's head. McGaffie took the hand-off on the speed sweep, and picked up about 3 yards around the left side. Franklin lofted a perfect pass deep down the right sideline that Moore hauled in for a big gain. Eric Waters took a screen pass from Franklin, and took it in for the TD, over the right side.
Franklin fitted one in nicely down the right sideline to Jerrell Jackson, but Jackson was ruled out of bounds. On the next play, Franklin's pass appeared to be on target, but Egnew appeared to turn the wrong way, and the pass fell incomplete.
Gabbert hit Andrew Jones over the middle for about 5 yards. Henry Josey took Gabbert's pitch, and picked up a couple. Brad Madison sacked Gabbert, and stripped the ball, which was recovered by Anthony Gatti. Gabbert scrambled to his left, and threw the ball out of bounds, in the direction of Bud Sasser, who was bracketed. Murphy took a swing pass from Gabbert out in the left flat, and was stopped immediately. Gabbert got it out quickly along the left side to Waters, for about a 4-yard gain. Gabbert's next pass attempt was broken up, and tipped into the air. E.J. Gaines made the interception, and returned it the distance. The next snap was on the ground, and Gabbert covered it.
Glaser completed his first pass to Jared Culver, out along the left side, for about 8 yards. Two plays later, Culver took a swing pass, and turned it up the right sideline for a big gain, before he was finally brought down. Glaser showed good patience, keeping the ball until he pitched it to Josey late. Josey walked in untouched.
That's about how the day went. Franklin moved the offense into the end zone, and showed good poise, and pocket presence. Some of his running ability was on display, as well. I thought Franklin's numbers would have been even better had he not been the victim of a disproportionate number of drops. Gabbert made some nice plays, but was often quick to leave the pocket, and he seemed to be unsettled by the defensive pressure. He tried to force some things, too, and was fortunate he didn't have more balls picked off.
I'll be very surprised if Franklin isn't back at number one on Tuesday. As for the competition at WR, Bud Sasser has to be the starter. Jackson may have done enough to hold onto his starting job, with a couple of nice grabs late during Franklin's two-minute TD drive. But, I'd like to see Jimmie Hunt move out to that X WR spot, so that he could get up there and challenge Jackson for the starting job.
One other occurrence of note. Twice during Franklin's two-minute TD drive, he out ran Jacquies Smith to the sideline. On the first one, instead of running directly out of bounds, Franklin out ran Smith to the sideline, then cut it up, tight-roping the sideline for about 10 yards, and the first down, before getting out of bounds. On the TD run, Franklin sat in the pocket until Smith was almost right on top of him, then he out ran Smith, taking it around the left side, and up the sideline for the score.
Mizzou Football Scrimmage Stats
Defense Defeats Offense, 18-12
· Eric Waters 9-yard pass from James Franklin
· E.J. Gaines 32-yard interception return
· Henry Josey 5-yard pass from Ashton Glaser
· Trey Hobson 42-yard interception return
· Bud Sasser 11-yard pass from Ashton Glaser
· De'Vion Moore 3-yard run
· Marcus Malbrough 40-yard fumble return
· James Franklin 12-yard run
Comp. Att. Yds. TD Int.
James Franklin 19 30 222 1 1
Tyler Gabbert 14 26 103 0 1
Ashton Glaser 15 24 175 2 2
TOTALS 48 80 500 3 4
Rec. Yds. TD
Eric Waters 5 30 1
Jared Culver 4 81 0
De'Vion Moore 4 60 0
L'Damian Washington 4 35 0
Gahn McGaffie 4 29 0
Jerrell Jackson 3 54 0
T.J. Moe 3 39 0
Henry Josey 3 38 1
Marcus Lucas 3 25 0
Michael Egnew 3 12 0
Kerwin Stricker 3 10 0
Wesley Leftwich 2 24 0
Andrew Jones 2 9 0
Marcus Murphy 2 9 0
Bud Sasser 1 11 1
Jimmie Hunt 1 9 0
Wes Kemp 1 (-1) 0
TOTALS 48 500 3
Att. Yds. TD
James Franklin 4 27 1
Kendial Lawrence 5 24 0
De'Vion Moore 7 19 1
Marcus Murphy 3 17 0
Ashton Glaser 1 14 0
Henry Josey 6 12 0
Jared Culver 2 8 0
Gahn McGaffie 1 4 0
Kellen Wright 2 (-1) 0
TOTALS 31 124 2
INTs Yds. TD
Trey Hobson 1 42 1
E.J. Gaines 1 32 1
Randy Ponder 1 14 0
Kenronte Walker 1 0 0
Tackles For Loss – Braylon Webb (1)
QB Sacks – Brad Madison (2), Jimmy Burge (1), Kony Ealy (1), Marvin Foster (1), Zaviar Gooden (1)
Passes Broken Up – Trey Hobson (1), Kenji Jackson (1), Brad Madison (1), Randy Ponder (1), Matt White (1)
Forced Fumbles – Kony Ealy (1), Brad Madison (1), Randy Ponder (1)
Fumbles Recovered – Marcus Malbrough (1-40, TD), Kony Ealy (1-0)
Field Goal Blocks – Kony Ealy (1)
FG-FGA Makes Misses
Grant Ressel 4-5 39, 50, 30, 43 30 (bloc.)
Trey Barrow 2-4 30, 30 39, 50
Blake Owens 2-4 30, 30 39, 50
Trey Barrow 4-199 49.75
Christian Brinser 4-158 39.50