The Missouri Tigers practiced in full pads for the first time this season, and the pads were popping, as Coach Pinkel's team went through a two-and-a-half hour workout on Faurot Field early Monday morning. The intensity of the competition is increased, as fall camp heads into two-a-days, and as the first scrimmage approaches. The defense is ahead of the offense, as is usual for this time of camp.
"The first day of pads, full pads," Coach Pinkel. "It was really good. It was competitive. I think every time, for the new freshmen, the first time they actually go out in pads, there's certainly some anxiety there....................... It was very competitive. The defense won on the last period. It came down to the last period. We base everything that we do on competition. When you compete in practice all of the time, you get better practices, number one. The kids are trained to compete in everything that they do. It's worked well for us. We'll continue to do that. Obviously, we've got a lot of work to do. Hopefully, we'll keep getting better."
Gahn McGaffie wore a red jersey, and sat out all drills, except he did work as the back-up holder on the placements. He did some jogging on the side. He may make it back in before this Saturday's scrimmage. Eric Waters and Robert Steeples wore red pull-overs, and sat out some of the drills. Chris Freeman limped off the field during practice, and did not return.
Monday's was a full practice, with all phases of the team getting in some work. There was a field goal segment, as well as a live kick-off segment. Among those players who practiced returning kicks were Henry Josey, Kendial Lawrence, Jerrell Jackson, Jimmie Hunt, Wesley Leftwich, and T.J. Moe.
During an abbreviated 9-on-9 short-yardage segment, Brayden Burnett put the finishing touch on the drill when he came across and met Henry Josey in the hole, placing his face mask right on Josey's numbers. Wrapping him up, Burnett drove him backward. That was a form tackle, and an aggressive play. With so many high-quality DEs in front of Burnett, that's the kind of play that will get him noticed.
During a 3-on-3 passing drill, Matt White jumped in front of an Ashton Glaser pass, and scored his daily interception. Corbin Berkstresser hit Henry Josey on a slant. Then, on the next play, he found Jimmie Hunt on a deep cross.
Randy Ponder had good coverage on Josey, who was running a slant, as James Franklin stuck one in there. Ponder reached in late, and ripped the ball away for the pass break-up. Ponder has looked good early in camp, and may be making a move up the depth chart.
Monday brought out the season's first Tiger Drill, as well. Matt White tackled Greg White. Kip Edwards held on for the stop in a closely contested battle with Jerrell Jackson. Trey Hobson stopped De'Vion Moore. Randy Ponder tackled L'Damian Washington. Jared Culver lowered his shoulder, and powered his way past Braylon Webb. Bud Sasser spun away from Kenronte Walker's attempted tackle. Tavon Bolden downed Wes Kemp. Jimmie Hunt tried to spin away from Daniel Easterly, but D-East held on for the stop.
During 7-on-7s, James Franklin hooked up with Jerrell Jackson down the left sideline. Jackson beat Ponder on that one. Franklin found Jerrell Jackson for a first down, in between Trey Hobson and Tavon Bolden, over near the right hash. Franklin hit Wes Kemp for another first down, sitting down near the left hash.
Ashton Glaser found Bud Sasser out in the left seam for a short gain. Glaser hit Greg White on a slant for a nice gain.
Corbin Berkstresser under-threw Stephen Drain. Berkstresser hit Rolandis Woodland for a TD. Nice throw and catch! Berkstresser found L'Damian Washington on a cross for a TD. Berkstresser hit Josey out in the right flat. Zaviar Gooden was right there to make the stop. Matt White broke up Berkstresser's pass attempt, intended for Sasser.
During the 1-on-1 pass rush drill, Matt Hoch went right by Taylor Chappell. Nick Demien stone-walled George White. Gerrand Johnson powered his way past Max Copeland. Dominique Hamilton overwhelmed Justin Britt, taking him back into the QB's lap. Johnson over-powered Connor McGovern. Jack Meiners stone-walled Marvin Foster. Derrion Thomas put a nice spin move on Brad McNulty, and got right past him. Terrell Resonno won a closely contested battle over Austin Wuebbels. Elvis Fisher stopped Brad Madison. McNulty picked up a win over Matt Hoch. George White picked up a win over Demien.
During 11-on-11s, Kendial Lawrence took the inside hand-off from Franklin, and was immediately met by Dominique Hamilton. Brad Madison broke through and hit Franklin's arm just as he was throwing the football. Incomplete. Franklin side-stepped Jacquies Smith, and completed an off-balance throw for a first down. T.J. Moe dropped Franklin's next throw. Franklin got the ball to Brandon Gerau on a well-set up tunnel screen out on the left side. Kenji Jackson burst through the blocking, and blew up Gerau. Moore took a hand-off up inside for a big gain. Zaviar Gooden broke up Franklin's pass, intended for Kemp. Franklin hooked up with Michael Egnew near the left hash for a first down. Josey took an inside hand-off and worked his way up field for a first down. Later, Franklin found Egnew on the slant down near the goal line. Franklin's pitch to Lawrence ended up on the ground Jacquies Smith was right there to cover it. Kip Edwards out-fought Jerrell Jackson for the football on the fade in the back corner of the end zone. Edwards was ruled out of bounds. Madison came from the back side and sacked Franklin.
Glaser under-threw Wesley Leftwich, who had gotten behind the defense down the right sideline. Leftwich came back for the football, and made the catch before the defense arrived. Touchdown! Glaser faked the inside hand-off, then hit Kerwin Stricker out along the right sideline. Glaser hit Leftwich on the inside screen. Tony Randolph tackled him immediately. Glaser pulled it down, and took off up inside. Glaser hit Woodland out along the left sideline. His next pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage. Glaser stepped up to avoid the rush, and then found Hunt deep down the left hash for a big gain. Hunt took it in for the TD. Daniel Easterly intercepted a Glaser pass attempt in the back of the end zone. Later, Glaser hit Sasser in the front of the end zone, just in front of Andrew Wilson.
Culver took a Costello pitch around the right side, and got close to the first down. Costello's pass was thrown behind Stephen Drain. It was almost intercepted, but it ended up on the ground. Costello moved around in the pocket, then dumped it off to Greg White out in the right flat for a short gain. Costello hit Andrew Jones on a slant. Costello found Josey out along the right sideline for a first down. Greg White took an inside hand-off and picked his way up inside for a big gain.
Berkstresser completed a short sideline pattern to L'Damian Washington, who was hooked up in front of Ponder. Berkstresser found Sasser for a completion out in the left flat. Bolden came over quickly, and knocked him off of his feet. Berkstresser found Josey out in the left seam. Luke Lambert was in on the tackle. Berkstresser's next throw was behind Hunt. Andrew Wilson was right there. Later, in the red zone, Kony Ealy blew past Mike Boddie and sacked Berkstresser before he had time to blink. On the next play, Ealy single-handedly destroyed the pitch play.
Berkstresser had a real good day. So did Henry Josey, and Jimmie Hunt. On defense, there were many standouts. Dominique Hamilton and Kony Ealy are a couple of guys who are playing very well. Both starting corners are playing great.
This week will tell a lot about which of the freshmen might be able to get onto the field this year. Among those candidates whom appear to have a chance to play this year are Corbin Berkstresser, Wesley Leftwich, and Kentrell Brothers. And, maybe one of the corners, David Johnson or Ernest Payton, could work their way onto the field this season.