The Missouri Tigers held their second scrimmage of the 2011 pre-season practice session on a hot,humid morning on Faurot Field.
The first team defense does not give up much on the ground or in the air. We saw a lot of mixing among the first,second and third teams as the coaches were wanting to get a look at their players to evaluate them in different settings and situations.
The offense focused a lot of it's attention on the running game and Kendial Lawrence responded again with a long TD run for a score. The defense cheated up and once Lawrence made it past the safeties he was off to the races up the middle showing his improved speed.
All of the running backs had their moments and ran hard. Greg White also ran for a TD.
James Franklin had another good day running the offense. Like I said, a lot of the focus was on the running game, and Franklin was smooth in his handling of that, as well as crisp with his passes. Not sure about his overall numbers, but he had a few dropped on him on the day.
It wasn't a particularly good day for the QBs battling for the number two spot. No one really stood out to separate themselves from the others.
Corbin Berkstresser started strong but threw another interception.
Glaser looked good at times, especially when he ran the ball.
Marcus Lucas continues to solidify that he will see the field more this season.
All of the receivers seemed to have some moments, but consistency wasn't what you would have liked to have seen. You saw too many drops, short arms and guys not running through their routes.
New LT Justin Britt has a strong day and really gets tested since the Tigers are deep at D-end. He handled the pass rush well and is forming a nice run blocking wall with LG Jack Meiners, who is filling in for Jayson Palmgren, who is doing a very nice job at center with Travis Ruth still out with his injury.
Nick Demien got some time with the second team at right guard and showed well. He won some battles against Terrell Resonno and held his own for the most part. It looks like he is starting to play up to his level of ability.
The defensive line just comes in waves as they spend a good deal of time in the offensive backfield. Jacquies Smith, Dominuqie Hamilton, Michael Sam, Kony Ealy, Sheldon Richardson, Brayden Burnett, Derrion Thomas and Shane Ray all put pressure on the QBs and running backs during the scrimmage.
Sheldon saw the most action since arriving and saw about 20 extra plays from the first scrimmage. His motor and work ethic was great as he finishes on every play.
Ealy did a really nice job against Dan Hoch and kept the senior OT on his toes trying to keep up with the speedy pass rusher.
Michael Sam showed that he is worthy of being a starter and likely would be for most teams.
Another fine day by the linebacker corps as a whole.
Andrew Wilson made multiple big hits and and you could hear teammates oohing and aahing along with one player saying "Wilson ain't no joke".
Zaviar Gooden along with Lambert and Ebner all had strong performances.
What is standing out during camp is the young talent and potential for some really good depth.
Tony Randolph was all over the field making plays. He has quietly become one of the more consistent linebackers.
Darvin Ruise and Donovan Bonner look like solid back-ups that will continue to push for playing time and the young linebackers Kentrell Brothers, Brandon Durant and Clarence Green all showed improvement.
Trey Hobson probably helped himself lock down his spot with a two interception performance on the day.
Xavier Smith is another cornerback who stood out with his physical play and tight pass coverage.
Gaines and Edwards just keep rolling along as the number one cornerbacks and keep looking better and better.
Daniel Easterly continues to get better and did well today. It looks like the coaches are liking what they are seeing from him and rewarding him with more time.
True freshman Ian Simon has really come on as of late and looks like he has a promising future.
Full report coming soon.