On Thursday afternoon, the Missouri Tigers practiced for two-and-a-half hours in full pads on Faurot Field. Once again, the weather was perfect, and the pads were popping.
After spraining his throwing shoulder diving for a loose ball on Tuesday, starting QB James Franklin stood on the sidelines wearing a red jersey. Red-shirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser took over the reins of the first-team offense, and junior Ashton Glaser moved up, as well.
"It was a good practice," said Coach Pinkel. "It was very competitive. I thought we worked hard. It came down to the very end, and the defense won on the last play."
There were a few new injuries to report, in addition to Franklin's shoulder sprain. Travis Ruth wore a red jersey and sat out all drills. He joined Mark Hill, Connor McGovern, Anthony Gatti, Daniel Carpenter, Brad Madison, Sheldon Richardson, Henry Josey, Marvin Foster, Michael Brennan, and Brayden Burnett on the sidelines. Bud Sasser, Elvis Fisher, Brandon Durant, and L'Damian Washington each wore red pull-overs, and went through some drills.
During the 9-on-9 short-yardage drill, Berkstresser was lined up under center, and Marcus Murphy took a direct hand-off and stuck it up inside for little or no gain. Lucas Vincent clogged it up at the line of scrimmage. Ashton Glaser gave it to Greg White, who started up inside, where he was met by Jimmy Burge and Will Ebner for no gain. Berkstresser handed it to Kendial Lawrence, who took it over the left side, where he was met by a host of tacklers including Vincent, and E.J. Gaines. Jordan Wade took it up inside, where Matt White made the stop after a short gain. Greg White worked his way up inside, before Shane Ray crashed down to make the stop.
A 1-on-1 pass receiving drill provided some interesting man-on-man competition. With Corbin Berkstresser delivering the passes, Rolandis Woodland was open briefly in the back of the end, zone, but the pass sailed high over his head. Wesley Leftwich made a reception on a crossing route. Darius White beat Robert Steeples in the back right corner of the end zone for a score. Waters beat Tavon Bolden on a shallow cross for a reception. Randy Ponder knocked the ball away from Leftwich in the back left corner of the end zone. Darius White made a juggling, one-handed reception in the back right corner of the end zone. Waters beat Bolden on a corner route for a score.
With Glaser tossing passes, Eric Waters made a reception over the middle. Jimmie Hunt got open in the back corner of the end zone, but the pass missed badly. Andrew Wilson stepped in front of one for an interception. Jaleel Clark dropped one that was right on his hands.
During 7-on-7s, Corbin Berkstresser completed a pass to Marcus Lucas on the left sideline for a short gain. Kip Edwards was right there, but Lucas made the reception and came down with one foot in-bounds. Berkstresser found Lucas over the middle for a first down. Will Ebner and Braylon Webb were there to make the stop. L'Damian Washington went up high in a crowd to come down with a Berkstresser pass down the left hash mark for a 25-yard reception. Later, Washington got behind Edwards down the left hash, but Berkstresser's throw was about seven yards too long. That ball was in the air over 50 yards, but it probably didn't have enough air under it. Moe beat Zaviar Gooden on a deep slant. Berkstresser's pass hit him right in stride, and Moe never slowed down. Ebner got a hand in and broke up a Berkstresser pass intended for Clark. Washington made a real nice grab of a Berkstresser pass on a deep post. Webb was right there, and Washington reached back behind him to make the 30-yard reception. Lucas got behind Edwards and Ebner on the post, but Berkstresser's throw was long. McGaffie ran the same route from the other side, and Berkstresser put more air under it this time for the completion. McGaffie beat Wilson and Easterly on the play.
Ashton Glaser found Gahn McGaffie down the right seam for a first down. Glaser got one to Jaleel Clark out along the right side for a short gain. Daniel Easterly was there to make the tackle. Glaser found McGaffie sitting in the right seam for a first down. Steeples and Darvin Ruise were there to make the stop. Glaser got one to Jimmie Hunt near the right sideline for about a 15-yard reception. Hunt made a man miss, and took it up the sideline for even more. Glaser completed a deep cross to McGaffie. Glaser found Leftwich near the left sideline for a short gain. Xavier Smith was there to make the stop.
During 1-on-1 pass-rushing drills, Michael Sam picked up a sack going against Justin Britt. Matt Hoch picked up a win over Jack Meiners. Jimmy Burge bull-rushed his way past Mitch Morse in a closely-contested battle. Kony Ealy blew past Taylor Chappell. Lucas Vincent powered his way past Max Copeland. Chris Freeman took Derrion Thomas on past the QB. Meiners stone-walled George White. Vincent tossed Copeland aside on his way to the QB. Ealy spun his way past Chappell on the inside.
During 11-on-11s, Tavon Bolden jumped in front of Berkstresser's pass attempt intended for Moe. He should have had the interception, but he failed to make the catch. The ball hit him in a bad spot, his hands. Kendial Lawrence picked up a first down on an inside hand-off. Very well blocked. Lucas took a tunnel screen pass near the right hash, and got a good block from Moe on his way to a first down. A little later, Moe took a screen pass out on the right side and cut it up off of a nice block from Jimmie Hunt for another first down. Berkstresser's throw was a little late, and Kenronte Walker arrived with the football, but Moe held on as he was knocked off of his feet, for a 25-yard reception down the middle of the field. Berkstresser overthrew Jimmie Hunt in the end zone. Gaines was stride for stride with Hunt. Michael Sam chased Berkstresser out of the pocket and ran him down for a no gain.
In the red zone, Kendial Lawrence took an inside hand-off from Berkstresser, and was brought down immediately by Kony Ealy for no gain. Berkstresser overthrew Lucas in the back left corner. Moe got behind Ebner on a slant. Berkstresser's pass was a couple of yards behind Moe, but he turned around and made the reception for the score. Then, Lucas went up over Edwards in the back left corner for a score. That ball was slightly underthrown, but Lucas just owned the football!
Glaser pulled it down and scrambled over the left side for a couple of yards. Glaser found McGaffie over on the left side for a first down. Murphy took it around the left side for a first down before Ian Simon made the stop. Glaser found McGaffie in a crowd down near the right hash for a 15-yard reception. McGaffie made a reception about five yards beyond the line of scrimmage. His first move eluded Andrew Wilson, and McGaffie picked up a first down and more. McGaffie appeared to have eyes in the back of his head.
In the red zone, Greg White took an Ashton Glaser hand-off and picked up about 4 yards. Shane Ray chased Glaser out of the pocket. Glaser got it to Greg White for about 4 yards near the right sideline. McGaffie picked up the first down on a speed sweep. Glaser's pass intended for McGaffie was incomplete, low and behind. Murphy took a hand-off and went up inside for the score. Glaser was trying to get it to Clark in the back right corner, but Ponder knocked it down