On Saturday, the Missouri Tigers scrimmaged for close to two hours on Faurot Field. The defense prevailed by a score of 19-7 on a day that the offense spent searching for continuity, and several defensive players made plays.
Coach Pinkel talked about his immediate view of the scrimmage.
"For every good thing, there's something bad," explained Coach Pinkel. "You have to understand, as I tell our players, there's things we did well, and there's things where we need improvement. As a Head Coach, no matter what is good, there's something bad happening on the other side (of the football). We evaluate every single play, and we evaluate every single player. We look at our depth, and we constantly work hard to get better, and that's what we do week by week."
Pressed into duty as the first-string QB, red-shirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser completed 10-25 passes for 105 yards. On his best drive, he missed a wide-open Jaleel Clark in the end zone before his unit settled for a missed field goal. Berkstresser was inconsistent, maybe a little more than usual. He made some nice throws, but had more than his usual off-target throws. He just wasn't as sharp as he had been earlier in the week. Afterwards, Berkstresser appeared to be frustrated, although the coaching staff seemed to be taking it more in stride.
"I thought he made some plays," said Coach Pinkel, talking about Berkstresser. "I think he's got a lot of talent. He's working hard. We've got some personnel issues right now, with so many people out, which puts a little bit more pressure on all of those quarterbacks. But, I think overall, he did some good things."
There continues to be a significant number of players on the sidelines recovering from various injuries. Henry Josey, Mark Hill, and Marvin Foster were in street clothes. James Franklin, Sheldon Richardson, Brad Madison, Brayden Burnett, Travis Ruth, Anthony Gatti, Connor McGovern, Michael Brennan, Dan Carpenter, and Kyle Peasel all wore red jersey, and watched from the sidelines. Elvis Fisher, Brandon Durant, L'Damian Washington, and Bud Sasser each wore red pull-overs, and sat out the scrimmage.
There were several defensive standouts, but none who wreaked more havoc than sophomore defensive end Kony Ealy. Ealy batted down 2 passes at the line of scrimmage, and forced 2 fumbles. Both forced fumbles were very impressive plays. Ealy came across and got a hand on an option pitch and knocked the ball backwards. Jared McGriff-Culver came up with the football nearly 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage. On the other one, Ealy nearly took the hand-off on a run play, and that ball squirted around on the ground for a loss, as well.
"Kony (Ealy), we're starting to see glimpses of what he can be," said Coach Pinkel. "I think he's a player with tremendous potential. This is the year, coming out of his red-shirt freshman year, where we're starting to see the guy that we expected to see. But, it's only a glimpse. He can be remarkably better than he is right now. And, the good news is that he's working hard. He's got a good work ethic, and that's very positive."
During the special teams portions, T.J. Moe, E.J. Gaines, and Marcus Murphy each returned punts. Earlier, Ian Simon and Jimmie Hunt fielded punts during warm-ups. Joe Plevel, Brandon Colbert, and Mitch Hall handled the long-snapping duties, and Braylon Webb, Moe, and Gahn McGaffie alternated as holders on placements.
Kendial Lawrence and McGriff Culver each ran the ball well. Late in the scrimmage, Lawrence broke a couple of tackles on an inside run as he made it into the end zone from the 19-yard line. On the day, I thought that Lawrence did a good job of finishing his runs.
In the receiving department, Gahn McGaffie scored points with the staff, as he just continues to consistently play at a high level, and catch everything thrown his way. Rolandis Woodland had a good day, capped off with a nice catch over Xavier Smith, who had 2 interceptions on the day, in the back left corner of the end zone.
The scrimmage got underway with Berkstresser bringing the first-team offense out from their own end. Lawrence was met in the hole by Derrion Thomas and Darvin Ruise for no gain. After an off-side call on the defense, Lawrence worked his way up inside for a first down.
Glaser brought out the second-team offense, and skirted the left side for about 5 yards before Will Ebner made the stop. A bobbled snap ended up on the ground near the goal line. Marcus Murphy picked it up, but was hit before he could put it away, and the ball was on the ground again. The defense recovered.
Setting up at the 25-yard line, Berkstresser gave it to Lawrence running left for 3 yards, where he was brought down by Darvin Ruise and Robert Steeples. Berkstresser's pass over the middle was thrown low and fell incomplete. Berkstresser got it to Eric Waters over on the left sideline, well short of the first down marker.
Setting back up at the 25-yard line, Berkstresser hit Waters in the hands, but he didn't hold on. Lawrence took a pitch running left. Matt White came up and made the stop after about a 1-yard gain. Berkstresser found Moe over the middle for a first down. Daniel Easterly made the stop. McGriff-Culver ran left foe about 8 yards. Lawrence ran right. Easterly and Donovan Bonner were there to make the stop short of the first down.
Back at the 25-yard line, McGriff-Culver took a hand-off from Ashton Glaser over the left side for close to a first down. Greg White took a pitch running left. Ealy and Kip Edwards were there to make the stop for no gain. Ealy got a hand on Glaser's pass. Jaleel Clark did a nice job of coming back for the tipped ball, and made the reception for a short gain. Glaser scrambled out to his right and found McGaffie coming across the field for a first down. Nice play on both ends! Glaser's pass to Rolandis Woodland on the tunnel screen was low. Woodland had to go to his knees to make the catch, which went for no gain. Glaser was intercepted by Ebner down near the left hash mark. Ealy burst through into the backfield, and appeared to take the hand-off, which ended up on the ground. Great play! Glaser faked a hand-off to Murphy, then overthrew McGaffie out along the right sideline.
Greg White took a hand-off from Berkstresser and ran up inside for about 4 yards. Ealy and Matt Hoch were in on the stop. Braylon Webb deflected Berkstresser's pass right in front of Jimmie Hunt, who couldn't hold on to the tipped ball. Greg White ran up inside for 3 yards. Webb, Ealy, and Michael Sam were there to make the stop.
Glaser checked down to McGriff-Culver for a short gain. McGriff-Culver took a hand-off straight ahead for a hard yard. Jimmy Burge was among those who were getting up from the pile. Glaser dropped it off to McGriff-Culver out in the right flat. The big back broke a tackle and moved the chains. Murphy ran around the right side for about 8 yards. Shane Ray got into the back field for a sack.
Berkstresser found Moe in the right seam for about 9 yards. Berkstresser ran right, then pitched it to Lawrence. Kenronte Walker made the stop, but not before Lawrence moved the chains. Berkstresser found McGaffie down the right sideline for a first down. Clark had beaten Zaviar Gooden on a slant at the goal line, but Berkstreser's pass was thrown high. The red-shirt freshman had a good drive going there, but he missed his opportunity to score with the errant pass.
Back at mid-field, Murphy struggled to get a yard. Lucas Vincent and Ealy were there. Glaser got it out in the left seam to McGaffie for about 5 yards. McGriff-Culver worked his way up inside for a first down. The snap was on the ground, but Glaser calmly picked it up and hit Clark down the right hash for about 20 yards. McGriff-Culver ran right, and picked up a block from Kyle Stark, to get inside the 10-yard line. On first-and-goal, Glaser lofted a fade pass into the back left corner, where Woodland went up over Xavier Smith for the score.
Lawrence took a Berkstresser hand-off and ran left. Ealy ran him out of bounds after about a 4-yard gain. Lawrence took it up inside for a first down. Berkstresser missed Moe on a cross at the goal line. Lawrence took it up inside, broke a couple of tackles, and got it in the end zone.
Kony Ealy batted Berkstresser's pass down at the line of scrimmage. Then, Ealy got into the back field and got a hand on Berkstresser lateral pitch. McGriff-Culver covered it for a loss of about 20 yards. Berkstresser double-pumped, then found Eric Waters near the right hash to get some of it back.
Glaser came in and threw an interception over the middle to Andrew Wilson.
MIZZOU FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
Final Score – Defense 19, Offense 7
Rolandis Woodland 6-yard pass from Ashton Glaser
Kendial Lawrence 19-yard run
Corbin Berkstresser – 10-of-25, 105 yards
Ashton Glaser – 18-of-28, 135 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Alex Demczak – 10-of-19, 47 yards, 2 INTs
Kendial Lawrence – 12-61, 1 TD
Jared Culver – 6-35
Corbin Berkstresser – 1-24
Marcus Murphy – 9-17
Greg White – 5-4
Tyler Hunt – 3-4
Kellen Wright – 2-2
Alex Demczak – 1-1
Ashton Glaser – 2-(-1)
Gahn McGaffie – 8-75
T.J. Moe – 5-54
Rolandis Woodland – 4-19, 1 TD
Eric Waters – 3-29
Kerwin Stricker – 3-18
Jared Culver – 2-9
Kellen Wright – 2-9
Tyler Hunt – 2-6
Wesley Leftwich – 1-11
Steve Drain – 1-7
Sheldon Gerau – 1-7
Kendial Lawrence – 1-4
Cameron Chancey – 1-0
2 – Xavier Smith
1 – Kentrell Brothers, Will Ebner, Andrew Wilson
2 – Kony Ealy
1 – Kony Ealy, Andrew Wilson
1 – Jared Parham, Shane Ray, Derrion Thomas, Lucas Vincent, Andrew Wilson
Tackles For Loss
2 – George White
1 – Daniel Easterly, Kip Edwards, Randy Ponder, Shane Ray, Derrion Thomas, Andrew
Passes Broken Up
2 – Kony Ealy
Ponder, Darvin Ruise, Kenronte Walker
Trey Barrow – 2-of-5 (Made: 47, 33) (Missed: 31, 44, 44)
Andrew Baggett – 2-of-4 (Made: 31, 44) (Missed: 47, 44)
Blake Owens – 2-of-4 (Made: 31, 44) (Missed: 47, 44)
Trey Barrow – 5-227, 45.40 average
Christian Brinser – 5-162, 32.40 average