On Tuesday, the Missouri Tigers took to the field for their first practice following Saturday's first scrimmage of the spring. Since Saturday, the Tigers have learned that starting QB James Franklin will undergo shoulder surgery later this week, and will miss the remainder of spring football. On Tuesday, Coach Pinkel indicated that Franklin is expected to make a full recovery, and is expected to be back throwing the football in plenty of time for fall camp.
In Franklin's stead, red-shirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser scrimmaged with the first-team offense on Saturday. And on Tuesday, he continued to work with the starters.
"Berkstresser is a young player," explained Coach Pinkel. "He's just got to get reps! He's a competitor. He's going to keep fighting. He's a very talented player."
So, add Franklin to the long list of injured players who are on the sidelines this spring. On Tuesday, Henry Josey, Mark Hill, and Marvin Foster wore street clothes and watched their teammates from the sidelines. Sheldon Richardson, Brad Madison, Brayden Burnett, Daniel Carpenter, Connor McGovern, and Anthony Gatti all wore red jerseys, and sat out all drills. Elvis Fisher, Travis Ruth, Bud Sasser, Brandon Durant, and Michael Brennan all wore red pull-overs, and participated in some drills.
L'Damian Washington was back in action on Tuesday, and Sasser shed his pull-over late in practice.
There was a little bit of movement in the depth chart following Saturday's scrimmage. The most significant change in the depth chart is Matt Hoch's move up to the first team defense. Hoch switched from defensive end to defensive tackle this offseason and he's quickly shot up the depth chart this spring.
"Matt Hoch's doing really well," said Coach Pinkel. "The adjustment inside for a defensive tackle? He's going to be a real good player. That might be an understatement when it's all said and done. He's very comfortable in there. And, that's a tough place to be comfortable, inside that box like that. He's a big, strong athlete! He's already up to almost two-ninety."
Coach Pinkel said that they had always thought that Hoch would end up at defensive tackle. And, he pointed out that Hoch is a sophomore.
During the 9-on-9 short-yardage drill, Kendial Lawrence took a hand-off from Corbin Berkstresser and went over the left side for about 3 yards, where he was met by Zaviar Gooden. Marcus Murphy took a hand-off from Ashton Glaser, and started up inside for a short gain. Gooden was among several defenders in on the stop. Kony Ealy beat Max Copeland, and stuffed Jared McGriff-Culver for a loss. Donovan Bonner got in the backfield to stop Tyler Hunt for a loss. Greg White plowed straight ahead for no gain. Jimmy Burge, George White, and Darvin Ruise were there to make the stop. Jordan Wade pounded it into the line for no gain. Burge and Kentrell Brothers were there to stuff that one.
During some more 9-on-9 work on the running game, Lawrence took a handoff from Berkstresser and ran around the left side. He cut inside of a good block by T.J. Moe, and exploded past the pursuit for a big gain. Greg White pounded it up inside, but Lucas Vincent and Andrew Wilson stopped him for minimal yardage. Shane Ray and others stuffed McGriff-Culver for a loss and stripped the football, as the defense came up with the ball.
Ray just continues to impress with his speed and athleticism off of the edge. Ray got into the backfield a few minutes later to make a stop. A couple of plays later, Ray was in the backfield again, to throw Tyler Hunt for a loss.
A few minutes later, Berkstresser took a high snap and missed the hand-off, so he ran around the left side behind the tailback. Michael Sam came from the opposite side and ran Berkstresser down from behind.
During 7-on-7s, Berkstresser made a nice throw to T.J. Moe, hitting him in between defenders near the right hash for about a 20-yard reception. Berkstresser hit Gahn McGaffie on a slant for about 5 yards. Will Ebner was there to make the stop. Berkstresser hit Moe over the middle on a delayed slant. Braylon Webb broke on the ball down the left hash and broke up a Berkstresser pass attempt intended for Moe. Braylon Webb got another pass break up with a deflection of a Berkstresser pass in the end zone. On the next play, Berkstresser stuck one in to Moe in the end zone. Tavon Bolden was there, but to no avail.
Ashton Glaser's pass over the middle intended for McGaffie was off target and fell incomplete. Glaser hit Robert Steeples right in the hands near the left sideline, but Steeples couldn't hold on for the interception. Glaser got one out to Jimmie Hunt near the left sideline for a nice gain. Randy Ponder was there to make the stop. Rolandis Woodland failed to look in Glaser's pass near the left sideline, and he dropped the ball. Glaser missed Greg White on a swing pass out in the right flat. Glaser threw one into a crowd near the left front corner of the end zone. Sasser was the intended target, but Braylon Webb came up with the football.
During the 1-on-1 pass-rush drill, Mitch Morse picked up a win over Matt Hoch. Lucas Vincent just kind of shucked Brad McNulty aside as he ran past him for a sack. Elvis Fisher stayed with Michael Sam and took him on past the QB. Hoch reversed fortunes with a bull-rush for a win over Morse. Burge powered his way right past Nick Demien. Michael Boddie picked up a win over Derrion Thomas. Michael Sam beat Taylor Chappell to the outside. Keric Lickerman beat Chris Freeman to the outside. Coach Henson stepped in and showed Freeman the proper footwork. A little later, Lickerman bull-rushed his way past Freeman. Vincent bull-rushed Max Copeland, rapidly driving him through the QB and nearly into the fence. Vincent is looking beastly! Shane Ray speed rushed his way past Fisher on the outside.
Max Copeland limped off the field, and got his ankle re-taped before re-entering. Brad McNulty stepped up and took some reps at first-team left guard until Copeland got back in there.
During the Tiger Drill, Moe ran over Xavier Smith. Jaleel Clark spun through an attempted tackle by Robert Steeples. Rolandis Woodland ran through Xavier Smith. Kerwin Stricker ran past Ernest Payton. Stricker is strong!
During 11-on-11s, Kendial Lawrence took an inside hand-off from Berkstresser. Matt Hoch was there to make the stop for no gain. Lawrence took one over the right side for a touchdown. Berkstresser completed a pass to Eric Waters near the left sideline for about 5 yards. On first and goal from the 5-yard line, Berkstresser ran a keeper up inside, and made pay dirt. Later, Marcus Murphy took a hand-off up inside. Bolden made the stop after a short gain. Marcus Lucas took a pass from Berkstresser out near the right side. He cut back inside and ran into Kony Ealy, who was in pursuit from the inside out. Not the guy you want to run into.
McGaffie reached back behind him as he ran across the field, and made a one-handed grab of Glaser's errant pass. Glaser faked a hand-off and took it up inside for a short gain. Marcus Murphy took it over the right side for about 5 yards before Burge made the tackle. Glaser completed a pass to Sasser down the right side. He beat Darvin Ruise for about a 20-yard reception. Greg White took a hand-off running right and got the edge before Ruise and Ponder ran him out of bounds. Glaser's pass to McGaffie was low, and McGaffie had to come back to make the reception for a short gain.
Red-shirt freshman Andrew Baggett was booming his kick-offs into the end zone. Several return men got in some work, including Moe, Murphy, Kendial Lawrence, Xavier Smith, and Wesley Leftwich.