On Thursday afternoon, the Missouri Tigers continued spring football practice indoors with a two hour workout in full pads.
"Overall, it was a real physical practice," said Coach Pinkel. "I was pleased with that part of it. We didn't scrimmage, but we did do some live. In the past, we've scrimmaged on this particular date in spring ball, but we felt that we wanted to look at certain situations in field position, and make sure that we got our team in those positions. So, we got a combination of doing it live, and actually got some good quality work done, so I was pleased with that. "
Junior tight end Eric Waters went down with a knee sprain. He was attempting to block following a T.J. Moe reception during some live action, and he got tangled up and went down. No word as of yet on the severity of the injury.
Regarding injured players, James Franklin, Henry Josey, Marvin Foster, and Mark Hill each watched practice in street clothes. Franklin performed some range of motion exercises on the side and then watched with an ice wrap on his throwing shoulder. The expectation is that Franklin will be throwing sometime during the month of June.
Brandon Durant wore a red pull-over and went through most drills.
During 7-on-7s, Berkstresser threw a strike to Jimmie Hunt on a slant. Berkstresser found Marcus Murphy out in the left seam for a nice gain. Berkstresser found Darius White out near the left seam for a short gain. Berkstresser hit Moe in the left seam just in front of E.J. Gaines.
Ashton Glaser hit Jaleel Clark on a slant. Glaser found Bud Sasser on a slant. Glaser completed a pass in the left seam to Clark. Will Ebner had the coverage. Glaser found a wide-open Clark down the left sideline for a score.
During 1-on-1 pass rush drills, Justin Britt did a good job of blocking Kony Ealy. Ealy used a spin move, but Britt re-gripped and moved his feet to block Ealy. Jack Meiners picked up a win over George White. Mitch Morse stone-walled Jimmy Burge, which earned Morse a pat on the back from Coach Walker. Lucas Vincent bull-rushed Travis Ruth, driving him back into the QB. George White picked up a win over Nick Demien. Shane Ray used a double move to blow by Taylor Chappell. Burge bull-rushed Max Copeland for the win. Matt Hoch threw Jack Meiners hands off of him and took a direct path to the QB. Hoch is looking better day by day. Chappell had Ray blocked, until Ray spun back inside for the sack. That was some kind of quick! Elvis Fisher took Michael Sam wide past the QB for the win. Meiners stone-walled White. David Butler spun, but Brad McNulty stayed with him and picked up the win. Brayden Burnett used a double move to get past Chris Freeman.
During the Tiger Drill, Jimmie Hunt overpowered Kip Edwards. Marcus Lucas spun away from Daniel Easterly's attempted tackle. Jaleel Clark ran through Matt White's attempted tackle. Bud Sasser ran through an attempted tackle by Ian Simon. Darius White ran through Xavier Smith's attempted tackle.
During 11-on-11 action, Kendial Lawrence took a Berkstresser hand-off and tried to get around the right side. Kip Edwards and Zaviar Gooden ran him out of bounds for no gain. Kony Ealy got into the backfield and threw Lawrence for a loss. Marcus Murphy picked up about 5 yards over the left side before Ebner brought his down. Lucas Vincent came across and tackled Murphy for a loss. Berkstresser completed a pass to Marcus Lucas out along the left sideline, right in front of Gaines. Gooden was there to help get Lucas out of bounds, but not before Lucas picked up a first down. Under pressure, Berkstresser threw the ball out of bounds. Berkstresser found Moe out along the left side for a nice gain. Murphy ran right, but Tavon Bolden came across and made the stop.
In the red zone, Berkstresser scrambled out of the pocket and made his way down inside the 5-yard line. Berkstresser found Jimmie Hunt in the right front corner of the end zone. Hunt went up and took the ball away from Kip Edwards. Edwards had good position, but Hunt made the play when the ball arrived. Ealy and Sam chased Berkstresser out of the pocket, and Berkstresser threw the ball away. Murphy took a hand-off and was met in the backfield by Ealy, but Murphy stayed on his feet and got across the goal line. He runs a lot tougher than his size would lead you to expect.
Greg White took a hand-off from Ashton Glaser and ran up inside for a nice gain before he was brought down by Donovan Bonner and Daniel Easterly. Glaser's pass attempt intended for Jaleel Clark deep down the left sideline was overthrown. Randy Ponder was stride for stride in coverage. Greg White picked up a couple of yards inside. Glaser pulled it down and took off. He was quickly met by Bonner and Matt White. Later, Glaser's pass was batted up into the air at the line of scrimmage. Joe Plevel came back and made the reception. Glaser found Rolandis Woodland on a deep cross for a big gain. Nice throw and catch! Glaser scrambled out of the pocket and threw the ball away. Murphy took a hand-off and worked his way up inside for about 5 yards before he was brought down by George White and others. Randy Ponder was there to make the stop for no gain following Glaser's completion to Woodland out in the left flat. Then, Glaser pulled it down and picked up a nice gain with his feet. A center-QB exchange ended up on the ground, and the defense recovered the football.
Upcoming on Saturday is what I consider to be the most important scrimmage of the spring, and one of the more important scrimmages of the year, as far as setting the depth chart, and determining which guys will be in position to play this season.
"Now, we've got the scrimmage on Saturday," explained Coach Pinkel. "I talked to the team about that before practice, and actually after practice also. You know, around here, the best player plays. I don't care how many years you've been here, the bottom line is it's about competition, and if you want to win a job, go compete, and get it! I challenge our players to do that, so we can have a really good scrimmage prior to our spring game…………………………………….. I tell our players, if you want to win a job, go win it! It's not real complex. You've got to go out and beat the guy out in front of you. How you do that is you've got to play better than the guy in front of you. You've got to have that kind of attitude. Hopefully, we'll have a very competitive day. We're excited about that kind of competition. Then, we'll sort it out and see where it goes. And, that'll make our football team better."