On Thursday, the Missouri Tigers held their final practice prior to the Spring Game. This was a shortened practice in helmets and shorts, essentially a pre-game warm-up, or dress rehearsal for the pre-game warm-up.
"We had our final team meeting today," said Coach Pinkel. "We actually showed our players the new uniforms. So, they were like little five-year olds when I went into the team meeting. But, I showed them the calendar for the next few weeks, the things we have to do, to get taken care of, and talked about academics, finishing strong. Academically is kind of the goals now. We'll lift a few times in the next couple of weeks. The importance of the game, and playing well, the freshmen, first time the red-shirt guys have played since they were in high school, as far as in a game atmosphere. We can get a lot out of it that way."
"We're going to grade the game, as we do all of our scrimmages and all of our practices," continued Coach Pinkel. "We'll use this, along with all of the other ones to determine the final depth going into August. When we get into August, you start all over again. You've got to keep your job. You've got to win a job, and earn a job."
James Franklin, Henry Josey, Eric Waters, Marvin Foster, and Mark Hill each watched practice in street clothes. Brad Madison, Anthony Gatti, and Dan Carpenter each wore a red jersey and watched from the sidelines.
Connor McGovern, Brandon Durant, and Sheldon Richardson each wore a red pull-over, although Richardson gave his back to the trainer and went through the warm-ups. It seems very unlikely that Richardson will scrimmage on Saturday.
Coach Pinkel said that Andrew Baggett has moved ahead of Trey Barrow in the kicking competition, and that that position will be open to competition in the fall.
"It's been close," explained Coach Pinkel, talking about the competition at the placekicker position. "Right now, Baggett's the most consistent."
Coach Pinkel indicated that Corbin Berkstresser will play the first three quarters on Saturday.
"We have every player on the field," explained Coach Pinkel. "We know exactly how long they're going to play in each quarter."
The team went through the non-contact warm-ups drills enthusiastically. It was mostly walk-throughs, with the defense just shadowing the offense. Yet, everyone appeared to be geared up for what promises to be an exciting weekend.