On Tuesday afternoon, the Missouri Tigers took to the Kadlec Athletic Fields for their second workout of the day, and practiced for an hour-and-a-half in shells (helmets and shoulder pads).
This was a lighter practice in extreme heat, with little or no contact. There were a number of drills involving position groups with additional attention to fundamentals. A good portion was devoted to special teams work, including kick-offs/coverage and punts/coverage, as well as some field goals by all three competitors in the kicking derby.
During 11-on-11 action, Corbin Berkstresser found Kendial Lawrence out along the left sideline. Lawrence turned it up for a nice gain. Berkstresser came back to Lawrence again, this time on a swing pass in the left seam. That was well-timed, and well-blocked, and Lawrence found room to run, and turned it into a big gain. Berkstresser faked it to Marcus Murphy and quickly got it out to Gahn McGaffie in the right seam. McGaffie turned it up for about five yards. Berkstresser rolled right and got it to McGaffie along the right sideline, about twenty yards down field. McGaffie had room to run after the catch, too. Later, Berkstresser dropped it off to Jared McGriff-Culver out in left flat. McGriff-Culver took it up the left sideline for a nice gain. Greg White ran right for a first down.
Tyler Hunt took a hand-off from Maty Mauk and ran left. He got the edge briefly and picked up a first down. Mauk got it to Dorial
Green-Beckham on a screen pass in the left seam. DGB made a couple of people miss and picked up a first down. Mauk kept it and went off right tackle to near the first down marker. Morgan Steward took a hand-off and found a seam off left tackle for a first down. Mauk hit Steward out along the left side on a screen pass for a short gain. Tyler Hunt took it up inside for about five yards. Later, Mauk hit Sean Culkin near the right sideline for a first down.
Berkstresser took charge of the first team offense, and did a nice job of taking what the defense was giving him. Mauk is doing a better job of throwing the football, as well. He's been more accurate the last couple of practices, although there's some throws that he's still trying to figure out.
There's quite a bit of competition for those coveted top two spots on the Depth Chart, and the next week-and-a-half should be very interesting. The freshmen are becoming more and more acclimated, and integrated into the basic schemes.
Sean Culkin and Brandon Holifield continue to make plays in the passing game, and Dorial Green-Beckham and Morgan Steward are making more plays and showing glimpses of their considerable ability. On offense, those four players, along with Evan Boehm, are all making a serious bid to be included in the playing rotation this season.
There's more established depth on the defensive side of the football for Missouri, but it looks to me like Harold Brantley is a strong candidate to play this year.
It looks like the Tigers may get a break from the heat over the next few days, which I'm sure will be welcomed by the players.