On Saturday, the Missouri Tigers held their first full-scale scrimmage of fall camp. For what it's worth, the defense prevailed 16-12 over the offense in what was a pretty closely contested competition. And, it appears that the Tigers came through the scrimmage without any significant new injuries.
I thought that both number one unites looked good, and a lot of young players got on the field for the coaching staff to evaluate.
"Too many penalties," said Coach Pinkel, summarizing his team's play on Saturday. "Typical of first scrimmages. But I thought the hitting was good. I thought we were competitive. We'll get some guys back next week. It was the first time in a long time that Rex Sharp, our trainer, didn't give me a list of three of four guys that got hurt in a scrimmage."
"Overall, the one offense and the one defense, overall, had a pretty good day, overall" continued Coach Pinkel. "So, I think you're always encouraged by that."
Coach Pinkel indicated that it's not unusual for young players to struggle in their first scrimmage. I thought that Dorial Green-Beckham struggled during Saturday's scrimmage. After playing as well on Friday as at any time during camp, and earning some second-team reps during the scrimmage, Green-Beckham took a little step back on Saturday, as he dropped some passes. And, Green-Beckham was on the receiving end of one of the day's biggest hits, as E.J. Gaines laid a big hit on the freshman.
"I think the younger players think a lot," explained Coach Pinkel. "A lot of young players today, this is their first scrimmage, and I think the reality of what it takes, the intensity of the level of play comes out a bit today."
During the scrimmage, the number one offensive line consisted of Elvis Fisher, Evan Boehm, Mitch Morse, Max Copeland, and Jack Meiners. James Franklin looked very good, as he finished 18-22-0, for 228 yards passing, and Kendial Lawrence had a good scrimmage, as well. Jimmie Hunt was the receiving star, but Franklin spread it around to a number of receivers. Franklin even threw one to himself, as he caught a pass that Sheldon Richardson spiked at the line of scrimmage.
Coach Pinkel talked about the construction of the offensive line, and the impact that is having on the offense.
"Well, we've just got some offensive line issues," explained Coach Pinkel. "You know, we have three guys who at the start of the season we thought would be in our top ten who aren't even going to play. So, we're working through all of that."
Coach Pinkel said that Evan Boehm, "looks the part", and he mentioned that Elvis Fisher scrimmaged on Saturday and that Justin Britt would be back next week.
"We just need more continuity in our offense," said Coach Pinkel. "We need to be a more efficient passing football team, and with a good running game, that's what will make us a real good football team."
The defensive line looked good on Saturday. Matt Hoch was back in there. Lucas Vincent was the only one who did not scrimmage, and he's expected to be back in there next week. Kony Ealy and Sheldon Richardson wreaked havoc all over the field, and Michael Sam was all over the field, as well. There was good competition behind the starters, and all of the young defensive linemen took their reps and showed well, especially Harold Brantley.
"We've got some depth there, which is good," began Coach Pinkel, addressing his team's defensive line play. "I think the inside depth at tackle, we're still looking at a bit. We like the competition there. We've got some impact players. Sheldon Richardson is getting better, better, and better. This is the first time he's had the opportunity, al summer long working out, all camp working out. Last year, he came in and missed all of camp and missed conditioning, weight lifting, everything. Then he ends up missing spring football. Here's a guy that's getting better, and he's very talented. With the league we're going in to, we know they run the football a lot and being good up front, it's always important, but it's hugely important where we're going."
After periods that included punt returns and kick-off returns, the scrimmage got underway with Franklin and the number one offense coming out from their own goal line. After a couple of running plays netted just a yard or two, Franklin found Kendial Lawrence out in the right flat on third down. Lawrence turned it up the sideline, making the first defender miss and then took on a couple of defenders and finished very well for the first down.
Corbin Berkstresser brought the number two offense out from their own goal line. Richardson was in the backfield, and knocked the football out before Marcus Murphy had a chance to go anywhere. The offense recovered just outside the end zone. Facing a third down, Berkstresser had Jimmie Hunt down the left hash for the first down, but his pass was overthrown.
Maty Mauk brought the third team offense out from their own goal line. Mauk tried to get it to Dorial Green-Beckham deep down the left sideline. Cortland Browning came up with the one-handed diving interception, but he was ruled out of bounds.
Franklin dropped it off to Lawrence out in the left flat. Lawrence broke a tackle and picked up the first down. Lawrence ran right but Marvin Foster beat Max Copeland and tackled Lawrence for a loss. Lawrence ran right, then cut it up inside for about 7 yards. Evan Boehm pulled from his left guard position and ran interference for Lawrence. Lawrence took a hand-off around the right side for a big gain down the right sideline. Two plays later, Franklin hit Rolandis Woodland near the left hash for a first down. Franklin hit Jimmie Hunt over the middle. Hunt broke two or three tackles as he took it down to inside the 3-yard line. Lawrence finished off the drive with a score.
Berkstresser got the ball to Rolandis Woodland out along the left sideline for about 4 yards. Sam, Richardson, and Ealy converged on Murphy in the backfield. Berkstresser's pass down the left hash, intended for Green-Beckham, hit Will Ebner in the back of the leg and bounced up to Kenronte Walker for the interception. Berkstresser came back to Green-Beckham over the middle. Green-Beckham reached down and snagged the low pass, and picked up about 7 yards. Berkstresser missed Murphy out in the left flat.
Mauk scrambled right for a first down. Then, Mauk found Brandon Holifield near the left sideline. John Gibson was right there to make the stop, but not before Holifield had moved the chains. Mauk found Wesley Leftwich out in the left flat. Leftwich turned it up, but the ball ended up on the ground. Facing third and four, Tyler Hunt ran left. John Gibson came up and laid a big hit on Hunt, but not before Hunt had moved the chains.
Franklin found L'Damian Washington down the left hash for a first down. Franklin dropped it off to Lawrence, who made the first guy miss. He took it up the left sideline for a first down. Lawrence ran left and picked up good blocks from Bud Sasser and Washington to gain about 8 yards. Franklin faked the hand-off to Murphy and hit Jaleel Clark in the left seam. Clark picked up blocks from Sasser and Gahn McGaffie to get it down inside the 5-yard line. Shane Ray came across and almost took the hand-off in the backfield, and threw Murphy for a loss. Murphy ran straight ahead for a couple of yards. Andrew Wilson met him in the hole. Ray beat Anthony Gatti, and chased Franklin out of the pocket, forcing Franklin to unload the football out of bounds.
Berkstresser's throw was a little bit behind Woodland. It was catchable, but Woodland didn't make the reception. Berkstresser dropped it off to Lawrence out in the left flat. Gaines came across and dropped him in his tracks. Like Gaines, Will Ebner is playing at a very high level. Berkstresser got the ball to Lawrence out along the left sideline. Ebner came across and threw Lawrence for a loss. Berkstresser missed Green-Beckham on a drag route. Ealy knocked Berkstresser's pass down at the line of scrimmage. Berkstresser hit Green-Beckham running down the left hash. Green-Beckham tried to haul it in with one hand, and the ball fell incomplete. Murphy took a pitch and ran left for 8 yards. Murphy took a hand-off and started up inside where he ran right in to Foster. But, Murphy quickly spun away and reversed his field to pick up a first down.
Mauk found Green-Beckham out near the left hash. Kentrell Brothers was there to make the stop. Mauk got it to Hunt near the left hash. Kenronte Walker was right there to make the stop short of the first down marker. Mauk found Hunt near the right sideline. Zaviar Gooden was right there to run him out of bounds. Tyler Hunt ran inside for a couple. Richardson and Wilson were in on the stop. Mauk hit Green-Beckham near the left seam near the first down marker.
Eric Laurent scrambled right and found Levi Copeland, who had gotten behind the defense down the right seam. A holding penalty erased the TD.
Franklin found Sasser near the right hash for a first down. Sam came across and blew up a running play. Ealy was there to clean it up. Richardson batted Franklin's pass down at the line of scrimmage. Franklin caught it and ran for a shirt gain. Franklin scrambled left, then slowed up and hit Gahn McGaffie down the left seam for a first down. Franklin faked a hand-off, then hit Washington out in the left seam. Washington ran it down inside the 5-yard line. His helmet flew off with the contact, but he held on to the football. Murphy ran left and got it down inside the 1-yard line. Then, Ealy came across and threw Murphy for a loss.
Scoring Description -Kendial Lawrence 1 run
Tiger Comp. Att. Yds. TD Int.
James Franklin 18 22 228 0 0
Corbin Berkstresser 13 31 121 0 1
Maty Mauk 25 36 152 0 0
Brock Bondurant 3 3 16 0 0
Eric Laurent 1 3 11 0 0
TOTALS 60 95 528 0 1
Tiger Rec. Yds. TD
Levi Copelin 7 37 0
Jimmie Hunt 6 68 0
Kendial Lawrence 6 50 0
Jared McGriff-Culver 5 32 0
Dorial Green-Beckham 4 20 0
L'Damian Washington 3 52 0
Rolandis Woodland 3 40 0
Bud Sasser 3 38 0
Brandon Holifield 3 24 0
Wesley Leftwich 3 19 0
Miles Drummond 3 17 0
Gahn McGaffie 2 36 0
Kerwin Stircker 2 33 0
Jaleel Clark 2 20 0
Marcus Murphy 2 12 0
Morgan Steward 2 10 0
Tyler Hunt 2 0 0
Marcus Lucas 1 17 0
James Franklin 1 3 0
TOTALS 60 528 0
Tiger Att. Yds. TD
Kendial Lawrence 11 37 1
Marcus Murphy 11 35 0
Jared McGriff-Culver 6 19 0
Maty Mauk 4 19 0
Tyler Hunt 3 14 0
Brock Bondurant 1 7 0
Morgan Steward 2 2 0
Miles Drummond 1 1 0
James Franklin 1 0 0
Eric Laurent 2 (-3) 0
Corbin Berkstresser 1 (-5) 0
TOTALS 43 126 1
Tiger INTs Yds. TD
Kenronte Walker 1 20 0
Tackles For Loss – Sheldon Richardson (3), Will Ebner (2), Harold
Brantley (1), Kentrell Brothers (1), Brayden Burnett (1), Michael Sam
(1), Zaviar Gooden (1), Shane Ray (1), Ka'Ra Stewart (1), E.J. Gaines
QB Sacks – Michael Sam (2), Kony Ealy (1), Evan Winston (1), Clayton
Echard (1), Keric Lickerman (1).
Passes Broken Up – Kony Ealy (2), E.J. Gaines (1), Ernest Payton (1),
Cortland Browning (1), Evan Winston (1), Donavin Newsom (1).
Forced Fumbles – Donovan Bonner (1), Daniel Easterly (1), Michael Sam
QB Hurries – Shane Ray (1), Brayden Burnett (1).
Tiger FG-FGA Makes Misses
Andrew Baggett 5-5 28, 28, 20, 37, 26
Trey Barrow 5-5 28, 28, 20, 44, 30
Brad Clements 2-2 28, 28
Tiger Punts-Yds. Avg. I-20
Trey Barrow 4-171 42.75 1
Christian Brinser 4-175 43.75 0