On Saturday, the Missouri Tigers closed out their 2012 Fall Camp with a two-hour practice on Faurot Field in shells. Veteran players will move out of the dorms on Saturday afternoon, with classes scheduled to begin on Monday. Practice will resume on Tuesday afternoon, as the team begins to ready itself for the season opener two weeks from today.
"Overall it was a good day," said Coach Pinkel, following Saturday's practice. "We backed off a little bit. When you go shoulder pads, take the hip pads off and thigh pads (off), and you have shorts on, it just keeps people up. And some of the drills we don't do because you can't execute them safely with shorts on. It was all planned. At this time, our players are going to have a couple of days off."
Coach Pinkel said that the days off will be good for his team.
"One of the great things about two-a-days, and the grind of going through it is it's good for you," explained Coach Pinkel. "It's all part of the development of a player. But this (break) will help them get their legs back a little bit."
Currently, Marcus Murphy is the number one punt returner, followed by E.J. Gaines and T.J. Moe. That's a very capable trio of punt returners. Moe is the number one kick returner, followed by Murphy and Kendial Lawrence. A pair of freshmen, Russell Hansbrough and Dorial Green-Beckham, have been working as kick returners, as well.
The kicking derby continues, with the placekicker competition between Trey Barrow and Andrew Baggett too close to call. Barrow and Christian Brinser are competing for the job as punter, and also for the kick-off duties. Baggett, who has the bigger leg, has not been doing kick-offs, as he has been nursing an injury.
Hansbrough and Green-Beckham each had another good day of practice on Saturday. Green-Beckham is looking better every day, and he's catching a lot of balls in stride with room to run after the catch. Hansbrough continued to impress while working exclusively with the top two offensive units.
After practice, Coach Yost talked about how he sees Missouri's TBs as part of the passing game because they are such good receivers, and are so good with their run after catch. He also said that the Tigers have enough quality depth at receiver that they won't have to have one guy who plays every snap.
During 7-on-7s, Corbin Berkstresser found T.J. Moe sitting down over in the left seem. Moe had eluded Zaviar Gooden, then turned it up for a nice gain. Berkstresser's pass intended for Eric Waters near the right hash fell incomplete. Waters was closely covered by Andrew Wilson. Berkstresser found Marcus Lucas in the right seam for a first down. Berkstresser's pass over the middle intended for Eric Waters was tipped in the air and fell incomplete. That was a dangerous play as that tipped ball hung in the air for a long time. Berkstresser found L'Damian Washington down along the left sideline. Kenronte Walker and Randy Ponder were there to usher him out of bounds, but not before he moved the chains. Berkstresser overthrew Washington deep down the left sideline. Xavier Smith had the coverage. Berkstresser found Moe in the right seam, but Moe dropped the pass. Berkstresser hit Lucas right in stride on a cross.
Maty Mauk found Dorial Green-Beckham in the right seam. Green-Beckham quickly turned it up field for additional yardage. Mauk found Green-Beckham out along the right sideline. Again Green-Beckham tacked on additional run-after-catch for a first down and more. Green-Beckham is starting to tack on additional yardage on almost every catch. Mauk is finding Green-Beckham with increasing regularity.
Eric Laurent got the ball to Brandon Holifield over the middle for a first down. Laurent found Levi Copelin over the middle for a nice gain. Laurent's pass down the right sideline intended for Jaleel Clark was incomplete. Darvin Ruise had tight coverage.
During 1-on-1 pass rush drills, Jack Meiners took Sheldon Richardson on past the QB. Mitch Morse Blocked Marvin Foster. Jimmy Burge powered his way past Max Copeland. Brad McNulty stonewalled David Butler. Marvin Foster bull-rushed Evan Boehm back into the QB. Brad Madison blew past Michael Boddie. Connor McGovern blocked David Butler. Evan Boehm stonewalled Marvin Foster.
During 11-on-11s, Berkstresser scrambled right, then he threw the ball back over the middle right to Andrew Wilson. Randy Ponder broke up a pass intended for Bud Sasser on a deep post. Kendial Lawrence ran right for a first down. Berkstresser found McGaffie out along the left sideline for a nice gain. Berkstresser moved well in the pocket, and got the ball out to McGaffie for a first down near the right sideline.
Morgan Steward took a pitch from Mauk and ran right for about 4 yards before he was run out of bounds. Mauk got the ball to Holifield out in the left seam. The freshman turned it up field for additional yardage. Russell Hansbrough took a pitch from Mauk and ran left. He made the first guy miss, then turned it up the left sideline to near first down marker. Mauk kept it and ran inside for a nice gain. Earnest Payton was right there to break up a pass intended for Rolandis Woodland. Mauk ran it inside for a first down. Mauk faked it to Hansbrough, then he had to vacate the pocket under pressure from Foster and Sam. He eluded the rush and unloaded the ball out of bounds. Mauk has tremendous mobility. And, he's rapidly improving as a passer. Mauk's pass hit Kerwin Stricker right in the hands, but Stricker failed to make the catch. Mauk ran inside for a first down. Under a blitz, Mauk quickly got the ball to Stricker on a hot slant. Stricker took it right in stride and had a lot of football field in front of him. Mauk hit Green-Beckham right in stride on a cross. Mauk eluded a blitzing Zaviar Gooden, then ran into the area that Gooden had vacated.
Mauk found Rolandis Woodland down the left sideline for about 15-20 yards. Matt White was the defender. That was one of Mauk's better throws of camp. He put a little bend on it and dropped it in over White. A little later, Mauk went back to Woodland in the left front corner of the end zone. This time, his pass was overthrown. Mauk hit Wesley Leftwich on a deep cross for a pretty big gain. Mauk found Holifield out in the left seam for a first down. Mauk got in a lot of work on Saturday. He appears to see the field pretty well, and as previously stated, he's extremely mobile and is just terrific running with the football. He just needs to improve his passing mechanics and learn to drop the ball over a defender without overthrowing his receiver. He would really benefit from elevating his release point and developing a more consistent delivery.