On Tuesday, the Missouri Tigers practiced indoors for about two hours. This was their final practice in full pads prior to this Saturday’s Spring Football Game.
“We got in good work today,” said Coach Pinkel, following Tuesday’s practice. “There was a lot of situational things that we did today. We worked on our four-minute offense. The offense is trying to run the clock down, and the defense is trying to get the ball back for their offense. It was really good work! That was a really good period that we did! We worked on a screen-draw period, and some other things. So, it was a lot of situational things that I think were very good, and certainly for the quarterbacks also.”
Thursday, the Tigers will hold meetings to go over the Spring Game, and also to organize the player-run summer workouts that will be led by the seniors. Then, they will have a short, light practice.
As far as injuries, Jimmie Hunt sat out Tuesday’s practice with a high-ankle sprain, and it appears that he’ll miss the Spring Game.
“He’s done a lot of great things this spring, and it’s too bad he couldn’t finish,” said Coach Pinkel, referring to Jimmie Hunt. “But we’ll get him healthy, and get him back, and ready to go. He was having a great spring!”
Tyler Hunt wore a red pull-over and participated in the non-contact drills. Brock Bondurant sat out all drills.
Kony Ealy was back at practice, after having missed all of last week.
The only changes that I saw in the Depth Chart were associated with McGovern and Hunt being out. With Hunt sidelined, Levi Copelin has moved up behind Bud Sasser at the H WR spot, and he’s taken advantage of those second-team reps, with a positive showing. With McGovern sidelined, Max Copeland slid over to first-team right guard and Mitch Hall moved up to the first team at left guard. Jordan Williams moved up to second-team left guard, behind Hall.
During the punt drills, Jake Hurrell, Sean Culkin, and Brandon Colbert handled the long-snapping. Christian Brinser banged punts off the roof, and Murphy, David Johnson, Darius White, and Russell Hansbrough each worked as returners.
James Franklin has held onto the starting QB job all spring. He has been the most-accurate passer on a daily basis from the beginning of spring practice to the present. Franklin’s pass to Bud Sasser was right on the money, hitting him in stride and right on time. Then, Franklin hit Greg White right in stride.
So far, White has stayed ahead of Morgan Steward. That’s a competition that’s going to continue to heat up this fall, as both players have gotten better, although I think that Steward is clearly the most-improved of the two.
Franklin got the ball to Waters on the stop and go. Then, Franklin hit Culkin in the left seam. Franklin hit Bud Sasser right in stride down the left hash. Franklin got it to Waters on a square-in. Franklin faked a hand-off, then rolled out to the right and delivered a strike out along the right side to Greg White.
Maty Mauk threw the ball behind Henry Josey, but Josey turned around and made the catch. Hansbrough took a pitch from Mauk, but he didn’t get far against the number one defense.
Corbin Berkstresser threw the football out in front of Eric Waters on an out route. The pass was a little off target, but Waters got a hand on it, and tipped it to himself for the reception. Berkstresser hit Tyler Hunt right in the hands out in the left flat. Berkstresser hit Marcus Lucas right on the numbers on a hook. Berkstresser hit Dorial Green-Beckham on the same route. Steward took a hand-off from Berkstresser and ran right for a nice gain. Steward appeared to have had another very good day. He’s really elevated his play over the past couple of weeks.
Coach Pinkel talked about the up-tempo offensive philosophy that Missouri has utilized this spring.
“(It’s an advantage) as long as you keep the ball. I think it’s fine, as long as you get first downs,” laughed Coach Pinkel, talking about the up-tempo offense. “You know, we’re not going to be this high-tempo all of the time. That’s going to be something that we’d like to get good at. But you know, we have to kind of wait and see where it goes with that.”
“I think it’s good if it wears people out, and we score points,” explained Coach Pinkel. “But if you’re high-tempo, and you’re going three-and-out, then your defense is back on the field that much faster, and then they start tiring out. You know, last year, with our offensive problems, our defense, in the last four or five games, they were really tired out. They played a lot. They were on the field way too long, and it takes its toll.”