On Tuesday morning, the Missouri Tigers took to Faurot Field for their first full scrimmage of fall camp. Both sides of the football had their moments, as the defense came away with a 2-point win, by the score of 14-12.
“It was a long scrimmage,” said Coach Pinkel, speaking of the first full scrimmage of fall camp. “Every year, it’s a long scrimmage. We get about forty-five plays at the ones, two, and threes. Health-wise, Gavin Otte had a high ankle sprain. Other than that, we stayed healthy. Like I’ve always mentioned about scrimmages, when someone does something good on one side of the football, someone does something bad on the other side. The message to the players is just to be able to become better football players, stay focused, stay positive. But, you’ve got to be remarkably determined. That’s how you’re going to get better as a player. You’ve got to be really determined to become a better player each and every day. And, we certainly can become a better football team.”
In addition to Otte, who was injured during the scrimmage, several injured players were held out of the scrimmage, including Matt Hoch, Braylon Webb, Cortland Browning, Morgan Steward, Connor McGovern, Donavin Newsom, Grant Jones, and Eric Laurent. All of the players who were held out are expected top be back in time for the season opener.
It was a physical day of practice, and there were more than a few big collisions. “There was a lot of hitting out there today,” said Coach Pinkel, speaking about Tuesday’s scrimmage. “Our defense was real physical………………………………… Our defense has been doing really, really well.”
Overall, it looked like the defense is a little bit ahead of the offense.
“I thought the one offense, the execution was erratic,” said Coach Pinkel. “That happens sometimes this early, but I think we can certainly get better than that. Overall, there was a lot of good things, and a lot of things we can get better at.”
Mauk finished the day 16-24-1 passing for 191 yards and 1 TD.
Some of the highlights included a beautiful throw from Maty Mauk to Jimmie Hunt for a 30-yard TD. Mauk threaded the needle into a crowd, and Hunt made the reception in a crowd near the right hash mark at the goal line.
Earlier, Mauk had lofted a pass down the right sideline that was intended for Darius White, but Kenya Dennis had it covered all the way and he went up and made the interception on the slightly underthrown ball.
Later, in the 2-minute drill, Mauk found Bud Sasser deep down the left sideline for a 50-yard reception.
Defensively, few players stood out more than Josh Augusta, although he certainly wasn’t alone up front. Lucas Vincent, Harold Brantley, Markus Golden, Charles Harris, and Marcus Loud each played consistently well and made numerous plays.
On the offensive side of the football, Jimmie Hunt and Bud Sasser really stood out, as did Murphy and Hansbrough. Sean Culkin made a number of nice plays, and Jason Reese showed himself to be a big target over the middle.
Wesley Leftwich had a nice catch and run on a 48-yard reception down the right sideline.
Several of the freshmen showed well, including Nate Brown and Lawrence Lee, and Trevon Walters and Ish Witter. On defense, Brandon Lee looked good, as did Thomas Wilson, Raymond Wingo, and Logan Cheadle.
Neither back-up quarterback appeared to separate himself from the other. Freshman QB Marvin Zanders showed some good things.
“The consistency of execution with our number one offense, we’ve got a long way to go,” said Coach Pinkel. “And, it’s not atypical for this time of year.”
Overall, I thought it was a good scrimmage. The defense is a little ahead of the offense. The number two defense looked very good. And, there were a lot of young players who made a strong bid for further consideration. Best of all, the team is relatively healthy.