"It's going now, baby," receiver Darius Outlaw said. "It feels good going out there and getting some hits."
And Outlaw should know because he took a couple of shots going over the middle. Outlaw was the offensive player of the day, with four receptions for 39 yards in limited time practicing with Brad Smith and the first team offense. Easily, the best play of the day was Smith's 17-yard pass to Outlaw on the east sideline.
"(Brad and I) get out there before practice and play catch and then after practice when we're tired," Outlaw said. "It's just the fact of getting in there, catching and being focused."
Although it might have not been the prettiest play, the most interesting action from the scrimmage came from the third-string offense. Starting at the defense's 30-yard line, quarterback Brandon Coleman hit tight end DeQuincy Howard at the 5-yard line. Howard fumbled it into the end zone, but receiver Brad Ekwerekwu beat defensive lineman Earl Stephens to the ball and scored the touchdown.
The defense did a good job of stopping the run throughout the scrimmage. The best run was actually the first, a 7-yard bulldozing run by Zack Abron. Although new running back Damien Nash didn't run for many yards, he got more than he should have. Nash was stopped at the line almost every time, but he spun off to get a yard or two. "The good news is he can get tremendously better," coach Gary Pinkel said.
The biggest hit of the day came from freshman Lareno Seymour, who drilled freshman tight end Josh Barbo on the sideline. It took a little for Barbo to shake it off, but he returned to make some good plays, including a six-yard reception, as well as contributing on other plays with stout blocking, Barbo's specialty.
In the battle for kicking duties, Alex Petterson clearly had a better day than Mike Matheny. Petterson was 5-for-5, making kicks from 32, 33, 42 yards and two from 39 yards. Matheny was only 1-for-5, sending most of his kicks wide left.
"It feels good," Petterson said. "I get to prove to the coaches that I've gotten a lot better and a lot stronger."
And it seems they noticed, or at least Pinkel did. "He really had a good day, and Mike's competing to try to get the job back," Pinkel said.
The team has two practices tomorrow: 8:15 a.m. at Faurot Field and 3:45 p.m. at the practice field.
We'll have complete coverage of both practices right here at Supermizzou.