Scrimmage report: Saturday, April 3

Those looking for offensive improvement sure didn't find it Saturday morning, as Brad Smith and Co. sputtered in the second spring practice. The defense dominated as the offense made mistake after mistake, many at the hands of Smith and second-team quarterback Brandon Coleman.

There are a couple of ways of looking at Missouri's second spring scrimmage Saturday.

Maybe the defense has gotten this good, keeping the Tigers' offense under control for most of the morning and dominating the first-team offense, led by Brad Smith. Or…

The offense was that bad Saturday, failing to get past midfield for the first hour of action and scoring only two touchdowns all morning.

The truth is probably closer to Option B, and it left coach Gary Pinkel disappointed.

"We're not as consistent as wee need to be," Pinkel said. "It's obvious we have a lot of work to do."

The Tiger offense had errors all over the place, most of them unforced, and made the defense look more like Oklahoma's than Missouri's.

From the beginning, it didn't look good for the offense when running back Damien Nash went down and look injured on the one of the first plays of the day. Nash would recover, though, nicely.

The real problems were for quarterbacks Smith and Brandon Coleman, who could not generate any kind of momentum. Smith's first-team offense scored only once, on a drive that began at the defense's 25. Without the threat of running, Smith had a much tougher time beating the defense, but at the same time, he had as many dropped passes as he did completions.

"We had 11 guys out there playing their own different way," receiver Thomson Omboga said. "We make it so Brad can't run so we can get our passing game going, and the receiver just have to step up and make plays."

Smith threw an early interception to Jason Simpson, and then also fumbled two snaps on the day.

Coleman also had problems holding onto the ball. He fumbled three snaps on the day, one that the defense recovered. The only thing worse than his accuracy taking snaps, though, was his throwing accuracy Saturday. Coleman led the second-team offense to only one touchdown on a 40-yard drive and he threw an interception.

In fact, the first team to get past midfield was the fourth team, which although it was going against the third-team defense, had the best day.

The scrimmage was another source of pride for the defense, which has been continuously besting the offense this spring, and it has the evidence to prove it. The coaches give the black jerseys to the unit that did the best in the practice before, and the other side wears white. The defense has only given up the black jerseys twice this season.

"We're playing like a cohesive unit," David Overstreet said.


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