Mizzou Defensive Scrimmage Notebook

Go inside with InsideMizzou.com's Football Team writer Jason Brynsvold on his take on the defense this past Saturday. This defensive notebook points out the good and the bad on the defensive side of the ball, with very little bad to be reported except for the final score of the scrimmage.

The defense did not allow a run over 5 yards (excluding double reverses) during the entire practice. Also, the defensive ends were getting out into the flat to blow up almost every screen play that the offense ran.

This scrimmage showed me that the Tigers could actually be a defensive minded team this season.

Even though the offense technically won the scrimmage, I thought the defense played WAY better.

It seems as if the first team defense has a 3-man rotation at defensive end: Brian Coulter, Aldon Smith and Jacquies Smith.

When the Tigers go into the nickel defense, Andrew Gachkar comes out and the secondary includes Kenji Jackson, Hardy Ricks, Carl Gettis, Kevin Rutland and Trey Hobson.

Kevin Rutland had an easy pick on Blaine Gabbert late in the scrimmage on what seemed to be a WR-QB miscommunication. This type of miscommunication caused about 4 other interceptions in the scrimmage.

One of the most impressive things about the defense was the number of tipped passes at the line of scrimmage.

I counted anywhere from 7-10 deflections at the line during the 3 hour scrimmage. Interestingly enough, one of these deflected passes was caught by Ashton Glaser and another was caught by Blaine Gabbert..

As reported by Kevin Lawless, Josh Tatum seemed to injure his left hamstring about an hour into practice and never returned. Hopefully it's nothing to serious.

On the first string's 2nd to last series on the field, Sean Weatherspoon urged his guys to "win every single battle." He answered his own challenge by getting an interception on the 3rd play of that drive.

After the interception, Weatherspoon and defensive tackle Jaron Baston pumped up the small crowd that came to support the team.

Munir Prince has been impressive at corner this spring because of his mix of quickness and physicality. Prince laid one of the biggest hits of the day on Jerrell Jackson during the 2-minute drill.

After separating Jackson from the ball, Prince picked him up and speared him into the ground.

I have noticed that the cornerbacks have been way more physical this year than they were last year.

This could be a reflection on the new, vocal defensive coordinator, Dave Steckel. Robert Steeples attempted to show his own physicality by throwing Terry Dennis down after a short gain.

Freshman Andrew Wilson made his presence known on the defensive side of the ball by laying the wood on senior tight end Levi Hamilton. He could be a great player for the Tigers after they lose Weatherspoon at the end of this season.

Andrew Gachkar showed his ability in coverage by baiting Blaine Gabbert to attempt a tough pass on 4th down in the 2-minute drill. Gachkar picked Gabbert off and took it back 10 yards.

Special Team note: The first string long snapper is Beau Brinkley and the first string holder is Forrest Shock. No problems for them thus far on getting the ball down for the kickers to kick.

DEFENSIVE PLAY OF DAY: Kenji Jackson jacked up previously mentioned Forrest Shock on a 20-yard pass. Shock was hit so hard, he limped off the field in what looked like pretty bad pain.

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