The Missouri Tigers returned to the practice field Monday morning for a lengthy workout in full pads. Today's workout involved the typical game preparation normally associated with a Tuesday practice.
Following individual and position drills, the offense and defense worked against Navy (scout team) on opposite ends of the field. This encompassed the majority of practice. Following practice, offensive linemen played 7 on 7 against the defensive linemen in what Coach Pinkel called the "Big Man 7 on 7."
After practice, Coach Pinkel addressed the media. "That's one of the kind of fun things we do, traditionally. We call it the Big Man 7 on 7. Then tomorrow, we'll do the Switch 7 on 7. You know, receivers and DBs go against each other all the time. They'll switch sides of the field. So that all the receivers will be playing defense, and all the DBs will be playing offense. Someone will be playing QB. Then, we'll have an NFL day. Guys kind of dress down. We'll do that on Wednesday. Next week, we'll have the Future Bowl. All the players that are red-shirting, we'll do that down at the bowl game, they'll have a little scrimmage. Then, we'll have the final hit on the last day of practice for the seniors. Those are traditional things that we've done on bowl games. That's just a lot of fun for those guys."
Coach Pinkel talked about defending the Navy option attack. "I think that's the beauty, especially of the triple option, all the problems it presents. There's certain kinds of option. Certainly, there's like the speed option. They do every variation of option that there is. When you can do all of it like they do it, that puts stress on everybody on that field. That's why the assignment part of it is so critical. You want to be physical, and you want to play aggressive. But, you've got to be very disciplined. And, that's our challenge to do that."
First, the results of the very entertaining big man 7 on 7. Tim Barnes did the quarterbacking. He slightly under threw Justin Britt near the goal line, and that pass was broken up. Then Elvis Fisher took the ball around the right side, turning the corner, and took it to the house, amidst great jubilation! Jacquise Smith did the quarterbacking for the D-Line, and hooked up with Aldon Smith (imagine that!) for the TD. Smith had gotten behind a triple team, including Dan Jenkins and Kurtis Gregory.
During the real practice, Blaine Gabbert and the first unit worked against the scout team during 11 on 11 periods. Today's practice was a little more live than on Sunday, but still not real physical. Gabbert hit Rolandis Woodland in stride with a forty yard toss down the right sideline. Touchdown! Gabbert found Michael Egnew flying down the right seam for six. Gabbert came back and hit Danario Alexander running across the back of the end zone. Alexander leaped way up into the air to pull that one down, and stayed in bounds. Jerrell Jackson ran under a deep out from Gabbert along the right sideline for a big gain.
Elvis Fisher continues to be the only offensive linemen I've seen have any kind of consistent success going against Aldon Smith in the one-on-one pass-rush drills. Terrell Resonno put a real nice spin move on Austin Wuebbels, and got to the QB. Dominique Hamilton bull-rushed his way past Gregory.
The second-string WRs continue to impress. Woodland shows another gear once he has the ball, and has been more consistent catching it. Egnew appears to be breaking out. He's very physical, especially with run after catch. T.J. Moe has made the transition to the WR position. He's been very consistent, catching the ball in his hands, and has shown explosiveness once he has the ball.
Late in practice, Jimmy Costello hit Woodland right in the hands, but Woodland failed to make the catch, letting a little air out of what had been a very good day. Costello walked over to Woodland, and giving him a pat on the head, could be heard encouraging the young receiver to keep up his concentration.