The Tigers practiced in full pads on Tuesday afternoon, and the defense claimed the day with a renewed effort following Saturday's defeat at the hands of the offense. The day was marked by a number of turnovers forced by the defense.
Jacquies Smith wore a walking cast on his right ankle and sat out all drills in a red jersey. He said that he'll be out a couple of days. Marvin Foster, Elvis Fisher, Andrew Jones, and Alex Edwards each wore a red jersey, and sat out all drills. Tony Randolph was absent today. Austin Wuebbels, Brandon Gerau, and Nikko Sansone each wore a red pull-over and participated in non-contact drills, although Sansone shed his pull-over later in practice.
There were a number of changes within the depth chart. Most notably, James Franklin moved ahead of Jimmy Costello at the #2 QB position. Matt White moved ahead of Kenji Jackson into the starting position at strong safety. Jaleel Clark has moved ahead of Gahn McGaffie at the Z WR position, and is listed with the #2 unit. I'll update the Depth Chart on the premium board a little later with all of the changes.
After practice, Coach Pinkel talked about the number of players that he looks to try to get ready to play at the various positions. "Your first goal is to have three, say defensive tackles or defensive ends that can play, then you'd love to have five. The more depth you got, the better you are. It's the same at every position. At offensive guard, you'd like to have three, and three offensive tackles. You'd like to have four. Depending on your depth from year to year, you have those numbers. When we first got here, we weren't even close to any of that. Now, we're always working trying to find that out. That's where guys right now have to prove they're ready to play. I talked to our team after practice about the consistency of playing in practice that carries over to the consistency of playing in a game."
During 7-on-7 action, Blaine Gabbert stuck one in to Wes Kemp, in between Zaviar Gooden and Kip Edwards. Kemp absorbed the contact from both defenders, and held onto the ball for a first down. Blaine's pass attempt to Rolandis Woodland out along the left sideline was broken up by Edwards, who got his hand in front as the ball arrived. Derrick Washington got behind the defense down the left hash mark, and Blaine's pass was on target, but Washington just couldn't bring it in.
James Franklin came in with the second unit, and placed a pass onto Jaleel Clark's fingertips, out along the right seam area. Clark couldn't hold on, and the pass fell incomplete. Clark took a slant pass from Franklin and turned it up for a nice gain. Franklin hit Nikko Sansone on a slant over the middle, and Will Ebner brought him down after a short gain.
Jimmy Costello found Beau Brinkley along the right seam for a nice gain.
In the 1-on-1 pass rush drills, Aldon Smith was back on the right side, and put a spin move on Jack Meiners, getting past him to the inside. Although Aldon got the win, Meiners looked a lot better than he had a few weeks ago. George White beat Dan Jenkins with a power move to the inside. Michael Sam got around Kirk Lakebrink to the outside. Gabe McCrary blew right past Shawn Carey for a sack. Chris Earnhardt picked up a win against Quinn Brown.
In the Tiger drill, Kendial Lawrence ran past Trey Hobson. McGaffie fought his way past Prince for the win. Matt White stopped Kerwin Stricker. Terrell Lloyd stopped Terry Dennis. Randy Ponder stopped Drew O'Connell.
Grant Ressel, Trey Barrow, and Pat Smith each made kicks from 45 and 49 yards. On Ressel's attempt from 52 yards, Forrest Shock took a bad snap that was behind him, and amazingly, got the ball down in a timely manner for Ressel to kick it through the uprights. Ressel appeared to make a slight adjustment mid-stride, but it was the remarkable work of Shock that even gave him a chance.
During 11-on-11, Blaine Gabbert hooked up with Woodland deep down the right sideline for a 55 yard TD. Woodland had gotten behind Matt White, and Blaine hit him right in stride. That's Woodland's best route. He runs under those deep throws better than any of Missouri's receivers. Blaine throws that deep ball real well, too. Later, Blaine ran it around the right side, and lost the handle on the ball. Luke Lambert came up with the football. Blaine attempted a fade route to Woodland in the right corner of the end zone, but Kenji Jackson was right there to break it up. Blaine came back and ran left, then pitched it to De'Vion Moore, who got the corner and the pylon. Touchdown!
James Franklin's next series ended abruptly when Lambert stepped in front of Franklin's first pass attempt for an interception.
Costello completed a nice pass to Brinkley in the back corner of the end zone. Robert Steeples and Andrew Wilson were in the area. Costello came back to Eric Waters, out in the right seam, but Josh Tatum was right there for the pass break-up. Costello found Stricker down the left hash for a big gain. Then, Costello hit McGaffie, who was sitting down in a crease in the zone coverage, down in the right seam, for about a 20 yard gain. On the next play, things went well for Costello. His poorly placed pass down the right side was tipped by a defender, but instead of an interception, it was Matt Davis who came up with the tipped ball, and waltzed it into the end zone. Sometimes, it's just better to be lucky than good.
Glaser hooked up with Terry Dennis in the left seam for a short gain. Pulling around the right side on a running play, Jayson Palmgren decleated a defensive player. A little later, Lawrence laid the ball on the ground, and Will Ebner came away with the football. The competition for the starting MLB position is as strong as any on the team.
Blaine began a two-minute drill with a completion to Kemp out along the right hash for a first down. This series concluded dramatically, as Blaine found Derrick Washington down the middle, and Washington made several people miss, on his way to the end zone.