The Missouri Tigers were back at it early this morning for fall camp's second practice, in helmets and shorts, on the Kadlec Fields. This morning's practice was generally a repeat of the first practice, and afforded a better look at several players.
In addition to Mark Hill and Tony Randolph, both of whom are recovering from knee surgery, and will likely miss most or all of camp, Donovan Bonner sat out today, wearing a red jersey, and Josh Tatum slid over to the number two spot at WLB.
There were no new changes in the depth chart from what I saw yesterday, although toward the end of practice, I saw Marcus Lucas taking reps with the number four unit, alongside the other freshmen WRs. A few of the freshmen are already listed ahead of walk-ons, and more of the freshmen will quickly move ahead of the walk-ons on the depth chart.
After practice, Coach Pinkel addressed the media.
"Good work. I thought we picked it up a little bit from yesterday, which I thought was real good," said Coach Pinkel. "I always tell our team that we just don't want to waste a day. I thought we came out and took care of our business. I thought it was pretty good. We worked hard. We had good conditioning at the end. Now, we'll just do a lot of things this afternoon, in terms of meetings to work on the mental side, learning the mental assignments at their positions."
The entire team underwent conditioning following today's practice, and many of the players appeared to fare well.
Punters Matt Grabner and Christian Brinser were located on opposite sides of one of the practice fields, and spent a portion of practice punting the ball from sideline to sideline. Both punters appeared to be getting good hang time on their punts. Trey Barrow is also auditioning as a punter, in addition to competing at placekicker.
During 7-on-7 action, Kerwin Stricker made a couple of nice plays early. He took a swing pass down the right sideline for a nice gain, and then went across the middle for a nice catch and run. Marcus Murphy took a swing pass out of the back field, and turned it up field while making some people miss.
Tyler Gabbert tried to hit Matt Hoch down the left seam. Daniel Easterly came in to break it up, showing good closing speed and agility. Tyler found Marcus Lucas in the right seam, in between Tavon Bolden and Jeff Gettys.
Blaine Gabbert threaded the ball deep down the left sideline to Rolandis Woodland. This was a thirty-yard rope that Woodland went up high to haul in and came down in bounds. Then, Blaine rifled one in over the middle to L'Damian Washington, who made the reception in front of Carl Gettis and Zaviar Gooden for the first down. De'Vion Moore took a swing pass out along the right side, but Gettis came up quickly to make the stop after a short gain. Blaine found Moore again, over the middle. This time, Blaine had gone through his progressions, and finally dropped it off with nice touch to Moore, leading him away from the defender. Blaine again found L'Damian Washington over the middle. He squeezed it in between defenders, and Washington made a nice catch in traffic.
Woodland and Stricker are each demonstrating improved pass-catching ability. Woodland has been able to go get the deep passes, but now appears to be making all manner of receptions. We'll see if this continues after they pad up. Stricker's just much more consistent catching the football, and is showing some of his considerable ability.
Ashton Glaser found Matt Hoch with a short pass out in the left flat. Xavier Smith closed quickly to make the stop. Glaser hooked up with Jimmy Hunt along the right sideline near the first down marker. Tristen Holt was in the coverage. Hunt did a nice job of coming back for the ball. He made a difficult catch look easy. That's going to be a recurring theme with Hunt.
The Tigers practiced some running game situations, including pitches to get the running back to the outside. This provided an opportunity for Marcus Lucas to get some reps blocking on the perimeter. He looked really good as he engaged his man with good hand placement and pad level, while maintaining good positioning and movement.
During 11-on-11 action, James Franklin hit Jaleel Clark in the hands out along the right sideline near the first down marker, but Clark was unable to make the reception. Franklin faked the inside hand-off, then quickly got the ball out along the right side to Andrew Jones, who turned it up for a short gain. Franklin found L'Damian Washington underneath near the left seam. Washington made the first guy miss, and picked up a first down. De'Vion Moore took an inside hand-off from Franklin and turned it up inside for a short gain.
Blaine Gabbert got the ball out quickly to Wes Kemp, along the left sideline. Kemp turned it up to near a first down. Blaine hit Jerrell Jackson with a quick out along the right sideline. Under defensive pressure, Blaine scrambled to his right and threw the ball away. De'Vion Moore took an inside hand-off around the right side, and made at least one guy miss, before taking it down the sideline for a nice gain. Later, Blaine found De'Vion Moore on an inside screen in the right hash area, and Moore turned it up inside for a nice gain. Jerrell Jackson took a quick out from Blaine along the left seam area, and turned it up the left sideline for first down yardage plus. Kevin Rutland and Kenji Jackson were among those defenders in pursuit. Blaine fired one over a leaping defender, and Woodland hauled it in for a first down.
Jimmy Costello found Beau Brinkley out in the left seam area with a quick pass. Trey Hobson came up for the stop. Costello came right back to Brinkley, this time on a short out route. Again, Hobson was there to make the stop.
Ashton Glaser hit Gahn McGaffie in stride coming across the middle. McGaffie turned it up for a nice gain. Kerwin Stricker took an inside screen pass from Glaser, and turned it up for a nice gain before he was stripped of the ball down along the right sideline.
Tyler Gabbert found Jimmie Hunt along the left sideline with a quick out. The throw was a little wide, but Hunt went up and made a difficult leaping catch look easy. Henry Josey took an inside hand-off from Tyler, and turned it up for a nice gain. Josey showed a burst. Tyler overthrew Bud Sasser down the right sideline.
The Tigers are scheduled to pad up tomorrow, so that should be interesting. We might start to see some movement near the bottom of the depth chart, as some of the freshmen begin to learn their assignments, which will allow for their ability to begin to assert itself.