The Missouri Tigers practiced in shoulder pads and helmets for the first time this morning, a lengthy session on the grass fields which concluded with some serious conditioning work.
In addition to Mark Hill and Tony Randolph, Donovan Bonner has joined the injury list. He has torn his left ACL, and will undergo surgery, and miss the 2010 season. Josh Tatum has moved over to the WLB spot on the second unit.
JP reported that Kony Ealy was having his way with the back-up offensive linemen during 1-on-1s, and that the first string defensive line generally seemed to have the upper hand in those contests.
Afterward, Coach Pinkel talked about how his team practiced today.
"I liked the intensity level," said Coach Pinkel. "And, I thought we got better today."
Matt Grabner got off a number of great-looking punts. Those fielding punts included Carl Gettis, T.J. Moe, Tristen Holt, and Marcus Murphy. During warm-ups, E.J. Gaines, Jimmie Hunt, and Kip Edwards were also fielding punts.
During 7-on-7s, Blaine Gabbert's pass attempt intended for Michael Egnew out along the right side was broken up by Gettis and Zaviar Gooden. Blaine came right back to Egnew, running down the middle, for a first down. Egnew added some run-after-catch following the reception. Blaine stuck one in to Jerrell Jackson, who had curled up in front of the safeties about fifteen yards down the left hash. Later, Blaine threw one low and away that Egnew went down and secured near the sideline marker. Gettis made a nice break on the ball to break up Blaine's pass attempt to Rolandis Woodland on a deep out along the right sideline. Blaine's next attempt bounced off of Woodland's hands, as he cut across the middle, and fell incomplete. After going through a series of progressions, Blaine dropped the ball off to Jerrell Jackson in the flat. The ball went right through Jackson's hands. Blaine squeezed one in to Moe in a crowd down the left seam. Moe made a nice reception in traffic, and turned it up for even more.
James Franklin's pass attempt to Moe down the seam fell incomplete, with Jarrell Harrison and Matt White in close coverage. Franklin quickly found Moe out along the left sideline for a first down. Moe made Munir Prince miss, and picked up another five yards. Franklin found Jaleel Clark coming across the middle. With Josh Tatum in close coverage, Clark took Franklin's pass right in stride and turned it up for a nice gain.
Ashton Glaser hit Nikko Sansone right in stride crossing underneath the defense. Brennan was in coverage, and Sansone turned it up field for a nice gain. Glaser found Kerwin Stricker out along the left sideline. Stricker made a nice grab as he went down and secured the ball for a nice gain. Glaser's next pass hit Stricker in the hands out along the right sideline, but the pass fell incomplete.
Tyler Gabbert's pass bounced off of Henry Josey's hands and into the air. The dangerous tipped ball fell incomplete. Tyler found Brandon Gerau out along the left sideline for a short gain. Tyler then hit Gahn McGaffie in stride on a slant, and McGaffie turned it up for a nice gain. Tyler's pass attempt intended for McGaffie out along the left sideline fell short.
Jimmy Costello hit Beau Brinkley for a first down on a crossing pattern. Harrison was among the defenders in the area. Will Ebner got a hand on Costello's pass attempt intended for Moe over the middle. The tipped ball was intercepted by Harrison. Costello threaded a nice pass down the left seam to Moe, who went up and made a spectacular reception. But, Andrew Wilson arrived forcefully before the fully extended Moe could secure the football, and Moe was separated from the ball.
Coach Pinkel talked a little bit about the Tigers' running game.
"We always want to be able to run the football," said Coach Pinkel. "We throw the ball. We spread the field. We create running lanes by throwing the football well............. We want to be able to run the ball. We want to have some consistency in what we do. We have some talented running backs. We might put two backs in there at times, also."
During 11-on-11 action, Blaine Gabbert hit Andrew Jones down the middle for first down yardage. De'Vion Moore took an inside hand-off around the right side for first down yardage. Harrison, Tatum, and Prince were among those who forced him out of bounds. Ebner got a hand on a pass thrown down the middle from Blaine to Egnew. Egnew showed good concentration, staying with the ball, and made a nice juggling catch for a first down. Later, Blaine's pitch to Derrick Washington hit Washington in the chest and fell to the ground. Washington fell on it for a short gain, just as Gooden arrived on the scene. Blaine faked a hand-off to Moore, then hit Jerrell Jackson out along the sideline for a short gain. Gooden was right there to force Jackson out of bounds. Jacquies Smith broke through, and pressured Blaine into throwing the ball away. Eric Waters took a screen pass, and following the block of T.J. Moe, turned in a nice run-after-catch for a first down. Later, Derrick Washington took a pass from Blaine on an inside screen, and turned it up behind his blocking for a first down. De'Vion Moore took an inside hand-off, and turned it up inside for a nice gain. He showed a nice burst of speed. Blaine found Jerrell Jackson on a crossing route, hitting him in stride. Jackson turned it up for what may have been a score.
Glaser completed a pass to Gerau in the left seam. Gerau went down and scooped that one off of the turf. Sansone took an inside hand-off around the right side for a short gain. Michael Sam blew past Anthony Gatti for a sack of Glaser. Stricker took a pass from Glaser on the inside screen, and turned it up for a first down.
Tyler Gabbert found Jimmie Hunt out along the left sideline on an out route, and Hunt turned it up for a first down. Daniel Easterly and Xavier Smith were among the defenders in the area. Later, Hunt made a highlight-reel worthy one-handed catch for a big gain. Then, Tyler scrambled right and threw the ball deep down the right sideline. Bud Sasser leaped high in the air and snatched the ball at the apex of his jump for an impressive reception. Sasser came back with another impressive reception, as he crossed the middle of the field and snatched Tyler's pass out of the air, never breaking stride, and turned it up for a big gain.
Kendial Lawrence took an inside hand-off from Jimmy Costello, and turned it up inside for a nice gain. Ebner batted Costello's pass attempt down at the line of scrimmage.
Franklin hit L'Damian Washington in stride over along the left seam, and Washington showed some jets, as he flew past defenders on his way to the end zone.