The Missouri Tigers practiced for just over two hours on Faurot Field this morning, in helmets and shoulder pads, a lighter practice in preparation for tomorrow's major scrimmage.
L'Damian Washington returned to full participation for today's practice, leaving only Jerrell Jackson wearing a red jersey at the start of the day. Will Ebner wore a red pull-over throughout practice, and sat out most drills. Aldon Smith began practice in a black jersey, but donned a red pull-over when the linemen went into their 1-on-1 pass rush drill. Because of the contact restrictions, Aldon was able to participate in 11-on-11s, wearing the red pull-over.
Coach Pinkel addressed the media after practice, and talked about camp, and tomorrow's scrimmage, during which they're planning to get each player about fifty plays, and during which James Franklin is scheduled to run some plays with the number one offense.
"It was a shoulder pads practice," began Coach Pinkel. "I thought it was good work today. Tomorrow, I just call it game day tomorrow, for the whole football team. Tonight, what I'll do in our team meeting, I'll talk to them about our grading system. I'll talk to them about the production chart that we use on defense. I'll talk about the point of attack chart that we use on offense, and explain to them kind of how if you move up or you move down, how we deal with that in our program, especially for the young players, they need to know that.............. It's just not on the scrimmage tomorrow. We base our decisions on every practice since the start of camp."
During the 1-on-1 pass rush drill, freshman DT Lucas Vincent participated with the group that included the first and second team offensive and defensive linemen. He's the only true freshman doing so at this time. Moving up against better competition hasn't really slowed him down that much. He's recently moved over to the DT position from the NT position, where he's currently listed fourth, but look for him to move up after Saturday's scrimmage. This morning, Vincent worked with the third unit during 11-on-11.
During the drill, Vincent overpowered Jayson Palmgren, and got the sack. Tim Barnes stalled Dominique Hamilton's bull rush. Austin Wuebbels picked up a win over George White with a nice job. Justin Britt picked up a win over Jimmy Burge. About halfway through Burge's bull rush, Coach Henson could be heard instructing Britt to "re-grip". Afterward, Henson took time to show Britt what he meant. Elvis Fisher did a real nice job on Marcus Malbrough. After Dan Jenkins and White wrestled to a stalemate, Coach Henson took time to demonstrate hand placement for Jenkins. Travis Ruth stonewalled Burge. Ruth seems to have really improved his blocking technique, and is making a very good impression. Brad Madison utilized a nice spin move, but Jack Meiners moved his feet, and picked up the win. Michael Sam ran past Kirk Lakebrink for a sack. Palmgren picked up a win over White. Burge got a win over Jenkins. Dan Hoch did a nice job on Michael Sam. Justin Britt and Hamilton fought to a draw.
During 7-on-7s, James Franklin found Rolandis Woodland out along the left sideline, but Jasper Simmons came in and knocked the ball away. Franklin hit Wes Kemp down along the right sideline. Kemp made the catch, but came down out of bounds. Carl Gettis stepped in front of Rolandis Woodland on a slant, and knocked Franklin's pass away. Franklin and T.J. Moe hooked up for a nice completion and a big gain.
"Murph, (Marcus Murphy) and (Henry) Josey. Those are two real great quickness guys," said coach Pinkel. "They've got phenomenal quickness! Right now, we have them down at fourth and fifth, just getting work, but it's obvious they got ability. And, those are decisions that we got to make in the next couple of weeks."
Andy Hill spent a lengthy segment teaching receivers some footwork and other nuances associated with perfecting some pass routes. One young player who caught my eye was Bud Sasser, who seemed to quickly apply the instruction to the route-running.
During 11-on-11 action, Blaine Gabbert completed a pass over the middle to Rolandis Woodland for a nice gain. Blaine hit Michael Egnew for about a twenty-yard completion down the right hash. Derrick Washington took an inside hand-off around the left side for a nice gain. Woodland went down on a knee to catch a pass from Blaine out along the left side. Kip Edwards had great position on a deep ball thrown by Blaine down the right side. Woodland went over his back to prevent the interception. Blaine found Moe with a quick out for a nice gain. Moe really is establishing himself, in Jackson's absence, as Missouri's top WR. Blaine dropped one off to De'Vion Moore out in the right flat. Moore turned it up for a nice gain. Brad Madison broke through for a sack. Blaine hit Egnew down the left seam area. Egnew made a nice adjustment on the ball in the air.
Kendial Lawrence took an inside hand-off from James Franklin and took it around the left side for a nice gain. Franklin lead Kerwin Stricker up field for a nice gain out along the right side. Matt White intercepted a Franklin pass thrown deep down the right hash. Derrick Washington took a hand-off from Franklin and took it around the left side for a nice gain. Franklin found Moe out along the left side. Moe turned it up for a big gain.
Jimmy Costello hit Kendial Lawrence out along the right side for a nice gain.
On what appeared to be a broken play, Ashton Glaser found a wide-open Brandon Gerau all alone in the front left corner of the end-zone. Glaser hit Bud Sasser for a completion. Glaser completed a pass to Eric Waters down the right hash.
Tyler Gabbert hit Jimmy Hunt out in the left flat. Hunt turned it up to near a first down. Marcus Lucas made a nice reception of Tyler's pass out in the right seam area. Tyler hit Hunt on a slip screen in the right flat. Ben Eskelson made the stop after a short gain.