The Missouri Tigers practiced in full pads this morning on Faurot Field. The cloud cover held the temperature in the upper 70's, which provided some relief for everyone. The Tigers are still pretty banged up as they prepare for their next scrimmage on Thursday, but it appears that several of the injured players will make it back into action soon.
Dan Hoch, Kirk Lakebrink, and Kendial Lawrence each wore red pull-overs today, and participated in some drills. All are still limping around, but appear to be doing better. Will Ebner and Jared Parham wore red pull-overs today, and participated in most drills. Darvin Ruise is back in action. Jimmy Hunt is still wearing a boot on his ankle, and is still limping, but looked a little bit better today. Kerwin Stricker sat out practice in a red jersey.
I have to correct a case of mistaken identity from yesterday. The player I referred to yesterday as Marvin Norman is actually TE Steve Drain. I believe Marvin Norman is lining up at center.
This morning's practice seemed to lack some of the enthusiasm from yesterday morning. Still, I think it was a productive session. Coach Pinkel seemed to think so.
"Good practice (today)," began the head coach. "(It was) very competitive. Right at the end there, in order to win the T-shirts today, the defense had to win both of them, both 11-on-11s. They did, and it was just a lot of competition. So, that's good. We're just trying to get better."
During some 9-on-9 work on the running game, Marcus Murphy took a hand-off, then was met at the line of scrimmage by Tavon Bolden and Josh Tatum, among others. Henry Josey took a hand-off around the right side for a nice gain. Derrick Washington picked up a couple of yards over the right side. Josey laid the ball on the ground over along the sideline. I think it was Jasper Simmons that knocked it out. Travis Ruth's shotgun snap sailed over Tyler Gabbert's head. Greg White took a hand-off around the right side, and ran hard for a nice gain. Marcus Murphy took a hand-off up the gut, and made a couple of guys miss just beyond the line of scrimmage.
During the 1-on-1 pass-rush drill, Elvis Fisher stonewalled Aldon Smith. Dominique Hamilton ran right over Dan Jenkins. Terrell Resonno threw Travis Ruth aside and got the sack. Brad Madison used an outside move to get past Mitch Morse. Justin Britt stonewalled George White. Aldon Smith came back with a nice combination move, but Fisher was up to the task, and stayed right with him. Brendan Donaldson picked up a win over Nick Demien.
During 7-on-7s, Carl Gettis had terrific coverage down the left sideline, and didn't leave the QB anywhere to throw the football.
Jimmy Costello found Bud Sasser in the left seam fro a nice gain. Eric Waters hauled in a Costello pass out along the right sideline for a nice gain. Marcus Murphy took a pitch from Costello around the right side for a nice gain. Greg White took a Costello pitch around the rights side for near first down yardage.
Ashton Glaser completed a pass to Steve Drain deep down the right sideline.
During the Tiger Drill, Greg White earned a pat on the head from Kenji Jackson after he ran through Jackson's tackle. Henry Josey picked up a win against Kevin Rutland. Gahn McGaffie spun out of Kip Edwards' attempted tackle. Xavier Smith received a pat on the head from L'Damian Washington after Smith made a nice tackle. Jaleel Clark ran over Braylon Webb. Daniel Easterly put a big hit on Marcus Lucas, but Lucas kept his feet and earned the win.
During 11-on-11 action, Derrick Washington took an inside hand-off from Blaine Gabbert, and turned it up inside, then cut over the left side for a big gain. T.J. Moe hauled in a pass from Blaine over in the right flat, and started up field. Kenji Jackson decleated Moe, dislodging the football, and left him trying to find the sideline. Later, Derrick Washington took Blaine's hand-off, and went around the left side for a first down. Blaine scrambled, and then found Moe late over the middle for a first down. Simmons came up on the outside, and made a nice open-field tackle on Derrick Washington.
Kevin Rutland got a hand in on a Jimmy Costello pass intended for Rolandis Woodland, and broke it up. Josey took an inside hand-off, and turned it up, trying to move the pile for a couple of hard yards. Jasper Simmons knocked Murphy off of his feet, after Murph had taken in a swing pass out in the left flat and started up the field. Costello scrambled out to his left and found Woodland down field, but Costello had been ruled down in the backfield.
Ashton Glaser found Gahn McGaffie out in the right seam are. McGaffie turned it up for a nice gain. Marcus Murphy took a swing pass out along the right side, and juked his way up field for a first down. Michael Sam and Brad Madison met at the QB for a sack.
Tyler Gabbert hit McGaffie out in the left flat for about 6 yards. Marcus Lucas hauled in a pass from Tyler over in the right seam area for a nice gain. Murphy took a swing pass from Tyler out in the left flat, and turned it up, making several people miss on his way to a first down. Tyler found McGaffie out in the left seam area for a nice gain.
After practice today, Coach Pinkel intimated that the defense is leading the offense 4-3 in the competition for supremacy. Despite the effectiveness of Missouri's running game, the unsettled nature of the wide receiver position may account for the defense's slight edge over the offense. Of course, the experienced defense may just be playing better.