The Missouri Tigers practiced this morning for over two hours on Faurot Field. Despite the players being equipped with only helmets and shoulder pads, there was no shortage of contact throughout, continuing the physical nature of this camp. "Fourteen days, we got fourteen days," was a familiar refrain heard during today's workout, as everyone begins to feel the increasing urgency of preparation for the opener. Two-a-days are over, twenty-one practices are in the book, and the team is off until practice resumes on Tuesday afternoon. Coach Pinkel talked about practice, and his team's preparation.
"It was a good practice," began Coach Pinkel. "We just had shoulder pads on, and we back off a little bit. It's hard for our guys to back off because everything's so competitive................ I thought it was a good practice overall.............. We felt we wanted to lean on the physical side, and continue to prepare. It's fourteen days until kick-off, so that's the message to everybody."
Coach Pinkel talked about getting quite a number of his injured players back on the field pretty soon.
"I think we'll get a lot of guys back on Tuesday," said Coach Pinkel................ "We're just trying to error on the safe side here a little bit to try get them healthy, so we can get them going on Tuesday. A lot of these guys will be coming back in on Tuesday."
Coach Pinkel mentioned Jimmie Hunt, Dan Hoch, Will Ebner, Kevin Rutland, and De'Vion Moore as players whom he expected to be back in action on Tuesday. He also said that he "hoped to get Jarrell Harrison back for Illinois", but conceded that he didn't know if Harrison would be ready for the opener. Jimmy Burge is another player who may be back soon, and Jerrell Jackson appears to be setting himself up to begin practicing with a cast on his wrist.
Getting Hunt back on the field near 100% will be a critical factor in determining the opening day rotation at the wide receiver position. If Hunt can get ready to play in two weeks, that will allow the staff to move Bud Sasser back out to the Z WR position, where in my opinion, he's very much needed.
During 7-on-7s today, Blaine Gabbert hit Michael Egnew about twenty yards down the middle on a post pattern. Egnew held on in a crowd of defenders. Blaine hit Derrick Washington for a first down on an out pattern along the right sideline. That ball was thrown across the field from the opposite hashmark, and had plenty of mustard on it. Washington snatched it and stayed in bounds. Kip Edwards came up and hit Kendial Lawrence just as the ball arrived, knocking both Lawrence and the ball to the ground. Blaine rifled a bullet into L'Damian Washington on a deep cross. Washington caught the ball in stride, and turned it up field for six. Rolandis Woodland made a nice grab of Blaine's pass out along the right sideline. Blaine found Andrew Jones down the left seam area for a first down.
James Franklin found Gahn McGaffie on a deep slant. Then, Franklin hit McGaffie again, this time out along the right sideline. Franklin led Rolandis Woodland into the open, on a drag route that Woodland took upfield without slowing down.
Tyler Gabbert dropped back and surveyed the field before taking off up the gut for a short gain. Then, Tyler overthrew Marcus Lucas over the middle.
During the special teams work, Carl Gettis, T.J. Moe, Henry Josey, and Marcus Murphy were each fielding punts. Grant Ressel and Trey Hobson continue to compete for the placekicker job. Ressel's done well the last couple of days, especially on FGAs under forty yards, but Barrow continues to do better on the longer ones, and was good from 49 yards today.
During 11-on-11 action, Kendial Lawrence took a pitch from Blaine Gabbert around the right side for a nice gain. Blaine connected with Derrick Washington on a slant route for a first down. Derrick Washington came back and took an inside hand-off around the left side for a nice gain. Blaine hooked up with L'Damian Washington on an out route along the left sideline, in front of Andrew Gachkar. Blaine scrambled right, then threw one deep down the right sideline, intended for Wes Kemp. Carl Gettis came in and knocked the ball out of bounds. Gettis stepped in and picked off a Blaine Gabbert pass. Michael Egnew had gone upfield, but Blaine threw the ball to the sideline. Later, Derrick Washington took a hand-off and went around the left side and up the left sideline for a big gain. Lawrence took a hand-off over the right side for a short gain. Blaine completed a pass to L'Damian Washington out along the left side for a first down.
Franklin underthrew Rolandis Woodland over the middle. Aldon Smith got into the backfield and sacked Franklin.
Ashton Glaser hit Rolandis Woodland on a slant. Travis Ruth snapped the ball about three feet over Glaser's head. Xavier Smith broke up a pass from Glaser that was intended for Marcus Lucas. Glaser hit Beau Brinkley down the middle, then came right back to McGaffie over along the left sideline. Glaser's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, but Marcus Lucas came back and made a diving catch, scooping the ball off of the turf. Then, Jeff Gettys stepped in and intercepted Glaser's pass over the middle.
Jimmy Costello looked down field and then dropped it off in the left flat to Gahn McGaffie. Marcus Murphy sped around the right side and turned it up the sideline, changing lanes, and passing defenders like they were sign posts. Costello found Woodland out along the right side for a nice gain. Tavon Bolden and Jeff Gettys were in the coverage. Murphy took Costello's hand-off and went over the left side for a short gain.