Lindsay Petersen, Mizzou Media Relations Student Assistant
The Missouri Tigers held their first practice since school started on the Kadlec Athletic Fields Tuesday afternoon. It was a pleasant afternoon with temperatures in the lower 80's and a refreshing breeze which added to the energy on the field.
After two days free from practice, the Tigers definitely looked fresh, and the energy and enthusiasm was evident from the start. It was a highly-competitive practice that went down to the wire, and it was the defense which claimed the overall win. Tuesday represented the final day of camp competition, and with the score tied coming into today, the defense claimed the camp championship, with each defender getting specially-made T-shirts from Director of Equipment Operations Don Barnes right after practice to celebrate their win.
"Great competition today," said Head Coach Gary Pinkel to mutigers.com. "We talk about competing every single down, the only way that happens in games is if you do it every single day in practice. You can't just turn it on when the stands fill up, you have to bring it every single day, and that's part of the learning process for a team," he said.
Perhaps the biggest news of the day came after practice when Coach Pinkel indicated that WR Jerrell Jackson is back on the board as possible for playing in the season opener against Illinois on Sept. 4th. Jackson was originally expected to miss the Illinois game, and possible one or two others, after breaking a bone in his left wrist early in camp. Coach Pinkel said that nothing is settled just yet, but the fact that Jackson was able to run some pass routes Tuesday and catch the ball is a good start.
Coach said that nothing is being ruled out. "We'll see," he said. "We'll find out. It's encouraging though. It's certainly a question mark now, this was news to us yesterday. It's a possibility," he added.
When the Tigers moved on to 7 on 7, the defense took an early lead as S Matt White knocked B. Gabbert out of bounds on a fake hand off to TB Derrick Washington keeping the offense from gaining any points. TB Marcus Murphy was able to run the ball a few yards for the offense before being stopped by S Kenronte Walker. The defense continued to dominate until D. Washington was able to carry the ball for a 10 yard gain and points for the offense. WR Rolandis Woodland had an amazing leap and dive catch that he caught from B. Gabbert while being heavily covered. In the final drill of the period the offense and defense were tied up 8-8, but it ended with the defense winning as they held back D. Washington on a carry.
The offensive and defensive lineman went on to practice 1 on 1 drills. OL Tim Barnes had a great block against DL Terrell Resonno as he brought him to the ground. DL Aldon Smith had a good practice when he went around OL Elvis Fisher to get the QB dummy. A. Smith has been very successful during two-a-days practices on 1 on 1. The offense ended up being successful as OL Austin Wuebbles overpowered DL Dominique Hamilton to give the offense the point and win.
During 7 on 7, R. Woodland made a catch from B. Gabbert for a 5 yard gain as he headed into the sidelines. B. Gabbert then made a pass to WR T.J. Moe who grabbed the ball but was immediately tackled by LB Zaviar Gooden. QB James Franklin also had a great pass that went long to WR Bud Sasser with an instant tackle by K. Walker. Franklin then threw a touchdown pass to Sasser which helped the offense stay in the game. Next, QB Jimmy Costello threw a pass intended for WR Jaleel Clark, but instead DB Trey Hobson intercepted in the endzone on a play where the athletic Hobson made a nice read and he leaped high to haul it in. B. Gabbert came back into the game and threow a touchdown pass to WR Wes Kemp, and then another amazing touchdown pass to TE Michael Egnew who had a great catch while being highly covered. TB Marcus Murphy had a great catch when he caught a low pass by J. Costello that nearly touched the ground. The defense continues to block the offense from scoring any more points as DB Carl Gettis makes great coverage against WR L'Damian Washington. The defense wins this set 42-40.
After a few more individual drills, the Tigers move on to 11 on 11. During the first round, a pass over the middle was nearly an interception to LB Jeff Gettys. QB Ashton Glaser made some points back for the offense when he ran a few yards to avoid defensive pressure and threw to R. Woodland for a 10 yard gain. LB Will Ebner made a good tackle on Sasser to keep him from completing a pass and on J. Clark even after returning from injury. LB Luke Lambert made a great tackle on D. Washington as he knocked him down from the side and freed the ball. K. Lawrence tried to keep the offense afloat with a long touchdown run of over 50 yards near the end, but the defense won the first round of 11 on 11.
During the second round of 11 on 11 the offense started out good as B. Gabbert made a several yard gain on a run. Next, R. Woodland made a flying jump and caught the ball for a touchdown with heavy coverage in the endzone. The defense dug in though, as D. Hamilton pressured Franklin to the sidelines, and pressured QB Tyler Gabbert to overthrow. On the last play of the period, with the score at 7-6 in favor of the defense, B. Gabbert threw on the run as he was avoiding pressure, and the ball went into the awaiting arms of Carl Gettis for the defensive win.
On the final 11 on 11 drill, R. Woodland helped the offense get a head start when he made a fantastic catch for 15 yards. A. Glaser then threw the ball to Sasser for a 10 yard gain with J. Gettys and K. Walker on the coverage. The offense continued to stay ahead as B. Gabbert completed several passes and hand offs to WR Gahn McGaffie, M. Egnew, and L. Washington for the win on offense.
The Tigers will hold another practice Wednesday afternoon, which will be the final rehearsal for the last scrimmage of camp, set for Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Check back at mutigers.com tomorrow for more practice updates.