Tigers Hit The Field With Only Two Weeks Before Opener

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With just two weeks until the 2010 season opener against Illinois, the Missouri Tigers held a practice at Faurot Field Saturday morning that lasted a little over two hours.  Head Coach Gary Pinkel lightened it up a little bit, as the team practiced in shorts and shoulder pads, meaning there was no live tackling, only upper-body thudding allowed.

Pinkel stressed to the team after practice that while Saturday's work was shorter, it is time for everyone to feel the urgency as the opener quickly approaches.

"We just put shoulder pads on," Pinkel said.  "We back off a little bit, but it's hard for our guys to back off because everything is so competitive, so when we're in shoulder pads, there's really not competition from a point standpoint.  I thought it was a good practice overall.  Last year we went to shoulder pads, the three previous years we just went shells, we just felt we wanted to lean on the physical side of continuing to prepare.  It's 14 days 'til kickoff, so that's the message to everybody," Pinkel said.

With two consecutive days free from practice coming up, several injured Tigers were given the day off, to help them get further rested, with hopes of returning to the field for next Tuesday's practice.  Sitting out today included LB Will Ebner (hamstring), OL Dan Hoch (toe), TB De'Vion Moore (ankle), CB Kevin Rutland (back), LB Adam Burton (knee), WR Kerwin Stricker (groin) and WR Jimmie Hunt (ankle).

Here were a few highlights of today's 11-on-11 scrimmaging...

TB Derrick Washington had a couple of nice gainers on sweeps around the edge against the #1 defense.  DT Brendan Donaldson, subbing for Terrell Resonno on one play, got into the backfield for a touch sack of QB Blaine Gabbert.  On the next play, Gabbert connected with WR L'Damian Washington on a well-timed out, but then CB Carl Gettis continued his solid play in camp by blanketing WR Wes Kemp downfield and batting a pass away that was on the money from Gabbert, who had to throw on the run after being flushed from the pocket by pressure from the defensive line.  Later on, Gettis picked Gabbert off down the sideline as there appeared to be miscommunication between Gabbert and TE Michael Egnew on the route.  Egnew broke it inside while Gabbert threw to the outside, and Gettis was there to snag the ball easily.  Next up, senior LB and co-captain Luke Lambert broke free for a touch sack...

QB Ashton Glaser took some snaps with the #2 offense Saturday and hit WR Rolandis Woodland on a nice slant that Woodland took for close to 20 yards before being ruled down.  When the threes took the field, defensive line mates Brayden Burnett and Marvin Foster combined for a sack and forced fumble in the backfield...

The day closed with work on the two-minute drill, and the defense got stops all three times.  When the #1 offense went up against the #2 defense, Gabbert moved the team downfield nicely, but eventually was picked off by freshman CB E.J. Gaines as he was on the run avoiding pocket pressure.  Next up, the #1 defense stymied the #2 offense, holding them to four downs and out.  Last, the #3 defense stopped the #3 offense as LB Jeff Gettys picked off QB Ashton Glaser over the middle to bring an end to the day...

Mizzou will be off both Sunday and Monday, with the latter marking the first day of fall classes at Mizzou.  The Tigers will return to the field Tuesday afternoon, as they prepare for the final scrimmage of fall camp, which is set for Thursday afternoon. 

Stay tuned to www.mutigers.com for continuing coverage of Tiger camp!

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Well, I must say im extremely excited for this football season to start. I hope my tigers are pumped for it also. I believe we have the makings to show how tuff we really r and to show another amazing season. I thank the coaches and players for always making my football season exciting.

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