April 2, 2013
Columbia, Mo. - The Missouri Tiger football team returned to the practice field Tuesday afternoon for their first workout since taking a breather for spring break. Working out in full pads on Faurot Field after a 12-day layoff, the action was back-and-forth as the sides went to the end, with the defense claiming victory in the final period.
Here were some of the highlights from the closed portion of practice during 11-on-11 scrimmaging:
Junior TB Marcus Murphy had a couple of nice runs early against the #1 defense. On the first play, he took a quick hitter off tackle and burst through the line for a gain of around 15 yards before he was popped down. On the next snap, Murphy went up the middle for a gain of five yards before the whistles blew. Later in the day, Murphy also took a delay and scampered for about 10 yards against the #2 defense...
Sophomore QB Corbin Berkstresser and junior WR Darius White hooked up on a nice find with a sit-down route on the right seam for a gain of around 10 yards against the #3 defense. Later in the day, running the #2 offense, Berkstresser find junior WR Jimmy Hunt on a quick seam route for a gain of around 10 yards. Hunt made a nice catch while being hit hard by the converging safety Cortland Browning, but despite the hard lick, he held onto the ball...
The #2 defense made some big plays going against the #2 offense early in the day, as sophomore LB Clarence Green closed fast to stop Hunt for a loss on a quick screen from senior QB James Franklin. A few plays later, sophomore CB David Johnson made a beautiful diving interception near the left sideline on a ball, and that was followed by senior DE Brayden Burnett bursting into the backfield for a touch sack of Franklin...
In the next few series, the offense had the upper hand overall. With the #1 offense and #1 defense squaring off, sophomore TB Russell Hansbrough showed some shifty moves when he bounced outside off the right edge for a gain of close to 10 yards. Franklin followed that with a nifty scramble to evade pocket pressure and gain close to 15 yards before whistles ended the play. Not to be outdone, junior DE Kony Ealy swooped around the corner to get Franklin on a touch sack...
Redshirt freshman QB Maty Mauk showed his play-making ability soon after when he hit White on a sideline route for 15 yards...
That led to the final scrimmaging period in the red zone. The #1 units took the field first, and the first-string defense had the upper hand. Sophomore DE Shane Ray got into the backfield to stop junior TB Henry Josey for a loss, and that was followed shortly after by sophomore LB Kentrell Brothers getting QB hurry as he forced Berkstresser out of the pocket for a throwaway. A couple of snaps later, senior safety Matt White made a beautiful diving pass break up in the end zone. Berkstresser was able to connect on one play in the series with senior TE Eric Waters for a gain of around seven yards down inside the 10-yardline...
With the #3 offense and #3 defense doing battle, freshman QB Trent Hosick had a highlight play, as he rifled a pass to freshman WR Levi Copelin near the goal line, and Copelin made a beautiful fingertip grab in traffic for what was a gain of around 10 yards and just shy of a touchdown...
The day ended with the #2 offense and #2 defense squaring off in red zone action. Junior DE Markus Golden sniffed out an attempted jet sweep play to throw the play for a loss, and Burnett also stopped freshman TB Morgan Steward for a loss a few plays later. Franklin made a nice find on a pass to junior TB Greg White down the sideline for about 10 yards, and that was followed by Mauk and Hunt hooking up for a very nicely-executed fade route for a touchdown. On the play, Mauk threw to the left corner, and Hunt made a nice adjustment, spinning to his left at exactly the right time to haul the catch in while he fell to the ground just in bounds. The scrimmaging ended with freshman CB John Gibson intercepting Mauk in the end zone on the final play...
The Tigers will be off from practice Wednesday, but they will return to the practice field for three consecutive days beginning Thursday. They'll continue with a workout Friday, and that leads up to the team's first major scrimmage of the spring, set for Saturday morning at Faurot Field.
Stay tuned to www.MUTigers.com for continuing coverage of Tiger Football Spring Camp.
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