S Ian Simon
Aug. 6, 2012
Columbia, Mo. -
The pads were popping today on the Kadlec Athletic Fields, as the Missouri Tiger football team held its first practice of fall camp in full pads Monday morning. In beautifully-mild August weather (temperatures were in the high 70s/low 80s through most of the workout), the Tigers got some good work in today, in what Head Coach Gary Pinkel characterized as a very physical practice and a good one overall.
The donning of full pads brought out the bullhorn which meant the return of scoring in all periods where offense went against the defense in scrimmaging situations, with the overall winning side getting the black jerseys the next day. On Monday, it was neck-and-neck all the way to the end, with the defense pulling out the win, thanks to a dominant performance in the final tie-breaking period.
Lots of highlights took place on the day, here were a few of the tops plays from Monday’s action:
- Early in the day in 11-on-11 work, CB E.J. Gaines made a nice break over the middle to pick off a pass to turn what looked like a long gain into a turnover. Gaines looks intent on building on his breakout 2012 season which saw him win 1st-Team All-Big 12 honors…
- Safety Daniel Easterly laid a big hit near the line of scrimmage on TB Tyler Hunt, knocking Hunt’s helmet off in the process. This kind of play will draw a lot of attention in 2013, as new NCAA equipment rules mandate that any player whose helmet comes off during normal contact this season will have to go to the sidelines and sit out a play…
- TB Kendial Lawrence made a nice cut back and got around the edge for what would have been around a 40-yard TD run…
- Later, in 7-on-7 passing work, QB Corbin Berkstresser had a couple of really nice TD passes. One went to WR Marcus Lucas of about 15 yards, who came back to the pylon to make a diving catch despite tight coverage by Gaines. Both sides argued the result of the play, but it was ruled a TD catch, and replay showed that to be the correct call. Later, Berkstresser hit TE Brandon Holifield on a 10-yard scoring strike, after he looked off his primary receivers, and found Holifield, who rolled away from coverage to give his QB some space to make the throw. Also, QB Maty Mauk connected with TE Sean Culkin on a 30-yard TD strike, with Culkin making yet another impressive catch, which is fast becoming a staple of daily practices…
- In later 11-on-11 work, the defense got a couple of interceptions by CB Tyler Davis and S Matt White. The #1 offense won the period later on when QB James Franklin hit WR Jimmie Hunt for a 5-yard gain on a 3rd-and-1 play. Franklin later hit TB Jared McGriff-Culver on a swing play that went for a big gain of around 25 yards before the whistles blew the play over. DE Kony Ealy made his presence felt against the #1 offense when he exploded into the backfield to hurry Franklin into a throwaway that ended another period with a win for the defense…
- With the #3 offense going against the #3 defense, Mauk might have made the throw of the day, when he threaded the needle over the middle to Holifield, who caught the ball in stride on the seam and outraced everyone for a 45-yard TD. DT Harold Brantley also made a nice play when he got free to get a touch sack of Mauk later in the series…
- In the last sequence of scrimmaging, in red zone work, S Ian Simon made a couple of nice plays for the #2 defense, when he closed fast to stop McGriff-Culver in the backfield for a loss. A few players later, Simon made a diving interception near the goalline to snuff out a scoring threat. CB Xavier Smith also broke on a ball to nab an interception in the endzone…
- With the #1 offense and #1 defense squaring off, CB Kip Edwards had tight coverage in the corner of the endzone and broke up an intended fade route from Franklin to WR Marcus Lucas. Later on, LB Zaviar Gooden rushed in for a touch sack of Franklin…
From an injury standpoint, OL Justin Britt (foot) was held out, but was seen doing more work on the side, and even took part in some conditioning runs after practice, a good sign that he is getting nearer to returning soon. DT Lucas Vincent (pectoral muscle) did not practice Monday, and WR T.J. Moe (hamstring) and TB Russell Hansbrough (ankle) were limited to non-contact periods only. Senior OL Travis Ruth left practice early with a tricep injury to his left arm, and the severity of the injury wasn’t immediately known, while DE Brad Madison had a rib injury that forced him out of practice about halfway through the day. The status of both veterans will be updated tomorrow.
Mizzou will hold the first of five scheduled two-a-day workouts Tuesday, with the morning session set for 7:15 a.m., and the afternoon workout set for 3:45 p.m. Stay tuned to www.mutigers.com for continuing coverage.
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