WR Gahn McGaffie
Aug. 7, 2012
Columbia, Mo. - The Missouri Tiger football team held its first set of two-a-day practices Tuesday, with a morning session in full pads, followed by an afternoon session held in shorts and shoulder pads.
Much like Monday's initial day of full pad action, Tuesday morning's workout was closely contested, with the defense pulling out a 4.5-to-4.0 win in the 2-1/2-hour practice. The afternoon session was not scored, as full contact wasn't allowed.
The Tigers will hold a single practice Wednesday, with a 7:15 a.m. session scheduled on Faurot Field - the team's first practice of the fall there.
Here were some highlights and observations from today's practices:
Injury news was the unfortunate topic of the day, as a couple of offensive linemen expected to play a big role this year were diagnosed with injuries that will sideline them indefinitely. Senior OL Travis Ruth (Jefferson City, Mo.) has been diagnosed with a torn left triceps tendon. He is scheduled to have surgery this Thursday, and his rehabilitation will start soon after that. Ruth was the projected starter at left guard, after starting much of the 2011 season at center...
Redshirt freshman OL Taylor Chappell (Canadian, Texas) has been diagnosed with an ACL tear in his left knee, and he will require surgery, which will come in the next two weeks. Chappell began camp listed at No. 2 on the depth chart at right tackle, but was taking the majority of practice snaps with the #1 offensive unit, due to the injury of projected starter Justin Britt (Britt is out with a foot injury and is expected to return to the field during camp)...
Head Athletic Trainer Rex Sharp said that he isn't ready to label either injury as season-ending necessarily, but that there is no time table on a return, with a hope of getting them back before the end of the season...
QB James Franklin did not throw Tuesday afternoon, but took part in all other aspects of practice, and he is scheduled to do the same Wednesday morning. This was part of Sharp's plan laid out prior to training camp to give Franklin periodic rest as he continues to build himself back from off-season shoulder surgery. Franklin had a great morning practice, and continues to be pain-free with his arm...
Britt (foot) did not practice Tuesday, nor did DT Lucas Vincent (pectoral tear) or DE Brad Madison (ribs). Madison is considered day-to-day, while Britt and Vincent are expected to return in the near future. TE Eric Waters (knee) and CB Kip Edwards (knee) both left practice early Tuesday with injuries that will hopefully not sideline them long. WR T.J. Moe (hamstring) and TB Russell Hansbrough (ankle) practiced lightly in both sessions, but were held out of contact drills...
Some highlights from Tuesday morning's full-pad practice included:
With the #1 units facing off later, DE Michael Sam and DE Kony Ealy converged in the backfield to force a quick throwaway by QB James Franklin. Other defensive highlights in that series included S Braylon Webb and LB Will Ebner combining for a tackle behind the line of TB Marcus Murphy, a subsequent TFL by DT Matt Hoch, a sack by Sam, and a nice open-field tackle of TB Kendial Lawrence by a hard-charging LB Zaviar Gooden. Lawrence did gain 3 yards on the play, enough for a first down, but Gooden's impressive play kept the damage to a minimum. It wasn't all defense, however, as the offense won the period, thanks in part to a nice burst up the middle by Lawrence for a 5-yard gain and a first down, a Franklin-to-Marcus Lucas pass for 10 yards, and a tough run in traffic by Murphy that netted 4 yards on a 3rd-and-2 situation. Due to the shuffling of the offensive line because of injuries, true freshman OL Evan Boehm was playing left guard, while redshirt freshman OL Michael Boddie was taking snaps at right tackle...
When the #3 units went at it, QB Maty Mauk connected a couple of times with fellow true freshman TE Brandon Holified for a couple of nice gains, while true freshman LB Michael Scherer knocked a couple of passes down on later snaps. DE Derrion Thomas and DT Clayton Echard also combined for a sack of Mauk soon after...
QB Corbin Berkstresser hit Marcus Murphy on a swing pass late in the day, that Murphy took for a 12-yard touchdown in red zone work. Murphy showed nice open-field abilities on the play, as he made one stop-and-start move inside the 5-yardline which got him space enough to get into the endzone for the score...
Later, with the #1 units going against each other, Lawrence got in on the act as he sped around the right edge for a gain of close to 15 yards, while WR Gahn McGaffie got a great seal block to spring the play. McGaffie was rewarded right away, as Franklin connected with him on consecutive pass plays - the first a quick gainer for 10 yards (TE Sean Culkin had a nice block to create space for the run-after-catch), and the second one was a nice leaping catch over the middle that McGaffie hauled in for a gain of around 12 yards...
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