Tigers Add Pop To Practice

MUTIGERS.COM Head Coach Gary Pinkel
Head Coach Gary Pinkel

Aug. 8, 2009

Columbia, Mo. -

The Missouri Football team held its third pre-season practice early Saturday morning, and things got much more physcial than the first two days, as it was the first practice they could wear shoulder pads (per NCAA rules, teams can't break out the shoulder pads until after two practices).  While the team still is not in full protective pads, and thus still not tackling, the physcial nature of the practice was very noticeable on Saturday.

"I thought the physical part of practice increased a little bit, which its naturally going to do," said Head Coach Gary Pinkel after the session.  "I thought we got in a lot of work, got a lot done. I’m pleased with how we handled conditioning at the end. Probably the best we’ve ever done," he told reporters after the practice.

There was more 11-on-11 scrimmaging today than the previous two days so we'll get to the highlights from Saturday morning's session...

  • When the #1 offense and #1 defense went up against each other, both sides won their fair share of the battles.  Sophomore QB Blaine Gabbert continues to direct the offense well, as he had several nice completions to a variety of receivers, including a couple each for gains of 10-15 yards with senior WR Jared Perry and senior WR Danario Alexander.  Gabbert also had a completion over the middle to sophomore TE Andrew Jones, in addition to using his tailbacks in the passing game effectively...
  • Speaking of Alexander, he showed that he's feeling good and might just be back to the form that saw him be a game-breaker in 2007, as he took a reverse and scampered a good 30 yards down the right sideline before being touched down by a defender.  He showed topline speed to get to the corner, and had some nice blocks downfield from his teammates to get free...
  • The #1 defense had several highlights as well on Saturday, one of which came when junior LB Andrew Gachkar popped the ball loose from a receiver after a completion, with the fumble being recovered by a defensive teammate for a turnover.  Senior DL Jaron Baston and sophomore DL Dominique Hamilton each got in the backfield for touch sacks of Gabbert at different stages of scrimmaging, and there was another play where tight coverage downfield by the secondary forced Gabbert to the sideline, where he was forced out of bounds by Sean Weatherspoon for a short loss...
  • The Tiger tailbacks had a productive day, as junior Derrick Washington and sophomore De'Vion Moore both showed they're looking like a really good 1-2 punch in the backfield.  True freshman Kendial Lawrence also had some big plays, including one during 11-on-11 scrimmaging where he burst through an opening on the right side and went some 60 yards before being touched by a defender who had an angle on him...
  • Reserve QB Jimmy Costello continues his solid play, and he was seen completing several passes to sophomore WR Jerrell Jackson, who seems to catch most everything he gets his hands on...



The Tigers will practice early Sunday morning before heading over in the afternoon to Faurot Field for their annual Fan/Photo.  The public portion of the event is slated to start at 4 p.m., and Tiger fans will be able to meet and get autographs from their favorite Tiger coaches and players on the field until 5:30 p.m. 

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