Defense Wins Another Half-Point Contest on Wednesday

MUTIGERS.COM QB Corbin Berkstresser
QB Corbin Berkstresser

Aug. 8, 2012

Columbia, Mo. - The Missouri Tiger football team got its first taste of fall camp on the brand-new FieldTurf surface of Faurot Field, as they held a full-padded practice Wednesday morning for over 2-1/2 hours. For the second straight day, the defense won a 4.5-to-4.0 competition to retain the black jerseys.

Head Coach Gary Pinkel had this to say about the morning session:

"Overall, it was a good practice, it was kind of fun being in the stadium, we hadn't practiced on the new turf yet, that's good. I thought it was a good practice, thought we got a lot done. We've got some guys banged up a little bit, but that's the norm, you're going to be sore, you're going to be tired during two-a-days. For the most part, the only injury change for us is Sean Culkin, he ended up breaking a finger. The extent of it we don't know, will he need surgery I don't know, they might pin it, but we'll find out later this afternoon after the medical staff takes a look."

With QB James Franklin sitting out of passing duties, that meant redshirt freshman QB Corbin Berkstresser ran the #1 offense Wednesday. Berkstresser, who ran the top unit for most of the spring after Franklin was injured, picked up where he left off in the spring. On consecutive red-zone plays early in 11-on-11 scrimmaging, he found WR Marcus Lucas and WR L'Damian Washington for touchdowns against the #2 defense. On the first play, Berkstresser threw a perfect fade pass in the corner to Lucas, who hauled it in in the back corner of the endzone, much like he did to win an overtime game at Texas A&M last season. On the next snap, Berkstresser found Washington in the back of the new black and gold endzone on a sit-down route, for a wide-open 5-yard score.



The next action saw the #3 offense and #3 defense take their turn. QB Maty Mauk threw a 10-yard TD pass to TE Brandon Holifield, on a nicely-executed drag route in the corner of the endzone. DE Derrion Thomas got some big-time penetration on the next play, and stuffed TB Morgan Steward for a big loss. Later on, TB Tyler Hunt got in on second effort from 2 yards out, after he absorbed a big blow at the goal line by S Daniel Easterly.

Continuing reserve highlights, QB Brock Bondurant connected with WR Dorial Green-Beckham for a 10-yard touchdown on a well-blocked screen pass, with Green-Beckham evading the pursuit and crashing through a wall of would-be tacklers for the score. LB Michael Scherer and DT Evan Winston later made a big stop of TB Miles Drummond at the goal line to keep him out of the endzone.

When the #1 units squared off later in practice, the defense made plays early, highlighted by DE Michael Sam's pressure of Berkstresser, which forced a hurried throw that CB Xavier Smith was able to knock away in the endzone for an incompletion. On the next snap, LB Will Ebner crashed hard to nail TB Marcus Murphy for a 5-yard loss inside the 10-yardline. Safety Braylon Webb broke up what looked to be a potential 20-yard pass play from Berkstresser to WR Rolandis Woodland, as Webb got there just in time to bat the ball away on a deep out route. Berkstresser rebounded to find WR Bud Sasser for a nice 10-yard gain in tight coverage down the seam, and TB Kendial Lawrence got around the edge for about a 7-yard gain on the final play of the period to give the offense the win.

Up next for the Tigers will be another set of two-a-day practices, scheduled for 7:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Thursday. Stay tuned to for continuing coverage of fall camp!

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