Aug. 10, 2013
Columbia, Mo. - The Missouri Tiger football team held its first major scrimmage of the 2013 fall camp Saturday on the same Faurot Field where they'll open the season in just three weeks against Murray State, and it was the Tiger defense which emerged victorious, claiming a 14-10 win in the situational scrimmage.
Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel saw enough good things Saturday to please him, while always being mindful of the things which need correction.
"Overall I thought it was a good day," Pinkel said. "We had a lot of good things happen. There are always things on both sides of the ball, you know, when you're beating yourself. Whether its mental errors, your penalties, your dropped balls, things like that, but all those things need to get cleaned up... Each individual has got to make sure he looks at the film, studies it, finds out things he can do to get better, and get back to work Monday morning. Overall I think there were a lot of good things," he said.
Even though the defense won the scrimmage, the Tiger offense made some big plays which drew applause from the crowd of families and friends in attendance. The first big strike came from senior QB James Franklin, who hit a streaking senior WR Marcus Lucas in stride behind the #2 secondary, and Lucas (who led all Tigers with 104 receiving yards on just 3 receptions) turned it up field for a 75-yard touchdown. After the #1 defense held the #2 offense without a first down in two out of three series, redshirt freshman QB Maty Mauk found a mismatch and hit connected with senior WR Jaleel Clark for a 65-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
Franklin ended the scrimmage 11-of-19 passing for 174 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, while Mauk finished 11-of-22 for 211 yards with one touchdown and one interception overall. Sophomore QB Corbin Berkstresser was 10-of-21 passing for 119 yards, while true freshmen Eddie Printz (15-of-16 for 97 yards) and Trent Hosick (3-of-10 for 21 yards and one interception) also got their chance to handle the offense.
The big plays weren't limited to the Tiger offense Saturday. The top defensive unit had three takeaways late in the day, with two coming against the #1 offense. The first came on a beautiful leaping interception by senior CB E.J. Gaines, who read a deep fade ball intended for sophomore WR Dorial Green-Beckham perfectly. Gaines jumped high to secure the ball in his outstretched hands before Green-Beckham could adjust to the ball. A few plays later, Franklin hit junior WR Bud Sasser on a quick out which gained five yards, but senior LB Donovan Bonner came up in a hurry and jarred the ball loose to create the turnover. The offense would recover on the next series, however, as Franklin hit Lucas for a 20-yard gain to the 16-yardline, and after a pass interference penalty, Franklin and Sasser hooked up on a 2-yard touchdown pass.
Later in the day, Franklin led the #1 offense on a 75-yard, 8-play touchdown drive against the #2 defense, with pass plays of 25 yards to Green-Beckham and 20 yards to Sasser mixed in on the series. Hansbrough carried the ball in around the right edge from one yard out for the score.
The day ended with work in the two-minute drill, with the offense taking over at its own 30-yardline with 1:40 on the clock. Sophomore LB Kentrell Brothers ended one drive for the #1 defense against the #2 offense, when he intercepted a ball that caromed off a receiver and hung in the air. Prior to that, the #1 offense drove all the way to the 1-yardline to get a game-winning 20-yard field goal with less than five seconds left by sophomore PK Andrew Baggett (freshman PK Luke Jackson also made his attempt from the same distance). Junior TB Marcus Murphy had a key play on the drive, as he took a delayed handoff and worked his way 17 yards through traffic all the way down to the one yard line.
As is the custom, each scrimmage begins with the offense taking over on its own 2-yardline. The first matchup pitted the #1 offense against the #2 defense, and three straight rushes (one by junior TB Henry Josey, and two by sophomore TB Russell Hansbrough) netted 11 yards and a first down. The #2 offense was able to muster a first down in its try against the #1 defense as well, as sophomore TB Tyler Hunt carried for a chain-moving seven-yard gain on third down. When the #3 units squared off in the same scenario, redshirt freshman LB Donavin Newsom threw redshirt freshman TB Morgan Steward for a two-yard loss in the end zone for a safety.
The kicking game had a good day overall Saturday. Baggett was successful on 4-of-5 field goal attempts (making from 41, 36, 24, and 20) and also was seen booming kickoffs well into the end zone early in the scrimmage. His counterpart, junior P Christian Brinser, averaged 43.5 yards on four punts, and placed three of those inside the 20-yardline.
Mizzou entered the scrimmage in good shape physically, as only three players were held out of action due to injuries: senior FS Matt White (groin), sophomore WR Wesley Leftwich (hamstring) and redshirt freshman CB John Gibson (ankle). Sophomore WR Sheldon Gerau sustained an ankle injury during Saturday's scrimmage which kept him out the rest of the day, but no other major injuries were reported.
The Tigers will get their first day off on Sunday, after 10 consecutive days of practice since camp started up on August 1st. They'll get back to the practice field Monday morning with a full-pad workout. Stay tuned to www.MUTigers.com for continuing coverage of Mizzou's 2013 fall camp!
QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH Gary Pinkel
Opening Statement... "Overall I thought it was a good day. We had a lot of good things happen. There are always things on both sides of the ball... Whether it's mental errors, your penalties, your dropped balls, things like that, but all those things need to get cleaned up... Each individual has got to make sure he looks at the film, studies it, finds out things he can do to get better, and get back to work Monday morning. Overall I think there were a lot of good things."
On the offense's ability to stretch the field... "Overall our offensive scheme has a lot of new things we're doing, but there was a lot of good stuff. We just don't have the timing down. We got a lot of dropped balls, we missed a couple throws, and so that's just Missouri beating Missouri. Those things can be fixed."
On Marcus Lucas coming back after a few days off... "He's making some plays, he did well, and he's capable. All those guys are. We've got a good receiving corp, what we have to do though, we can't drop footballs. We have too much talent there. That's Missouri beating Missouri. Good football teams rarely do that. Sometimes they do that, but it's rare when it happens. It's just something we have to get cleaned up."
On the quarterbacks... "Our guys are competing. There were a lot of good things. Each one of them probably wish they had one or two throws to do over again. A lot of mixing and matching, we have a lot of guys we're looking at. The continuity factor is difficult at times, but certainly I think there were some good things."
On the snaps from center Evan Boehm... "Every one of them was straight, they were just high snaps. First of all, this is the first time he's done it in a game environment, so we expect him to get the ball down a little bit and we would like to make sure we get those eliminated by the first game. He has been real consistent, everybody else snapped well. Again, it's his first shot at it in this environment. We expect him to be very, very good at it and we should go through a whole season without a bad snap."
On the depth at running back... "There are a lot of mix-and-match situations that you put yourself in, a lot of times it's difficult, in terms of maybe not running the ball as many times as we would like to run it, it's those things we have to look at. All of those guys, Henry Josey, Russell's doing a good job, Murph's doing a good job. There are quite a few guys who have talent and quickness and can make some things happen."
On E.J. Gaines' big play... "That was a great play, he went up and got it. If you're coaching receivers, you have got to become a defender and knock that ball down. You're not the receiver anymore; all of a sudden it's switched. Dorial, a young receiver, he has to go and bat that down. But it's a great play by E.J., if you're coaching E.J., but if you're coaching Dorial, you have help the quarterback and get it down. If the ball was thrown three or four yards wider it would've been a touchdown. So the placement of the ball wasn't where it needed to be."
On the punting today...
"I thought our punting was really good. Brinser really punted the ball well. I thought Baggett did a good job kicking, so I felt real good about that. That's real positive."
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