Aug. 11, 2012
Columbia, Mo. -
It felt like football Saturday morning on beautiful new Faurot Field, as the Missouri Tigers held their first formal scrimmage of fall camp under sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. The defense ultimately claimed a 16-12 victory to keep hold of the coveted black jerseys, but there were plenty of highlights on both sides of the ball to keep coaches happy.
Junior QB James Franklin had an outstanding day, as he completed 18-of-22 passes for 228 yards. Franklin completed his first nine passes of the day for 111 yards before an incompletion, and he had full command of the offense, showing a nice touch on short passes all the while zipping the ball downfield crisply on longer shots. Franklin led the #1 offense from its own 30-yardline late in the day in two-minute work against the #2 defense to a field goal that was made by PK Andrew Baggett from 26 yards. Baggett was 5-of-5 on the day, as was Trey Barrow, as the duo continues to battle for the #1 kicking job.
L’Damian Washington had a beautiful leaping catch down the seam for a 23-yard gain from Franklin to highlight that two-minute drill. The #2 offense also found success against the #1 offense in two-minute work, with QB Corbin Berkstresser guiding the way downfield to a Barrow field goal.
The Tiger defense had plenty of highlights on the day, as well. Senior SS Kenronte Walker nabbed the only interception on Saturday, when he took a ball that deflected off of LB Will Ebner who was running stride-for-stride over the middle with an intended receiver. Walker picked the ball off in mid-air and went the other way for a 20-yard return.
Later in the day, with the #1 units squaring off against each other, the defense forced a three-and-out on a drive that started at their 40-yardline. The offense got one more try at another series, and got inside the 5-yardline for a 1st-and-goal situation, thanks in large part to a nifty find by Franklin to WR Gahn McGaffie on a gain of 26 yards. However, the defense bowed up and made several big stops just shy of the goal line to force a field goal.
The only touchdown of the day came from senior TB Kendial Lawrence, who capped a good-looking 75-yard drive early on with a 1-yard scoring run. Lawrence had a productive day both on the ground and the air, as he carried 11 times for a team-high 37 yards, and added six receptions for 50 yards. On the first series of the day, backed up to his own goal line, Lawrence took a swing pass from Franklin on 3rd-and-7 and bulled his way through a wall of defenders for a gain of nine yards that gave the offense a first down and some breathing room.
Reserve quarterbacks Corbin Berkstresser and Maty Mauk also had good days. Berkstresser completed 13-of-31 passes for 121 yards, but was the victim of at least five drops by would-be receivers. Mauk, in his first-ever scrimmage at Mizzou, completed 25-of-36 passes for 152 yards, and did not turn the ball over. Freshman WR Levi Copelin had a team-best 7 receptions (for 37 yards), while junior WR Jimmie Hunt caught six balls for a team-best 68 yards.
Junior DT Sheldon Richardson was disruptive throughout the day, as he was credited with three tackles for loss, while senior LB Will Ebner had two TFLs of his own. Junior DE Michael Sam had a pair of QB sacks, a TFL and a forced fumble, while sophomore DE Kony Ealy broke up two passes and added a QB sack.
After the scrimmage was over the team was paid a visit by Governor Jay Nixon, who spoke to his favorite football team about taking advantage of every opportunity they have, and how excited he is to see the Tigers compete in the Southeastern Conference. Former Tiger football players Jeff Gettys, Jon Gissinger and De’Vion Moore all accompanied the Governor, as they all work as part of his security staff.
Lots of Tigers were held out of Saturday’s action as they continued to work through various injuries. Those who didn’t play Saturday included: TE Eric Waters (knee), TB Greg White (shoulder), WR Darius White (hamstring), WR T.J. Moe (hamstring), OL Chris Freeman (knee), OL Taylor Chappell (knee), TB Henry Josey (knee), OL Justin Britt (foot), TB Russell Hansbrough (ankle), CB Kip Edwards (leg) and DT Lucas Vincent (pectoral muscle).
The Tigers will enjoy Sunday off – their first practice-free day after 12 practices in the last 10 days since camp started up on Aug. 2nd. They’ll return to the practice field on Monday with two sessions, and will follow with a single practice Tuesday, two more on Wednesday, leading up to the second major scrimmage of camp on Thursday.
Stay tuned to www.mutigers.com for continuing coverage of fall camp!
Here is a recap of official stats from today's action which saw the defense claim a 16-12 win at Faurot Field:
Tiger Comp. Att. Yds. TD Int.
James Franklin 18 22 228 0 0
Corbin Berkstresser 13 31 121 0 1
Maty Mauk 25 36 152 0 0
Brock Bondurant 3 3 16 0 0
Eric Laurent 1 3 11 0 0
TOTALS 60 95 528 0 1
Tiger Rec. Yds. TD
Levi Copelin 7 37 0
Jimmie Hunt 6 68 0
Kendial Lawrence 6 50 0
Jared McGriff-Culver 5 32 0
Dorial Green-Beckham 4 20 0
L’Damian Washington 3 52 0
Rolandis Woodland 3 40 0
Bud Sasser 3 38 0
Brandon Holifield 3 24 0
Wesley Leftwich 3 19 0
Miles Drummond 3 17 0
Gahn McGaffie 2 36 0
Kerwin Stircker 2 33 0
Jaleel Clark 2 20 0
Marcus Murphy 2 12 0
Morgan Steward 2 10 0
Tyler Hunt 2 0 0
Marcus Lucas 1 17 0
James Franklin 1 3 0
TOTALS 60 528 0
Tiger Att. Yds. TD
Kendial Lawrence 11 37 1
Marcus Murphy 11 35 0
Jared McGriff-Culver 6 19 0
Maty Mauk 4 19 0
Tyler Hunt 3 14 0
Brock Bondurant 1 7 0
Morgan Steward 2 2 0
Miles Drummond 1 1 0
James Franklin 1 0 0
Eric Laurent 2 (-3) 0
Corbin Berkstresser 1 (-5) 0
TOTALS 43 126 1
Tiger INTs Yds. TD
Kenronte Walker 1 20 0
Tackles For Loss – Sheldon Richardson (3), Will Ebner (2), Harold Brantley (1), Kentrell Brothers (1), Brayden Burnett (1), Michael Sam (1), Zaviar Gooden (1), Shane Ray (1), Ka’Ra Stewart (1), E.J. Gaines (1), Brad Madison (1), Jimmy Burge (1), Jared Parham (1), Donovan Bonner (1).
QB Sacks – Michael Sam (2), Kony Ealy (1), Evan Winston (1), Clayton Echard (1), Keric Lickerman (1).
Passes Broken Up – Kony Ealy (2), E.J. Gaines (1), Ernest Payton (1), Cortland Browning (1), Evan Winston (1), Donavin Newsom (1).
Forced Fumbles – Donovan Bonner (1), Daniel Easterly (1), Michael Sam (1).
QB Hurries – Shane Ray (1), Brayden Burnett (1).
Tiger FG-FGA Makes Misses
Andrew Baggett 5-5 28, 28, 20, 37, 26
Trey Barrow 5-5 28, 28, 20, 44, 30
Brad Clements 2-2 28, 28
Tiger Punts-Yds. Avg. I-20
Trey Barrow 4-171 42.75 1
Christian Brinser 4-175 43.75 0
Here were some of Head Coach Gary Pinkel's thoughts on the day's action:
Scrimmage #1 – 08/11/12
“Overall I thought it was a good day. In these scrimmages you’re going against yourself – one side will obviously make plays and sometimes the other side makes mistakes. Too many penalties, which is typical of the first scrimmage, but I thought the hitting was good, I thought we were competitive, we’ll get some guys back next week.”
On QB James Franklin…
“I thought he did a good job. He’s an experienced player. I thought he did pretty good at making decisions. Overall, the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense had a pretty good day so I think you’re always encouraged by that.”
On the offensive line…
“We’ve got some offensive line issues. We had three guys that started the season that we thought would be in the top-10 and they’re not even going to play. We’re working through all that. Evan Boehm, for a young player, he’s out there starting and he looks the part. He did a lot of good things, along with some other guys. We’ll get Justin Britt back next week, we think at the end of next week, and that will help us a little bit. Elvis (Fisher) got a full day out there.
On the running game…
“Our running backs, I think we’ve got some good speed and depth and our running game is certainly real important to us. We just need more continuity in our offense. We need to be a more efficient passing team and with the running game, that’s what will make us a real good football team.”
On some of the big hits during the scrimmage…
“There were some great hits out there and that was good, but the good news is those guys that got hit just popped up. I look for that. They weren’t lying around on the ground, they popped up and I think at least one of them had a ball in their hand when they did it. That’s the level we’re at, and you like that physical play and it’s good nobody got hurt.”
On RB Kendial Lawrence’s receiving ability…
“He’s got good hands. His freshman year when we played Nevada he ran a 23-yard out route on 3rd-and-15 or something and he jumped in the air about as high as you can jump. Here’s a young tailback out there making catches like a wide receiver. In our scheme, with our running backs, acceleration speed is hugely important, and also the ability to get to the point of the football to be able to catch the ball, and he can certainly do that.”
On LB Will Ebner…
“He runs well, he’s practicing every day. I’m real happy for him, just knock-on-wood that he stays healthy. We also know how physical he is – getting him and Andrew Wilson on the field at the same time, we’ve got two real physical linebackers. If he can stay healthy, that’ll be great.”
On the defensive line…
“We’ve got some depth there, which is good. I think the inside depth at tackle, we’re still looking a bit, we like the competition there. We got some impact players. Sheldon Richardson is getting better, better and better. This is the first time he’s had the opportunity, all summer long working out, all camp working out. Last year, he came in and missed all of camp and missed all the conditioning, weight lifting, everything. Then he ends up missing spring football. Here’s a guy that’s getting better, and he’s very talented. With the league we’re going in to, we know they run the football a lot and being good up front, it’s always important, but it’s hugely important with where we’re going.”
On the tempo and energy…
“I think the younger players think a lot. A lot of young players today, this is their first scrimmage, and I think the reality of what it takes, the intensity level to play, comes out a bit today. I think overall, we might be a team with big enthusiasm. That’s leadership from me and certainly through our leadership of our team and players. But also, you’ve got to make plays. Big plays create enthusiasm. We talked about playmakers. You want a locker room full of playmakers. You’ve got to have guys on the field that can make big plays and the more you put out there, the greater chance you have of winning.”
On OL Max Copeland…
“He’s a fairly high-energy guy, that’s kind of an understatement. He’s a really good student – he’s like a 3.7-3.8 student. He’s a really great kid. A walk on, he’s very high energy, very vocal and he walks around every day of his life with a great attitude. It doesn’t matter what happens, if he twists his ankle out there, he’s going to be positive about it. He’s a great kid.”
On staying healthy…
“We’ve had a lot of injuries on our offensive line two years in a row and we’ve just got to keep doing what we do. We’re not going to change things, it happens, you know? We’ve also had years without any injuries, you just deal with it. Move them over, move them up, that’s just what we do. Things happen, you’ve got to work through it.”
On LB Markus Golden…
“He’s got three (years) to play three. He’s not in the redshirt mode. He’s missed a lot of games, we’ve just got to get him going. The first thing we’ll probably do is try to get him in on special teams. It’s nice because he’s worked very hard to get eligible. Now he’s here to graduate and be a great player and help us win some games.”
On RB Marcus Murphy…
“Murph’s a lot like (Henry) Josey and a lot like Kendial (Lawrence). They’ve both got great acceleration and great speed. Our running backs have to have that. We’re not in the I-formation. We go laterally, we go vertical, we stretch the field and we hit a lot of seams. What allows them to be good is their burst. They’re a lot alike, all those guys are a lot alike. We’ve got two freshmen a lot like those guys.”