Weather Breaks as Tigers Return to Practice Field

MUTIGERS.COM TB Russell Hansbrough made his first practice of fall camp this morning.
TB Russell Hansbrough made his first practice of fall camp this morning.

Aug. 13, 2012

Columbia, Mo. - The Missouri Tiger football team got back to the practice field Monday morning after enjoying their first day off in fall camp on Sunday. The Tigers worked out in full pads for 2-1/2 hours on the Kadlec Athletic Fields, under unseasonably cool conditions that included temperatures in the high 60s and the steady breeze gave the day the feel of a fall afternoon.

The Tiger defense won the day once again, and will retain the black jerseys for Tuesday, following a Monday afternoon light workout.

There were plenty of highlights on both sides of the ball this morning, and here were a few from 11-on-11 scrimmaging:

The #1 defense shut down the #2 offense for starters, winning all 4-5 snaps. The #1 offense next went up against the #2 defense, and evened the scoresheet, with the big play coming on a James Franklin-to-Bud Sasser completion over the middle that went for around 25 yards and a first down.

Later on, the #1 defense and #1 offense went at it, and CB Randy Ponder made a nice break to snuff out a short pass from Franklin to WR Marcus Lucas, and Ponder stripped the ball out, with teammate Kony Ealy corralling the loose ball for a turnover. LB Donovan Bonner, playing with the #1 unit today, as LB Zaviar Gooden sat out of full contact drills due to a minor ankle injury, crashed hard and upended TB Kendial Lawrencefor no gain. The offense converted on a 3rd-and-6 situation next, as Franklin and Lucas hooked up for a well-timed pass that went for around 12 yards.

Later in the day, the action went to red zone work, and with the #2 offense and #2 defense squaring off, QB Corbin Berkstresser took a misdirection keeper around end for a gain of around 15 yards and a touchdown. S Matt White next broke up a Berkstresser pass in the endzone intended for WR Dorial Green-Beckham, but Berkstresser scored for the offense on the next snap when he hit WR Wesley Leftwich in the endzone on a nice timing route for a 6-yard touchdown, despite tight coverage from CB Xavier Smith. Leftwich made a nice play on the ball and got his feet down in the back corner to secure the score. LB Kentrell Brothers showed his quickness later, when he got into the backfield to drop TB Marcus Murphyfor a loss.

Last up was the #1 offense and #1 defense in red zone situations. Franklin quickly hit WR Jaleel Clark for a 7-yard gain, but the defense won most of the snaps from there, as DE Michael Sam got big-time pressure to force a throwaway, followed by an incompletion over the middle. TB Kendial Lawrence put together a tough run in traffic off left end and plunged in for a touchdown from 2 yards out, but the defense stiffened after that. Junior CB E.J. Gaines blanketed Lucas on a fade pass in the back corner of the end zone, and knocked a would-be touchdown away for an incompletion. Senior LB Will Ebner ended the series next, when he applied tight coverage over the middle on a 3rd-and-goal from the 9-yardline, as he tackled WR Gahn McGaffieon the 3 to prevent a score. Ebner's play was even more impressive, considering the fact that he had left just two plays earlier with what appeared to be a painful shoulder stinger.

Along the injury front, new to the red jersey brigade were receivers L'Damian Washington (bruised shoulder) and Jimmie Hunt (sprained foot). Neither was able to practice Monday, and a timetable for their return isn't known yet. WR Rolandis Woodland also sat out with a knee injury, as well. The news wasn't all bad though, as freshman TB Russell Hansbrough shed the red jersey and practiced for the first time in fall camp. Hansbrough, who drew rave reviews from teammates over the summer with his impressive athleticism, looked very good in his handful of opportunities carrying the ball, showing good quickness and burst. Additionally, DT Lucas Vincent got his first scrimmaging in after missing camp prior to today with a torn pectoral muscle. He said afterward that he was definitely not full speed, but felt great getting back into the action. WR T.J. Moe (hamstring), OL Justin Britt (foot) and TE Eric Waters(knee) all practiced in limited fashion, but appeared to be doing more than they had previously, as well.

Following a light Monday afternoon workout, the Tigers will hold a single session in full pads Tuesday morning, followed by a double-session Wednesday, leading up to the second major scrimmage of fall camp on Thursday morning.

Stay tuned to for continuing coverage of fall camp!



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