Aug. 14, 2012
Columbia, Mo. -
The Missouri Tiger football team held a spirited Tuesday morning practice in full pads on the Kadlec Athletic Fields, and much like previous days, the action was competitive down to the end. Unlike before, however, it was the Tiger offense which made enough plays down the stretch to earn their first win of fall camp. The win will put the offense in the coveted black jerseys Wednesday morning.
“It was good to get the win today,” said QB James Franklin. “We know we have a great defense, and they’ve been playing really well. They played well again today, but we were able to make a few plays, and then it kind of gets contagious, guys get excited and want to make a play for their team. We feel like we’ve been doing pretty well, but it’s nice to get over the hump and win the black jerseys finally,” he said.
Franklin had several nice completions late in practice which helped seal the offense’s win. Going up against the #1 defense, he had four passes that went for catches to score points. The first came with an assist from WR Gahn McGaffie, who made a beauty of a sliding catch over the middle for a gain of 12 yards. Next, Franklin bought time in the pocket with his feet, and he found TE Eric Waters (who practice full go for the first time since last week after aggravating a knee) for a gain of 7 yards.
After CB Randy Ponder stopped McGaffie shy of a first down on a short completion, DT Sheldon Richardson applied pressure to Franklin to force a throwaway, and the score was knotted. The offense dug in and came up with three straight winning plays to notch the victory. Franklin threaded the needle on an out pass to McGaffie for a 5-yard gain on the sideline, with LB Zaviar Gooden applying tight coverage on a 3rd-and-2 play. On the next snap, Franklin found WR Marcus Lucas for 12 yards, despite blanket coverage from FS Braylon Webb, with Lucas making a really nice grab on the play. Lastly, TB Marcus Murphy plunged up the middle for a gain of 3 yards on a 3rd-and-1 play to close out the win. That was followed up by PK Andrew Baggett coming on to try a 40-yard field goal with the entire team surrounding him to add pressure. Baggett split the uprights to set off a celebration by the offense.
Other highlights from Tuesday’s session included:
QB Corbin Berkstresser ran the #2 offense with good success today, as well. Early on, going against the #1 defense, he hit WR Dorial Green-Beckham down the seam on a well-placed back-shoulder throw. Green-Beckham turned to make a play on the ball despite being covered by a pair of defenders. He hauled in the pass nicely despite the tight coverage for a gain of around 20 yards. Later in the day, Berkstresser connected with WR Jaleel Clark for a gain of 20 yards on a deep out route, and that was followed a few snaps later by a scramble by Berkstresser for a gain of 15 yards when he tucked it after downfield coverage didn’t allow for a throw.
It certainly wasn’t all offense Tuesday. DE Shane Ray batted away a Franklin pass attempt early in scrimmaging, and later, when the #1 offense and #1 defense went against each other, LB Zaviar Gooden hog-tied Murphy in the backfield and pull him down for a loss of 2 yards. With the #2 units squaring off later, the defense snuffed out a jet sweep and held the play to no gain. That was followed by LB Donovan Bonner crashing hard to stop TB Russell Hansbrough for no gain.
The Tigers return to the practice field Wednesday morning for a pair of workouts, and that leads up to the Thursday’s second major scrimmage of fall camp. MUTigers.com will be the home of all official stats for the scrimmage, so be sure to follow the action here.