Aug. 16, 2011
Columbia, Mo. - Inclement weather in mid-Missouri forced the Missouri Tiger football team indoors Tuesday morning, but that didn't stop the action from going down to the wire once again. The offense and defense found themselves tied after the last period of play, so the pressure all came down to trusty PK Grant Ressel.
Ressel came out to try a 48-yard field goal with everyone watching and hollering intently. If he made the kick, the offense would win the day, and a miss would give the defense the win. Ressel calmly made the kick and sent the offense into celebration mode as they took a 4-3 overall lead in camp. The celebration was short-lived for Ressel, however, as he was wearing a white jersey that the defense was in, so even though his kick won the day, he still had to perform the ceremonial up-downs that the losing side does every day.
Here were some observations during the two-hour practice session, which took place in full pads...
Sophomore LB Andrew Wilson had arguably the hit of the day when he flattened WR Wesley Leftwich on a kickoff return. Wilson, who is universally recognized as one of the hardest hitters on the team, stuck out an arm and basically clotheslined Leftwich off his feet - in a legal way. Leftwich popped up quickly to his credit, but the hit had observers oohing and aahing from the sideline.
When the action turned to 11-on-11 scrimmaging, LB Will Ebner got into the act when he stepped in front of a pass over the middle against the #2 offense for an interception. Freshman TB Greg White then got to the edge for a nice gain down the sideline on a 3rd-and-1 snap. Later, when the #1 offense and #1 defense squared off, QB James Franklin sold a nice play-action fake and found WR Wes Kemp down the seam for a gain of close to 40 yards.
Safety Kenronte Walker scored a point for the #1 defense when he filled the middle of the line to stuff a run attempt by TB De'Vion Moore. Later in the day, Moore got revenge on the defense, as he burst off tackle for a 40-yard touchdown, thanks to nice blocking on the left side by guard Jack Meiners and tackle Anthony Gatti. Gatti was filling in for LT Justin Britt, who had to take a few snaps off after tweaking an ankle moments earlier.
Along the injury front, SS Kenji Jackson, WR Jerrell Jackson, WR Kerwin Stricker, C Travis Ruth and DE Brad Madison all sat out Tuesday. DT Jimmy Burge, TE Eric Waters and TE Stephen Drain all had red injury bibs on, but were able to participate in limited fashion. Here were Head Coach Gary Pinkel's thoughts on today's effort:
"I thought it was a pretty good practice," Pinkel said. "This is our 15th practice in about a 10-day period of time. We do a whole spring football over a month with 15 practices, we get 15 done here in 10 days. You have guys tired and sore, but that's what they're supposed to be. I told the team afterwards `if you're not tired or sore and you don't feel awful, then you're not working hard enough, that's the way you're supposed to feel. But, you're not supposed to show you feel that way,' so we had a little verbal reprimand there," he said.
The Tigers will hold meetings throughout the day, and then break for some down time this afternoon at the Galactic Fun Zone, which is Lorenzo William's entertainment center. They'll return to the practice field for a pair of sessions Wednesday, and then will hold their second major scrimmage of fall camp on Thursday. Stay tuned to www.mutigers.com for continuing coverage of pre-season camp.
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