The Missouri Tiger football team held its first major scrimmage of the 2013 fall camp Saturday with the Tiger defense edging the offense 14-10 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 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.
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