Missouri’s marathon scrimmage, which lasted roughly 160 snaps Saturday at Memorial Stadium, was successful, according to second-year coach Barry Odom.
He was particularly happy his team escaped the day injury-free, but also was pleased to see progress from the Tigers’ defense.
“We’re better,” Odom said. “We’re playing faster and have 11 guys playing together. We’ve got a long way to go, but it was better.”
Odom said junior quarterback Drew Lock did a good job setting the offense and checking plays during the scrimmage.
Junior defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr., sophomore linebacker Cale Garrett and running backs Larry Rountree III, a freshman, and Nate Strong, a junior, also drew praise from Odom.
“It was fun to see today that the little corrections we made defensively we were able to make them out on the field today in live fire,” Odom said. “We’re getting a lot better.”
Odom also singled out a trio of defensive ends — Akial Byers, junior-college transfer Nate Anderson and Marcell Frazier — as scrimmage standouts.
Defensive-line coach Brick Haley said freshman defensive end Chris Turner also shined and “has come a long way and done a really good job this fall camp” and also was thrilled with Walter Palmore as a space-eater.
“Our end, Jordan Harold, has a done a great job,” Haley said. “He’s busted his butt every day for us and I’m really pleased with the progress that he’s made and the intensity that he plays with every day.”
Brandon debuts at training camp
Junior defensive tackle Rashad Brandon worked out with Missouri’s second-string defense Monday at practice, his first non-scrimmage practice of training camp.
“He had a really good day,” Odom said. “I watched him real hard today in individual (periods), and it’s a good start for him in a padded situation.”
Brandon, a transfer from ASA College in Brooklyn, N.Y., enrolled last January and was a bright spot during spring practice for the Tigers with his disruptive presence on the interior of the defensive line.
He was forced to spectate for the first two weeks of training camp as the NCAA reviewed his eligibility, Odom said.
“Anytime that you don’t work on your craft, you’re going to lose something,” Haley said. “What we’ve got to do is knock the dust off and continue to work and get better, see if we can’t sharpen the knife.”
Brandon received clearance to resume working out with Mizzou on Friday and further bolsters a unit that last week added fellow junior defensive tackle Walter Palmore, a junior-college transfer from Eastern Arizona College.
“He looked good,” Haley said of Brandon. “We didn’t work him as much today, just getting back and making sure we’re working on his conditioning and things like that. … But he’s done a good job and I think he’s going to be good player for us.”
Dubinski earns scholarship
Sophomore center Jonah Dubinski (6-2, 295) has been put on scholarship, Odom confirmed.
“He’s doing a great job and he’s been a tremendous player in our program,” Odom said. “He’s started games and played well at a high level. He’s been a great student and done absolutely everything that you want a guy like that to do.”
Dubinski — a political science major from Rock Bridge High in Columbia, who walked on with the Tigers — appeared in seven games last season, including starts at Tennessee and against Arkansas.
He’s currently atop the depth chart at center in a position battle with redshirt freshman Trystan Castillo for the starting job.
Senior tight end Jason Reese remained sidelined with back spasms, but Missouri seemed relatively healthy aside from his absence.
Sophomore safety Ronnell Perkins (hamstring), sophomore wide receiver Justin Smith (knee), junior safety Cam Hilton (hamstring), junior linebacker Terez Hall (leg), senior defensive tackle A.J. Logan (concussion protocol), sophomore defensive tackle Markell Utsey (shoulder) and junior linebacker Kaleb Prewett (hip flexor) were no longer limited.
Prewett, Utsey, Smith and Logan missed Saturday’s scrimmage.