Missouri finished its third and final scrimmage of the preseason Thursday, so I figured I’d type up a few thoughts and observations and post it on the blog. But first, readthe rundown
that ran in Friday’s paper and areview of the cornerbacks
that ran online early Friday.
Ready? And here…we…go:
• First and foremost, the offense was rather unimpressive. Multiple sacks, multiple false start penalties, multiple drops, very little rhythm. The only touchdown came on a pretty 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback James Franklin to receiver L’Damian Washington in the corner of the end zone.
Franklin finished his day 6-of-11 for 68 yards and a touchdown, but as a whole, the first-team offense really struggled to get anything going and offensive coordinator Josh Henson was not happy about it.
"What we did today was the worst we’ve done all camp — it’s unacceptable," Henson said. "There’s positives in it all, but there’s so many negatives, what do the positives matter? A positive would not have mattered today based upon how we performed, and it’s just disappointing because we’ve played real well all camp and then to come out and basically finish camp this way, it disappoints me."
• I think we got a pretty good indication of the backups who will see time this season, because they were working with the ones pretty regularly. With junior defensive tackle Matt Hoch out with an injury, redshirt freshman Harold Brantley filled in at first-team defensive tackle. We also saw plenty of sophomore Shane Ray at defensive end —
— and safety Ian Simon working in the nickel with the starters.
True freshman defensive tackle Nate Crawford also got some run with the No. 2 defense, as did junior college transfer Duron Singleton, who lined up in the nickel and got in on a few tackles.
On offense, redshirt freshman Levi Copelin appeared with the starters in the slot in some four-wide sets, while junior Henry Josey and sophomore Russell Hansbrough shared first-team reps at running back. True freshman quarterback Eddie Printz got some run with the second team and completed 5-of-7 passes for 39 yards.
• Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said the staff has yet to decide whether redshirt freshman quarterback Maty Mauk
per game. Mauk completed 5-of-11 passes for 25 yards Thursday.
"We’d like to do that, it just kind of depends upon how he’s coming along," said Pinkel, who expects to make a decision next Thursday. "He’s doing really good. The toughest job out here always is (being) the quarterback with the second team going against the first-team defense. I’ve been doing this for a long time, if your defensive front is really good like ours is, it’s even tougher. But you grow from it and every quarterback has had to go through it."
• Josey was perhaps the lone offensive bright spot. The Tigers really seemed to unveil their running game for the first time Thursday, and Josey — who carried the ball six times for 49 yards — broke off runs of 12 and six yards and looked elusive and quick. It was perhaps the best sign yet Josey is ready to recapture his 2011 form.
"I think he’s back to where he was," Henson said. "He looks great, he’s looked great. He’s had some runs like those in practice. So he’s doing well."
• The defense looked good Thursday. Senior defensive end Michael Sam was disruptive, racking up 2 ½ sacks, while junior end Kony Ealy, senior tackle Marvin Foster and junior end Markus Golden each had a half-sack apiece.
Golden perhaps had the hit of the day when he was left unblocked and absolutely leveled a running back in the backfield for a loss. He also had a fumble recovery. Ray and Ealy have told me at various times this month that they expect Golden to get some meaningful playing time this season.
"The more depth you have, the fresher your players can be," Pinkel said.
• Speaking of big hits, safety Matt White had one of the best of the preseason Thursday, when he smashed into Darius White near the sideline and kept him from hauling in a pass. The hit made a "boom" sound that I hadn’t heard all preseason. White finished with a pass breakup.
• Henson said it remains to be seen if freshman tight end Jason Reese will see the field this season. He said it’s still under consideration, but Reese has been "dinged" recently and Henson seems to feel comfortable with Sean Culkin, Eric Waters and Clayton Echard.
• Sophomore kicker Andrew Baggett missed one of his three extra point attempts Thursday but made three of his four field-goal attempts. The Lee’s Summit North graduate made 10 of his 15 field goal attempts during the scrimmages, including a somewhat troublesome 5-for-10 mark from between 30 and 39 yards.
"Baggett, for the most part, is doing really good," Pinkel said. "I just really believe he can be a great kicker, so my expectation level is very, very high for him now, not as he matures. He’s good enough to be an exceptional kicker right now."
Meanwhile, junior punter Christian Brinser, a Liberty graduate, continued his strong camp, drilling 10 punts an average of 44.9 yards each. He also had a long of 55 and dropped three inside the 20.
Pinkel has been unabashed in his praise of Brinser all camp, and on Thursday, he showed exactly why.
"He’s kicking really, really well," Pinkel said. "Exceptionally well. Last spring, when we had scrimmages, he didn’t kick real well. He just kicked average. And you saw him in practice really just booming them…we know the huge impact that can have on field position, and that’s very, very encouraging."COMBINED STATS FOR MISSOURI’S THREE PRESEASON SCRIMMAGES Rushing
|Name||Carries||Yards||Touchdowns||Long||Yards per carry|
|Name||FGs made||FGs att.||FG%||Long||20-29||30-39||40-49||XPM||XPA|
Rickey Hatley 2
Brayden Burnett 1
David Butler 1
Markus Golden 1
Donavin Newsom 1
Shane Ray 1
Randy Ponder 1
Michael Sam 1
Lucas Vincent 1
Andrew Wilson 1
Clarence Green 0.5
Michael Scherer 0.5Sacks
Michael Sam 4
Brayden Burnett 2.5
Kony Ealy 2.5
Shane Ray 2
A.J. Logan 1.5
Lucas Vincent 1.5
Josh Augusta 1
Justin Grava 1
Rickey Hatley 1
Matt Hoch 1
Marvin Foster 0.5
E.J. Gaines 0.5
Markus Golden 0.5
DeQuinton Osborne 0.5Fumble recoveries
Markus Golden 2
Harold Brantley 1
Rickey Hatley 1
Marcus Loud 1
Anthony Sherrils 1Interceptions
Kentrell Brothers 2
E.J. Gaines 1
Ernest Payton 1
Ian Simon 1
David Sowell 1Pass breakups
Clarence Green 3
Donavin Newsom 2
Randy Ponder 2
Xavier Smith 2
Braylon Webb 2
Tyler Davis 1
Kony Ealy 1
Daniel Easterly 1
Charles Harris 1
David Johnson 1
Shane Ray 1
Michael Scherer 1
Anthony Sherrils 1
Matt White 1
Andrew Wilson 1