More dropped passes, fumbles and sacks. That about sums up the second Missouri Tiger scrimmage in a day that was dominated again by the defense. There would be an upside to this if in fact the defense didn’t ranked 117 th last year.
Or maybe the Missouri defense is that much more improved from a year ago? I like Dave Steckel’s approach to the defense…no-nonsense, take nothing less than 100% attitude and the players love to hit.
I like this defensive line more than last years. With Jaron Baston at nose tackle and three "big" defensive ends in senior Brian Coulter, sophomore Jacquies Smith, and redshirt freshmen Aldon Smith, there will be constant pressure on the quarterback. Coulter had one tackle for loss and Smith had a sack and two tackles for loss. This combined with sacks in the last scrimmage from Smith and Coulter prove my point. Even Brian Madison, fourth on the depth chart at defensive end picked up a sack.
There is more to the linebacker position than just Sean Weatherspoon. Junior Andrew Gachkar plays like a safety, Junior Luke Lambert returns with a year’s experience and young guys like sophomore Will Ebner and redshirt freshmen Zaviar Gooden expect to see some playing time.
The secondary is deep. At cornerback, the Tigers are five deep with guys who are fighting for playing time and there are five safeties who are playing well right now.
I believe it always takes the offense a little more time to get going and takes longer for the offensive line to get used to working with each other and certainly for the quarterbacks to get their timing down with receivers. What does concern me are the number of dropped passes. That is nothing more than a lack of concentration. At this level, players have to be able to hold onto the football.
My biggest concern is the kicking game. Senior Tanner Mills, sophomore Grant Ressel and redshirt Trey Barrow are nowhere near close to showing any consistency. If I had to pick a starting field goal kicker I’d go with Ressel.
Results from today’s scrimmage.
Grant Ressel: 6-of-8 (Made: 32, 40, 29, 37, 30, 29; Miss: 37, 41)
Trey Barrow: 5-of-8 (Made: 37, 29, 37, 30, 29; Miss: 32, 41, 40)
Tanner Mills: 4-of-8 (Made: 29, 37, 30, 29; Miss: 32, 37, 41, 40)
More coming from Gary Pinkel later today.