Missouri tailback Derrick Washington broke off two big runs, the defense forced five fumbles and an INT for a touchdown and a 57 yard field goal highlighted the Missouri Tigers’ first scrimmage of fall practice as the offense won 56-48. Watch Missouri’s two minute drill (Video)
Right from the first play of the scrimmage Washington was on a mission. He ran seven times for 133 yards, including the opening play a 73 yard run. He also busted off a 42 yarder and caught three passes for 59 yards.
“He’s good, he’s been around,” said Head Coach Gary Pinkel. “That’s what you have to do, when you have starters returning, they have to play better than they did the year before, or your team’s not going to get better. That’s the message we have to get to our whole offense and defensive team, because we’ve got a lot more returning starters this year than we had last year.”
I was also impressed with #2 tailback Kendial Lawrence. He’s got more speed than Washington and also has an elusiveness about him that could make the two backs a very potent combo. He accounted for the first offensive touchdown of the game when he scored on a 60 yard pass play from third string QB Jimmy Costello.
Junior QB Blaine Gabbert was 18-of-23 passes for 162 yards and one TD. However, the defense made some big plays as well. At one stretch during the scrimmage, they forced and recovered three fumbles on four plays. DL Bart Coslet stepped in front of an Ashton Glaser pass and ran it back 40 yards for a score. The defensive player of the game was redshirt freshman DE Michael Sam. He recorded 5 quarterback sacks, and added another tackle for loss. On one of the sacks, he jarred the ball loose from QB James Franklin, picked it up near midfield, and raced the other way nearly 50 yards before Franklin pulled him down just shy of the goalline and the score. He certainly caught Pinkel’s attention.
“I think everybody noticed him. We always look at who you’re going against, if you’re going against a real inexperienced player, we take that into consideration. But certainly his effort was great, and everyone he was going against, he played at a real high energy level. He’s got a lot of talent, he can run and he’s matured remarkably from a year ago, which young kids do,” Pinkel added.
Sophomore WR T.J. Moe (47 yards) and junior TE Beau Brinkley (41 yards) each caught 7 passes to lead the way for the Tiger receiving corp. That will be the big question mark with Jerrell Jackson out for at least four weeks with a broken wrist.
While field goal kicking struggled for a good part of the day, a big cheer went up when sophomore PK/P Trey Barrow nailed a 57-yard field goal late in the day.
Sunday will be the Tigers get their first day off from practice since camp started on Aug. 5th. They will return to the practice field on Monday, with a pair of practices.