After a strong showing by the Missouri State defense kept the Bears offense out of the end zone for the first half of Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage at Robert W. Plaster Stadium, the MSU passing game roared to life down the stretch, racking up more than 400 yards through the air and six passing touchdowns.
“I thought it was great competition,” head coach Dave Steckel said. “I was really disappointed in the two-minute drill with the defense, but I was very excited about the two-minute drill with the offense. However, the rest of the scrimmage, I thought, was great competition back and forth. One time, the (first unit) offense won, the next time the (first unit) defense won, and they’re really trying to learn to compete and get better with each other.”
Junior quarterback Brodie Lambert heated up during the red zone and two-minute portions of the scrimmage to throw all four of his scoring passes, including a 31-yarder to Nick Masoner that capped a 75-yard drive—one of three consecutive drives of 74 yards or more completed by three different MSU signal-callers late in the 90-play scrimmage. Freshman Michael Briggs also found the end zone, hittingJoe Stampley on a 27-yard pass, while Breck Ruddickhooked up on a 74-yard connection to Ryan Heaston, who out-raced the MSU defense for the final scoring strike of the day.
The Bears defense controlled the action early in the day, holding the offense to a Marcelo Bonani 21-yard field goal in the early stages of the session. Redshirt freshman Jason Randall ripped off a 62-yard run for one of the few early offensive highlights to set up the short kick from Bonani, who converted three field goal attempts and both of his PAT tries.
MSU’s defense came up with four sacks on the day—one each from James Barnes, Alexz Jones, Brock Kliewer andTaiwo Oluwafunmila.
Lambert spearheaded the MSU aerial attack with 146 yards on 12-of-17 passing, while Randall totaled 82 rushing yards on 7 attempts to pace the Bears’ rushing game. LeMarcus Stewart, Adam St. Peter and Maddy Johnson also reeled in touchdown receptions to power the offense’s strong finish.
“I saw improvement, yes,” Steckel added. “For example, if you remember the two-minute drill (in the first scrimmage), the defense stuffed the offense. Then today, they couldn’t stop the wind, so it’s going back and forth and that’s the way camp usually is, believe it or not. At the end of the day, it’s like beating up on your step brothers. Are we getting better? Yes. But are we where we need to be? Absolutely not.”
Story courtesy: Missouri State Athletics