Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri football takes to the field today for its second scrimmage of preseason camp. Coach Gary Pinkel said the first, second and third teams can expect 35 situational plays apiece.
Tuesday was the team’s first scrimmage. The defense edged out the offense, 14-12. That’s been the case in practice, too.
“I think overall it was very competitive,” Pinkel said. “Defense has been winning more than the offense. They’re both down to one or two plays at the very end, and the defense was making plays. I mean every single one, either team has had a chance to win (the sequence). I think overall, we’re doing OK and just getting better, and tomorrow, obviously, is a very important scrimmage for us.”
Pinkel would like to see more consistency from the offense, which struggled in the middle parts of Tuesday’s scrimmage.
“There’s a lot of experience on that offensive football team,” he said. “A bunch of those guys played a year ago, significant amount of time. So, we can be a real good offensive team, and offense always is a little bit more difficult with continuity, because the breakdowns are much more significant on offense than they are on defense, in terms of just executing a simple play. So that’s a little bit normal, and we’ve got to work hard to keep getting better.”
Pinkel said the staff had not discussed where tailback Marcus Murphy will play. He had been working at slot receiver for the beginning of camp and played there Tuesday, but Pinkel said afterward Murphy would be switching back to tailback in practice to make sure he’s up to speed.
Whether Corbin Berkstresser or Eddie Printz will back up quarterback Maty Mauk is also up in the air.
Pinkel said today’s scrimmage will help decide which freshmen will get playing time their first year.
“We already have circled some guys that we think are very close to doing that, and it’s always three to five, roughly, right in that area,” he said. “And also, any further injuries can change things also.”