Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri coach Gary Pinkel met with media Saturday for the first time since four of his players were involved in a car accident the day before.
“I was scared to death,” Pinkel said. “… That’s like your kids.”
Freshman defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. was involved in the accident, which occurred at approximately 4 p.m. Friday at the intersection of College and University avenues. Redshirt freshman receivers DeSean Blair and Keyon Dilosa and redshirt freshman tailback Trevon Walters were passengers in Beckner’s car, and Blair and Walters were taken to University Hospital.
Beckner played in Missouri’s game Saturday against Connecticut, recording two solo tackles, one for a loss. Blair and Dilosa missed the game with a concussion and a bruised elbow, respectively. Walters missed his third game with a knee injury, as was expected before the accident.
None of the injuries were life threatening, including those sustained by the woman and two minors in the other vehicle.
“The most important thing is we knew (Friday) night that they’re all doing well,” Pinkel said. “They’re going to be good.”
The team was going through a walk-through shortly after the accident. Quarterback Maty Mauk said he thought the players might have gone to get their hair cut beforehand and were coming in late.
“The emotions are just going around the locker room. You want to know what’s going on,” Mauk said. “I’m close with all of those guys that were in the accident, and I’m kind of thinking, ‘Are they all right?’ And then you see Terry come in and Keyon come in in a sling and Tre’ and DeSean aren’t even there. That’s tough.
“… You’ve got to have distraction control, and that’s something that we can’t control. We can’t worry about it. You want to be there for those guys, but like I said, you’ve just got to have distraction control, come out there and still play football.”
Receiver J’Mon Moore added: “It was just out of nowhere. We were going through our walk-through and the next thing we know they had a car accident. It was a scare. Because when you hear ‘car accident’ and you hear ‘paramedics’ and our guys in the hospital, and we weren’t knowing what was going on, we were concerned.”
Beckner backed up junior defensive tackle Josh Augusta against Connecticut, as expected.
“Terry was just upset because he was driving the car, and he was right in the middle of rush hour and everything else like that,” Pinkel said. “But he calmed down, and he knew everybody was OK, so he went in and I thought he did some really good things and played well. That’s a lot for a young guy to happen to.”
Blair and Dilosa were slated to be the backup receivers at the X and Z spots, respectively. In their absence, freshman Emanuel Hall had a catch, and junior Eric Laurent pulled in his first career reception.
“It was tough with Keyon and DeSean going down, but Eric Laurent was ready to step up,” said Moore, who starts at the X position. “He’s a good player, and I trust him just as much as I trust Keyon or DeSean. He doesn’t get as many looks, but he’s a good player.”
The car accident was the second of the year involving a Missouri defensive tackle. Junior Harold Brantley sustained season-ending injuries to his leg, knee and ribs in a June accident on southbound U.S. 63.
“When we heard ‘car wreck,’ everybody was like, ‘Oh, another car wreck,’” Moore said. “And then we heard they were in the hospital, so everybody was nervous. But once we heard that they were all right, everybody was good.”