The #1 units took the field first, and the first-string defense had the upper hand. Sophomore DE Shane Ray got into the backfield to stop junior TB Henry Josey for a loss, and that was followed shortly after by sophomore LB Kentrell Brothers getting QB hurry as he forced Berkstresser out of the pocket for a throwaway. A couple of snaps later, senior safety Matt White made a beautiful diving pass break up in the end zone. Berkstresser was able to connect on one play in the series with senior TE Eric Waters for a gain of around seven yards down inside the 10-yardline...
The offensive line has a new look. Justin Britt and Mitch Morse are still at left and right tackle, respectively, with Evan Boehm at center, Max Copeland flipped from right to left guard and Connor McGovern joining the first unit at right guard. The top backups from left to right were Anthony Gatti, Mitch Hall, Stephen Carberry, Brad McNulty and Taylor Chappell. After playing center the first two weeks of spring drills, Jordan Williams is back at tackle, lined up No. 3 on the right side, one spot ahead of Chris Freeman.
For Britt and Chappell, Tuesday's practice was their first time participating in every drill since both underwent knee surgery last year. Britt is just short of five months removed from ACL surgery. Chappell tore his ACL during preseason camp last August. "There's a little continuity there for the first time this year," Gary Pinkel said of the offensive line. "It's nice to see those guys out there competing."
Although the media won't get a new depth chart for awhile, there were some changes in Missouri's pre-practice stretch lines on Tuesday. Those lines -- while not officially -- serve as a good indicator of the staff's unreleased depth chart. […]
On defense, Kentrell Brothers moved to the top at one linebacker spot. Darvin Ruise was the first-string linebacker there, but he's now third-team, behind Brothers and redshirt freshman Donavin Newsom. Fellow redshirt freshman Michael Scherer moved up to second-team middle linebacker, behind Andrew Wilson.
Five thoughts about yesterday's reports:
1. I've been optimistic/hopeful for a while about Kentrell Brothers, and I'm glad to see that might be working out. By all accounts he's one of the more high-ceiling linebackers on the roster, so if he's made it to first string, that's a good sign that his floor is rising a bit, too. Now I just need to see the same thing from Jimmie Hunt, and I'm set.
2. Welcome back, Justin Britt and Taylor Chappell. NOW NO LINEMAN IS ALLOWED TO GET HURT EVER AGAIN.
3. I've noticed cornerback David Johnson's name popping up a decent amount as a guy making nice plays in practice. That could just be a coincidence, or it could be a sign that the battle for the other starting CB spot (opposite E.J. Gaines) -- one pitting Randy Ponder, Johnson, John Gibson and Xavier Smith, I guess -- could last into the fall.
4. One other tidbit from the PowerMizzou report: E.J. Gaines might be playing some nickelback on passing downs this year. Call it the Alec Lemon Effect, I guess.
5. I still think James Franklin wins the quarterback derby. And his football trip to San Diego for Spring Break probably didn't hurt in that regard.