2014 Missouri spring football: Scrimmage reports and the right injuries

Bill Carter

Consider this your Sunday live thread.

From Friday

Post-Dispatch: Mizzou reloading at skill positions
KC Star: Missouri hopes for another dominant season from defensive line

"We all know what it takes to play in the SEC and we can obviously get it done," [Lucas Vincent] said. "You have to play physical. You’re going against guys that are about 350 (pounds) every week. There’s no weeks off like there used to be. It’s a constant you-have-to-play-physical grind every week, play in and play out."

It’s easier said than done, but having experienced the grind for a full season he’s ready to meet the challenge.

"I need to get better at my consistency of play," Vincent said. "I felt like last year I was still gaining confidence from my torn pec. I feel like this year I can come in and dominate." [...]

Golden singled out redshirt freshman defensive tackle DeQuinton Osborne as a standout so far this spring, adding depth on the interior along with sophomores Harold Brantley and Josh Augusta.

PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Mitch Morse
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Missouri Spring Practice Notes: The "Safety Dance" edition
PowerMizzou: Ready to start
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Andy Hill
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Bud Sasser
Mizzou Network: MIZZOU SPRING REPORT: Gary Pinkel on 1st practice after break
Mizzou Network: SPRING REPORT: Murph gears up for Sr. Season

Scrimmage Reports

MUtigers.com: Offense Claims Spring Scrimmage #1

[Morgan] Steward got extra duty on the day as fellow tailbacks Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy both left the scrimmage early with shoulder and ankle injuries, respectively. Head Coach Gary Pinkel didn't know the extent of either injury, but was pleased to see how Steward filled in.

"In the SEC you have to be very deep at every position certainly, but tailback is crucial to have three or four guys who can get the job done," Pinkel said. "We were very deep last year there, and a guy like Morgan Steward didn't get a ton of opportunities, but he's trying to show now that he can be someone to depend on. I was pleased with what he did today, and now the challenge is to continue to do that through the rest of camp," he said.

Steward finished the day with 117 rushing yards on 13 carries. His scores came from four yards out, 18 yards out, and then the final 58-yard run that saw him burst through the line, break an arm tackle and cut back to the clear on the right hash.

The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Missouri Spring Scrimmage: Steward breaks out, Hoch suffers ankle injury

Senior defensive tackle Matt Hoch -- who started 13 games for the Tigers last season -- left the scrimmage midway through with an ankle injury and tweeted after that he "severely broke the bone" in his left ankle and will undergo surgery tomorrow.

Sophomores Josh Augusta, Harold Brantley and Rickey Hatley are all on the depth chart behind Hoch.

Sophomore linebacker Donvain Newsom also sat out most of the scrimmage with a shoulder injury.

Junior linebacker Kentrell Brothers (shoulder), junior cornerback Ernest Payton (knee) and senior safety Braylon Webb (concussion) all sat out the scrimmage.

"If you’re going to get guys hurt, it’s a good time to get them hurt so you can get them healed up," Coach Gary Pinkel said.

KC Star: Linebacker Darvin Ruise impressive in MU scrimmage
PowerMizzou: Injuries and big plays

But it was Gavin Otte who made the most impressive catches of the day for Missouri. His best came on a 31-yard pass from Corbin Berkstresser. Otte had a step on a defender, and as he crossed into the endzone he drove straight back with his arms extended. He said he dove to where he thought the ball would be, and it worked -- the ball it him in the arms, and he contained it as he hit the ground.

Later in the scrimmage, Otte had a one-handed catch near the sideline. He had five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown.

"I think what's happen is we lost some real good receivers," Pinkel said. "We lost a few of them. It just opened opportunities up. Last year he might have played more if we hadn't had the kind of depth we had. We lost some veteran players, some good players and he's a guy that's worked real hard and has always done a lot of good things. [...]

"A guy that was really great for us was Tommy Saunders, years ago," He could catch everything. Those guys are worth a million dollars."

PowerMizzou: TEN QUICK SCRIMMAGE TAKES
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Spring Scrimmage, 4/5
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Maty Mauk
Mizzou Network: HIGHLIGHTS: Spring 2014 Full Scrimmage #1
Mizzou Network: SPRING REPORT: Gary Pinkel 1st Scrimmage Comments

Morgan Steward was the MVP
Post-Dispatch: Steward seizes opportunity at Mizzou
The Trib: Once Steward starts, he doesn’t stop
KC Star: Morgan Steward rushes for 130 yards, 3 TDs in MU scrimmage
PowerMizzou: Steward runs with his chance
KBIA Sports: Morgan Steward leads offense in first spring scrimmage

Leading the offense was tailback Morgan Steward who saw more reps because of injuries to the players ahead of him. Russell Hansbrough left practice with a shoulder injury, and Marcus Murphy was sidelined with an ankle injury.

"I finally got the opportunity to go and show it and when you get an opportunity you have to take advantage of it," Steward said.

Steward finished the game with 117 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Running back coach Brian Jones took notice of Morgan’s performance and offered a rare compliment to the sophomore.

"He hands out those compliments like $100 bills," Steward said.

Though Steward and the offense won Saturday’s scrimmage, the defense had its own success. During the two-minute drill, safety Chaston Ward and linebacker Denzel Martin each came away with an interception. Defensive lineman Marcus Golden also had an impact with two sacks.

Visitors
PowerMizzou: Georgia brothers enjoy visit

You never root for injuries, but if they're going to happen, you want them to be short-term, and you want them to happen to established entities. Guys like Matt Hoch, Russell Hansbrough, and Marcus Murphy, for instance. Sounds like Hoch will be sidelined for a while, which stinks, but there are a lot of exciting, young DTs ready to take advantage of his absence. And now Morgan Steward gets an extended taste of first-string action as well. If only Trevon Walters and Ish Witter were in for spring...

Other than the injuries (which weren't the end of the world), it sounds like a pretty good scrimmage. Gavin Otte furthered the buzz that he created last August, Maty Mauk looked perfectly fine, Steward passed a big test, etc. And a pretty big-time pair of brothers from Columbia South (i.e. Suwanee, Ga.) -- Daniel and Josh Imatorbhebhe -- enjoyed their visit. And the weather was pretty decent, too. And ... mullets.

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