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2014 Missouri Fall Camp: Final Scrimmage Recap

The good news: the Tigers won! The bad news: visible improvement was hard to come by.

PICTURED: Maty Mauk's most successful look this fall.
PICTURED: Maty Mauk's most successful look this fall.
Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

First, the injury news.

Dave Matter @ STLToday: Mizzou Live Scrimmage Blog

Here's who appears to be sitting out today's scrimmage: receivers Jimmie HuntGavin Otte and Eric Laurent; tailback Morgan Steward, defensive tackle Matt Hoch and cornerback John Gibson.

With Hunt and Otte still out, freshman Lawrence Leefigures to get some work with the No. 1 offense at the slot receiver position. Josh Augusta will likely continue to replace Hoch with the first unit.

Good to know!


We've been hearing about Marcus Murphy playing in the slot throughout the fall, and it looks like Gary Pinkel's ready to put a ring on it.

The first team offense took the field and got off to a lightning-fast start.

Rough. They bounced back quickly though.

Cats and dogs living together, man. Eddie Printz took over the offense, which stalled out after a few plays. This gave Andrew Baggett a chance to get involved. He had himself quite a day, too.

Enough about the offense, how'd the defense look?

So solid then, good to know. The defense hasn't really been a worry-spot though.

At this point, we should be seeing marked improvement in the areas considered to be deficient going into camp. Herein we find the problem: instead of highlighting how far the Tigers have progressed, the final scrimmage let us all know that things haven't changed.

The good news

The linemen and running backs are as sound as ever.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to many. I assumed going into camp that these position groups would probably be our strongest, and I was correct in that assumption. This fact was on display during today's scrimmage, where the running game looked like it was in mid-season form and the defensive line was disruptive. Both of these things make me optimistic about the season, but not any more optimistic than I was before camp.

The bad news

The passing game hasn't shown much improvement

Going into fall camp, we posed a question: "Who the heck is going to catch Mauk's passes this year?"  We've been told that Bud Sasser, Jimmie Hunt, and Darius White will all record their fair share of catches this season, but their on-field performances haven't lived up to the hype yet. The passing game is lagging far behind the running game, and I'm not the only one who's noticed.

Gabe DeArmond @ PowerMizzou: Consistently Inconsistent

The ire--and make no mistake, Pinkel wasn't bubbling about the performance on Thursday--was directed largely at the offense, and more specifically at the passing game. Starting quarterback Maty Mauk completed just four of his eleven passes for 28 yards, including only two of his last eight throws.

By no means am I insinuating that Mizzou won't be able to effectively attack defenses through the air. What I am saying is that the passing game has consistently been the most underwhelming aspect of fall camp. There are several possible explanations for this:

  • Mauk and company are still working out the kinks.
  • The defensive line's disruptive presence hasn't allowed the passing game to blossom.
  • The receivers aren't as talented as we hoped.
  • The secondary is much better than we ever could've imagined.
  • Pinkel and Offensive Coordinator Josh Henson are playing the long con.

My guess is that it's some sort of combination of those. Should we panic? Not yet, but a pinch of worry wouldn't be unnecessary. It's also important to remember that this is a scrimmage. It means less than an NFL preseason game. Drawing any concrete conclusions from this glorified practice is not advised, so by all means FREAK OUT!


David Morrison @ The Tribune: Missouri Scrimmage Stats

Good ol' Dave has you covered.

Quips and quotes

Gabe DeArmond @ PowerMizzou: Consistently Inconsistent

In four starts replacing an injured James Franklin last year, Mauk completed 57-of-114 passes with ten touchdowns and two interceptions. He ran for 178 yards and a score as well in those four games. The discrepancy of last season versus this month led one reporter to ask Pinkel if Mauk was a better player in games than he was in practice.

"What are you saying there, man?" Pinkel responded briskly.

The reply came that Mauk had played very well in games last year, the conclusion left unsaid being that he hadn't so far in three scrimmages.

"You been evaluating him a little bit?" Pinkel asked. "We're working for consistency. Him like anybody else."

Whether it is cause for concern cannot be judged by seeing three scrimmages out of a three-week long camp. There is little question, though, that Pinkel wants to see more out of his offense. It is a message he said he communicated to his team after the scrimmage.

"We've been here before," Pinkel said. "Everybody, him included, we just need more consistency. I don't know what to tell you. We've got to get it done.

#FeistyGary is my favorite Gary.