In which David Morrison is tweeting at a championship level...
Gary Pinkel: "Kids are just not as mature as they used to be. OK? I could go on and on about that, but we have enough things to talk about."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Redshirt sophomore QB Maty Mauk was dialed in during 11-on-11 situational sets, withstanding the pressure of Mizzou's experienced defensive line...
Mauk moved his side up the field during one series with an impressive sequence, first hitting senior WR Jimmie Hunt on a deep down-and-out. Mauk then connected with junior TB Russell Hansbrough on a flair route before going back to Hunt on the same pattern as his previous catch, which followed an incompletion...
The incompletion came with its own case of theatrics as Mauk expertly eluded pressure from senior DL Matt Hoch and senior DL Lucas Vincent before lofting the ball out of bounds...
Mauk followed that up with a screen pass to senior WR Darius White for a first down...
Pinkel said Marcus Murphy's move to the slot is not permanent, but Murphy is adapting very well to being a receiver.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Pinkel says there's urgency to get 1 of 2 freshman running backs (Witter & Walters) ready to play this year, maybe both— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) August 6, 2014
Pinkel said he could see needing at least one of the team's true freshman running backs to play this year, possibly both.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Gary Pinkel says Connor McGovern and Braylon Webb will probably be limited once the pads come on, until the first scrimmage.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Just so you know, Iowa State has three Mitchs as well. Well, a Mitch and two Mitchells, actually. #AllofTheMitchNews— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 7, 2014
Missouri makes up 10% of the Mitch in the FBS and 5.8% of the Mitch or Mitchell. MU leads the FBS in Mitch, tied for 1st in Mitch/Mitchell.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 7, 2014
Only two other SEC schools - Arkansas and Vanderbilt - bring the Mitch or Mitchell. Stay tuned for our 9-part series starting next week.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 7, 2014
So, if things happen to go poorly for MU this year, they could have 99 problems, but a Mitch ain't one. #ThankYouThankYouPleaseTipYourWaiter— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 7, 2014
The history books will remember me as that guy who took an hour of his life figuring out how prevalent Mitch is at football's highest level.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 7, 2014
Pinkel on #Mizzou's evaluation system for d-linemen: "I'm not real concerned about how good of football players they are" (as recruits).— Pete Scantlebury (@PeteScantlebury) August 6, 2014
Pinkel on Craig Kuligowski: "His guys just play well all the time. All the time."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Interviewed Mizzou RsFr DE Charles Harris for first time today. Impressive young guy.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) August 6, 2014
Charles Harris said he celebrated the anniversary of his Mizzou signing this year by going to Zaxby's alone. I would have totally gone.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Charles Harris, on his lonely Zaxby's dinner: "I'm a loner." <laughs> Me: "I'll go too...next time." <silence>— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Matt Hoch said he's feeling good after breaking his ankle in the spring. Still 5-10 pounds over playing weight, but moving better.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Hoch pushed himself around on a cart with his foot elevated while healing. Said one of his Lange Middle students sang "Ridin' Dirty" at him.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Hoch graduated with an education degree two weeks ago with a 3.97 GPA. The only flaw? A B-plus in Classical Mythology.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Hoch aced all the tests but teacher didn't let him know until end of term he had a 40 in participation: "Would have been nice to know that."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
(Been there, man.)
They see Matt Hoch rollin'. They hatin'.- http://t.co/avNQHhoa4k. Feat. me laughing like an idiot.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Shane Ray was doing a faithful rendition of "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" a minute ago. I'll have 3500 words on it in today's Tribune.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Shane Ray, on his Backstreet Boys singing: "You guys caught us in a moment there."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
"Everybody. Yeah, yeah. Rock your body. Yeah, yeah."
And there was Ray, in the middle of the pack of linemen, his hands over his head, rocking his hips with the smoothness of a professional Hula-Hoop-er.
Ray's teammates backed him up on the vocals as the prolific pass rusher gyrated to and fro.
It's a safe bet that opposing quarterbacks would rather meet Ray on the dance floor as opposed to the backfield, where in 2013 — with limited playing time — the defensive end racked up 4.5 sacks, nine tackles for a loss and 11 quarterback pressures. And though the Tigers star looks at home on the field, he hinted that he's less comfortable on the dance floor. But fear not: Ray said he and the D-line might show off some more dance moves at Thursday's practice.
I had my first chance to visit with redshirt freshman defensive end Charles Harris and came away very impressed. Thoughtful, candid and incredibly motivated to become the next star defensive end for the Tigers. Harris, who didn’t have a recruiting profile on the four major recruiting sites when he signed with Missouri in 2012, has put on roughly 30-35 pounds since he came to MU. The lean 6-3 edge rusher cuts a similar figure to former Mizzou stars Aldon Smith and Kony Ealy. That’s no exaggeration.
Harris’ teammates have raved about his energy and work ethic, especially Hoch.
"He’s a monster. He’s got one of the best motors I’ve ever seen," Hoch said. "His work ethic is legit. It’s the best work ethic I’ve seen in … a long time. He’s always asking me, ‘Hey, Hoch, what can I do to get better? How do I need use my hands for this move? What do I need to do?’ … He’s always asking me to help in some way because he knows he’s going to have to contribute this year, because we need him at defensive end. He’s going to be a heck of a player."
Pinkel reiterated that this could be his most athletic LB group. Keeps bringing up Sean Weatherspoon when talking about Donavin Newsom.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) August 6, 2014
Pinkel repeated a refrain from spring that, while young, this linebacking group could be the most athletic he's been around. And he can't seem to stop bringing up Sean Weatherspoon when he talks about starting strongside backer Donavin Newsom: "He's a really high-level athlete. He's got size and is very talented. Players that play at a high level, they don't ever think on the field. It's all reacting. Donavin's kind of in that category. He's figuring that out right now...He did get some playing time last year, similar to Spoon. I'm comparing him to Spoon athletically. I think that's probably fair. But Spoon was an all-conference player his sophomore year. It can be done, but we'll see where it goes." [...]
He's coming off labrum surgery in the spring, but says he's not feeling any ill effects. And Newsom doesn't mind shouldering some of those Weatherspoon comparisons: "It makes me feel good about myself, like I'm actually doing what they're asking me to do this year."
"We're a bunch of athletic guys that whenever the ball comes at us we're going to catch it," linebacker Kentrell Brothers said of the unit.
For Brothers, ball drills reinforce a natural strength. Starting his first season for Missouri at outside linebacker this past year, Brothers tied for the second-most interceptions on the team, with three.
It's what happened after an interception at Vanderbilt, though, that still causes Brothers grief.
Brothers was lined up in zone coverage. He read Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels' eyes and stepped up in front of the intended receiver and made off with the ball. He returned the ball 15 yards before being tripped by Joe Townsend, Vanderbilt's 312-pound offensive lineman.
Brothers said his family, friends and teammates still make fun of him for getting tackled by a slow offensive lineman.
"I hear it every time," Brothers said.
Mizzou freshman DB - former Jr. Bill - Raymond Wingo http://t.co/RIjqU1UIsZ— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) August 6, 2014
Senior safety Braylon Webb went a little more specific about what the secondary aims for each season.
"We try to keep the passing average to, I want to say, 5.5 (yards per attempt)," Webb said. "As a defense as a whole, we want to keep the run game under 3.3 (yards per carry) and we want to force two turnovers a game."
A year ago, Missouri had two games where it held the opposing team to under 5.5 yards-per-attempt, and three others where it held opponents to under six yards per attempt. For the season, teams averaged 6.5 yards-per-attempt against the Tigers. Despite ranking last in passing yards surrendered per game, Missouri ranked third in the SEC in yards-per-attempt.