Odom on the spring game.
Tight ends were prominent (though not really in the passing game)
The big thing that jumps out is that Missouri ran 71 percent of its plays with a tight end attached to the line, a tight end in the backfield, or with two tight ends (one attached and one in the backfield). This meshes with what we’ve heard, that Missouri will use its tight ends differently – and in greater abundance -- under Heupel. Sean Culkin played the first two series with the first string Saturday but didn’t play many snaps overall – Odom said after the game that Culkin had done enough throughout the spring to prove himself so he didn't need many more spring reps – so that meant tight ends Jason Reese and Kendall Blanton got quite a workout Saturday.
So it looks like there are pretty much four different positions the tight ends are playing. Through the first two series, they’ve been lined up as an H-back, attached to the line, split out in the slot, and almost lined up directly next to the running back as a fullback.
Witter stepped up
Witter, "maybe as much as anybody on the offensive side of the ball, has transformed his body in January, February and March," Heupel said. "Because of that, he’s competed in a much more confident fashion as we’ve progressed through spring ball. He saw himself do things maybe physically he could not or wouldn’t do a year ago."
Still, Odom expects Mizzou-bound running backs Nate Strong and Damarea Crocket to compete for roles this fall. He met with several incoming players Saturday and shared his hopes for their arrival.
"I don’t want them to have the mindset that they’re going to sit there and eat popcorn on the sidelines," the coach said.
While his passing game could use some work, Witter’s other offensive talents were put to use Saturday. He ran the ball 13 times — more than double any other player — for 45 yards. He also had four catches for 50 yards.
Heupel said Witter "maybe as much as anybody on the offensive side of the ball, has transformed his body" in the offseason. Moore said he calls the 5-foot-10 back a "bowling ball." Linebacker Michael Scherer was on the receiving end of a strike in a previous scrimmage.
"I mean, I tackled him, now," Scherer said. "He didn’t go anywhere. But I got up, and my shoulder was numb for a little while, I’m not going to lie. He’s been running the ball a lot, lot harder."
Sam on Geist
Sam on Geist
A big doubleheader
Mizzou has been struggling to win series in SEC play, but here's your daily reminder of how good the SEC is:
#Mizzou softball is ranked 12th in RPI this week— Blake Toppmeyer (@btoppmeyer) April 19, 2016
I can't imagine the Tigers actually host a regional unless they rally a little bit, but going strictly by RPI, they would. The ceiling's still pretty high if the pitching can get smoothed out a little bit. If, if, if.