Defense looked united, tackled well
“Last year is in the past,” senior defensive tackle A.J. Logan said. “We’re just trying to show what the 2017 defense can do. I’m not really worried about last year. Yeah, it left a salty taste in my mouth, but I’m ready to move on and bring the new defense back.”
The new Mizzou defense is the old defense, a revision of the attacking front four that terrorized offenses during the late Pinkel years, when pass rushers were unshackled and free to create havoc in the backfield.
“We did pretty good,” senior defensive end Jordan Harold, who started with the first-string defense, said of the front four’s performance. “We came out kind of slow, but we definitely progressed throughout the game. … It’s tough with all the injuries and stuff, but I think like we held up pretty good.”
Offense has high expectations
“The most popular guy on the team is the backup QB”
“Jack was looking good today, man,” guard Kevin Pendleton said. “Jack was out there slinging it, stepping up in the pocket when he needed to and letting it go. That’s something he’s been working on all spring."
Saturday was the first time Tigers fans had seen Lowary throw a pass since last year’s spring game. He transferred to Missouri after starting his freshman season at junior college and redshirted last year behind starter Drew Lock and backup Marvin Zanders.
Newcomers had their moments
Kaleb Prewett, a transfer from Kansas State, played well with the first-team defense at nickel and thinks he locked down a starting position.
"As I've played the position a little bit more, I started to get more comfortable with the spot," Prewett said. "Now I feel like I can fly around. There's still things I can work on, obviously, but I feel like I'm definitely comfortable with the spot now."
The first-string offense and first-string defense again squared off on the third drive and junior college transfer DT Rashad Brandon (Jersey City, N.J.) blew up a pair of running plays, forcing a third-and-long that the offense did not convert. Freshman early-enrollee Isaiah Miller (Baldwin, Fla.) showed off some nifty moves on the drive for the offense, breaking off an 18-yard run, but the first-string defense held.
On Saturday, [Tre] Williams got his first taste of playing college football, even if it was just in a glorified scrimmage. He suited up in with Missouri's first-team defense to take the field in the Tigers' annual Black & Gold Game.
Williams didn't expect to be in a starting role before the week started. When redshirt senior Marcell Frazier suffered a broken arm, a spot on the line opened up for the redshirt freshman.
Williams made the most of his opportunity, recording three tackles and a sack against the Gold team. His performance caught the eye of former defensive standout Shane Ray, who was in attendance for Saturday's scrimmage.
Well hey there, Tucker McCann
One of the day’s most promising moments came off the foot of kicker Tucker McCann. Coming off a rough freshman season, McCann drilled a 47-yard field goal and made all three of his PATs.
“Seeing that 47-yarder, it was almost a sigh of relief for everyone _ and the fans,” right tackle Paul Adams said.
- Kevin Knox, who evidently turned down $1.4 million to play in China next year instead of going to college, finally has time to settle down and think about his college choice. Knox has long been considered a Duke lean, but that picture is getting foggier.
- No. 10 Kentucky took two of three from Mizzou Baseball in Columbia this weekend, winning 5-2, losing 9-8, and winning 6-1. Mizzou’s one win was memorable, though: Trey Harris hit home runs on three straight at-bats, four if you go back to his last one on Friday. If the Tigers had been able to take the series, they’d have been within about a game of the SEC East lead. As it stands, they are three games back of UK at 7-8 and 26-11 overall. Four of seven teams are either 8-7 or 7-8. Mizzou’s RPI was No. 54 heading into the weekend; I’m guessing it’s the same or a hair better now. All of this information screams “bubble team.”
- Mizzou Softball, meanwhile, earned another top-10 win by taking the first game at No. 7 Auburn on Friday. But once again, a single bad inning tripped them up on Saturday — Auburn scored four runs in the fourth to win 5-4. Auburn won the Sunday finale, 6-1. Mizzou is now 5-9 in the ridiculously loaded SEC and 24-18 overall; because of a crazy strength of schedule, the Tigers were 26th in RPI heading into the weekend, and again, I doubt they did much to change that.
- Speaking of ridiculously loaded SEC ... Mizzou Tennis dropped a 4-1 decision at No. 11 Auburn but upset No. 33 Alabama, 4-3, in the regular season finale. The Tigers wrap up a reasonably successful (no, seriously) regular season 2-11 in the SEC and 11-13 overall. There was decent improvement this year, but you have to be a top-25 team to even reach .500 in this league.
- Freshman Ja'Mari Ward made his home debut for Mizzou Track & Field at the Tom Botts Invitational and proceeded to post a top-five national mark in the long jump. Meanwhile, Maya Cody was named the meet's outstanding performer with a first-place in the 200, second in the 100m, and first in the 4x100. Pole vaulter Karissa Roman, meanwhile, reinvented her approach and moved herself into a national-qualifying position.
- Mizzou All-American diver Lauren Reedy qualified for the 2017 FINA World Championships.
- Robin Pingeton was honored on Tap Day.
- Mizzou Wrestling landed Appalachian State transfer, nationals qualifier, and Wentzville native Colby Smith.