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2015 Missouri spring game reports: Hansbrough, Moore lead an offense still in process

On a drizzly afternoon, a reported 30k fans turned out for Missouri's Black & Gold game to get their first glimpse of Mizzou's 2015 football team. The results were largely as expected -- struggling offense against stifling defense -- but the offense had its moments.

Russell Hansbrough had six carries for 36 yards in Saturday's Spring Game
Russell Hansbrough had six carries for 36 yards in Saturday's Spring Game
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Mizzou Tigers pennant Highlights

Mizzou Tigers pennant Offense

J'Mon Moore was responsible for the sole touchdown Saturday on this fade route against John Gibson.

Tigers wrap up spring scrimmage : Dave Matter

Missouri's No. 1 offense ended the first half with the day's first touchdown, a 3-yard Maty Mauk fade to J'Mon Moore, who snatched the ball over cornerback John Gibson, who was flagged for pass interference on the play, the final play of the first half. The Mizzou backups, spotted a 14-0 lead to begin the scrimmage, led 14-10 at the break.

Mizzou offense makes progress in spring game : Dave Matter

It was the only touchdown of the day and only the fourth of the spring in three full scrimmages. The Tigers were without three injured offensive regular starters — offensive lineman Connor McGovern (knee), slot receiver Nate Brown (knee) and tight end Sean Culkin (shoulder).

But as much as the defense had dominated past scrimmages, Saturday’s outing marked progress for Mauk’s offense. He led four drives, producing two punts, a field goal and the TD pass to Moore. Even more promising, Mauk’s offense picked up nine first downs.

MU Spring Game: Statistics and Reflections - Columbia Daily Tribune | David Morrison

MU pass offense continues to make strides in spring game - Columbia Daily Tribune | David Morrison

Mauk had his steadiest scrimmage of the spring, completing 9 of 14 passes for 68 yards and the touchdown to Moore that finished off his longest scoring drive of the open scrimmages.

Starting at the 37-yard line with 1:25 left in the first half, Mauk completed 4 of 5 passes for 35 yards and scrambled three times for 28.

Missouri Tigers' offense? Not as bad as you'd heard, but not exactly good, either | FOX Sports

Meanwhile, Mauk spins. And spins. And spins. The Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune charted seven drops by first-team wideouts in the first three scrimmages of spring ball. Which will make any quarterback, even one with Maty's Favre-esque cool, somewhat ... well, edgy. Naturally.

MUTIGERS.COM Mizzou Spring Game Quotes

On the running backs showing the capability of catching passes...

"Everyone in the country knows that Russell Hansbrough and Ish Witter can run the football. Now, I can dump it off to them and that adds so much more to our offense. When the whole defense is dropping (in coverage) and you got a running back sitting underneath, you get the ball to him and he's going to make people miss. I'm really excited about that, and I want to do it a little more."

MUTIGERS.COM Tigers Impress at Annual Spring Football Game

At halftime the annual most improved player awards (as voted on by Tiger coaches) were handed out, with the winners including:

• DeSean Blair (Wide Receiver)

Nate Crawford (Offensive Lineman)

Rickey Hatley (Defensive Lineman)

Donavin Newsom (Linebacker)

Aarion Penton (Cornerback)

Eddie Printz (Quarterback)

Jason Reese (Tight End)

Anthony Sherrils (Safety)

• Ish Witter (Tailback)