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Mizzou's young receiving corps showed massive potential in the first fall scrimmage

Here are the primary emerging story lines from Mizzou's first fall scrimmage.

Fullback U.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Hello there, Drew

Drew Lock could do his coaches a lot of favors by stinking in the second scrimmage, if you get what I'm saying. (And Maty Mauk could also do them a favor by shining.)

The Trib: QB Lock impresses in MU scrimmage debut
Post-Dispatch: Lock, young receivers impress in Mizzou scrimmage
PowerMizzou: Nice to meet you
KC Star: Quarterback Drew Lock shines in scrimmage debut at Missouri

"I can’t remember what Chase Daniel did," associate head coach/quarterbacks coach Andy Hill said. "I was here, but I don’t remember how great it was. He was pretty ready to play, and nothing really fazes Drew either. He’s ready to go. He’s a guy that could be playing if you want him to."

Lock played with poise and delivered the ball with accuracy. He helped the offense get untracked with a 14-yard swing pass to freshman running back Marquise Doherty for a touchdown, capping an eight-play, 60-yard drive.

Lock, who worked mostly with the third team or other reserve units, but also got some second-team reps, later added an 11-yard touchdown to sophomore tight end Jason Reese.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Receiver problem? What receiver problem?

Now, when you've got a unit as young as Mizzou's receiving corps, you're virtually guaranteed to have consistency issues, but we got a decent feel for this unit's upside yesterday, and ... it's high. Even if most of the damage came from the second and third string.

The Trib: MU Fall Scrimmage No. 1: Inside the Numbers

2nd Offense

J’Mon Moore: 6 targets, 4 catches, 97 yards
Keyon Dilosa: 5 targets, 3 catches, 38 yards
Jason Reese: 4 targets, 3 catches, 20 yards, TD
Ray Wingo: 4 targets, 2 catches, 32 yards, TD
Sean Culkin: 2 targets, 1 catch, 9 yards
Nate Brown: 2 targets
Tyler Hunt: 1 target, 1 catch, 4 yards
Ish Witter: 1 target, 1 catch, 0 yards
Totals: 25 targets, 15 catches, 200 yards (13.3 avg), 2 TD

One thing I didn't mention yesterday: Nate Brown and J'Mon Moore are both athletic specimens. Moore in particular runs hard and strong in his routes. Obviously that alone doesn't do a ton for you if your timing or route accuracy are off, but it's impressive to watch.

Post-Dispatch: Mizzou wideouts ease doubts in first scrimmage

By day’s end, five wideouts caught at least four passes. Freshman Emanuel Hall, polished for a rookie, led the team with six receptions for 63 yards. J’Mon Moore, a sophomore, snagged five balls for a team-high 105 yards. Justin Smith, a 6-7 freshman, galloped past a herd of defenders on a 60-yard catch-and-run touchdown and finished with four catches for 79 yards. Before injuring his ankle, freshman slot receiver Johnathon Johnson snatched four passes for 90 yards. Everywhere you looked, underclassmen were snagging balls and dashing for first downs and more.

"I was extremely proud of my wideouts," Leftwich said. "We had a great day. We had one or two drops, but we showed we can make plays down the field. We showed we can do it this year. ... I think we’ve got a special group here."

PowerMizzou: Passing game breaks out in first scrimmage
PowerMizzou: Freshmen impress in first scrimmage

Johnathon Johnson (four catches, 90 yards) and Emanuel Hall (team-high six catches, 63 yards) also had productive performances among the receiving corps. Offensive coordinator Josh Henson noted that Mizzou didn't get the ball to Hall enough. Johnson's day was dampened by an ankle injury suffered at the end of a 65-yard catch and run. There was no update on Johnson's condition after the scrimmage, though he was helped to the sideline and left the field on a cart.

"I think we've had days where it's very encouraging, we've had days where it's very discouraging," Washington said of the receivers. "We've got to balance this thing out and that's why we practice."

Mizzou Tigers pennant Good to see you again, Morgan

The Trib: Steward thirsty for more after first scrimmage since hip injury
The Trib (David Morrison): Fall Scrimmage 1: Statistics and Reflections

"He’s remarkably better than he was two months ago," Coach Gary Pinkel said. "We’ve got several weeks here before the season starts and then also into September. If he continues to get better that’d be great."

"The way this has gone, you don’t know" if he'll be ready to contribute in September. "It’ll be interesting to see how sore he is. Will he be able to practice Monday? Very well possibly, he will. We look at all that stuff, Rex looks at that and we make the right decisions."

KC Star: MU scrimmage notes: Morgan Steward thrilled to return to the field

Mizzou Tigers pennant Some miscues up front

Because it's the first scrimmage, and because Mizzou could be starting 4-5 seniors at any given moment, I kind of ignored Mizzou's offensive line issues -- run blocking was mediocre, and there were quite a few false starts and penalties. But obviously it's something that could become a concern if it continues to happen.


I'm honestly not even sure how to tell who's playing the best on the line during these scrimmages, because we have to watch so much and (sadly) do not have the benefit of replays. The coaches have raved about Nate Crawford, but he's still splitting reps with Clay Rhodes. False starts gave me PTSD flashbacks to last season. I have no good idea about who will start at left guard, although it appears Malik Cuellar will get a shot there.