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August 18, 2006

Free Practice report: Scrimmage next

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The Missouri Tigers geared up for Saturday's second scrimmage of the fall with a shorts and shells workout on the grass practice fields on Friday morning. The workout marked the final morning session of camp as classes start Monday at Mizzou.

*Brad Ekwerekwu, Adam Casey, Andrew Hoskins and Van Alexander were held out of all drills.

*Jason Ray was in a red tank top, but did practice. Ray is battling turf toe.

*With all the receivers out, players such as Lucas Null and Blake May are getting valuable chances with the second-string offense. Greg Bracey is also taking full advantage of the time with the top offense in practice.

*Marcus Woods was back full-go at practice and should see his first scrimmage action tomorrow.

*Jared Perry seems to have a knack for finding holes in the defense. He got open against a zone and picked up about 30 yards on a bullet from Chase Patton.

*In line drills, the offense was looking a little better than in the past. Joel Clinger stood Xzavie Jackson up on one play. Shortly thereafter, Louis Pintola and Stryker Sulak got into a scuffle. The players had hold of each others' facemasks and Sulak tried to get in a shot to the head. Teammates pulled the duo apart.

*In watching kickoff drills, here are a few players that looked to be on the top coverage team: Brandon Massey, Chad Washington, Cornelius Brown, Brian Smith, Sulak and Darnell Terrell.

*James Stigall had some issues with the snaps today. That made Dave Christensen less than happy. On the positive side, Adam Spieker seems to have corrected that problem.

*Connell Davis ripped off a real nice run during inside run drills. He has been holding on to the ball far, far better since the day Gary Pinkel let him have it.

*Big hit of the day came from Domonique Johnson, though he didn't really do much. Martin Rucker caught a crossing pattern. Just as T-Ruck, turned, Johnson was right there. Rucker ran into Johnson, who stood his ground as the big tight end hit the dirt. The hit drew big cheers from the defense.

*Chase Daniel and Brandon Coleman both led their units to field goals in the two-minute drill at the end of practice. Coleman led the two offense all the way down to the 10-yard line against the number one D. The Tigers kicked the field goal on second down.

*There are a few new walk-ons on the team: Tight end Devin Evans wears #46, tight end Greg Weeble is #29 and wideout Chris Gares, who was on the team in the spring, is back wearing #80.

*Play of the Day: Forgive me for having some nostalgia on this one. As Tony Temple walked through the lobby on his way to lunch, he was bouncing a tennis ball. Myself, another reporter and the SID all immediately said, "Bounce Back Week!" In homage to Larry Smith, the tennis ball makes the play of the day.

*Player of the Day: This one comes out of left field, but walk-on kicker Jeff Wolfert is starting to make this kicking race interesting. Both he and Adam Crossett were good from 53 yards in the two-minute drill. After Wolfert split the uprights from 27, Crossett pushed his kick wide right. Pinkel said he gives Crossett some leeway for the game-winning kicks he has made over the last couple years, and you certainly can't forget them. But tomorrow's scrimmage is big. Wolfert has been the better kicker this week.

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