The big news yesterday for Missouri was the unveiling of the new uniforms for five different sports, most notably football. However, there was also a football game played, the annual Black and Gold Game.
As a whole, the team (especially the starters) looked shaky and inconsistent. Although a total of 12 players (many of them starters) did not play due to injury. The most inconsistent was backup quarterback Corbin Berkstresser, whose inexcusable pick-6 to Donovan Bonner left fans praying for a speedy recovery by starter James Franklin. Asthon Glaser looked solid at the QB position, but he did the same at last year’s spring game, so don’t expect much when it comes time for the regular season.
Runningback Kendial Lawrence looked like his usual self yesterday. Had a couple outstanding runs, but a couple plays where he tries to do too much, instead of just running north and south. Marcus Murphy looked very solid in his first public action since missing all of last year due to injury.
The receivers as a whole looked very good, although towards the end of the game, their hands were less consistent. T.J. Moe looked faster on a 32-yard touchdown catch from Berkstresser. Marcus Lucas made a couple fantastic plays, and definitely looks the part of a great starting WR. Watch for Jimmie Hunt to make an impact off the bench this year. He had an 88-yard touchdown catch from Glaser against the starting defense. Rolandis Woodland flashed some of the potential Missouri fans have been waiting for, with 3 catches for 41 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers need Elvis Fisher to be back, plain and simple. Replacement Taylor Chappell did not play like a starting-caliber left tackle, giving up a few sacks to redshirt sophomore-to-be Shane Ray. Ray was beating him with every move in his arsenal, but mostly with a simple speed rush to the outside, and Chappell didn’t have the lateral quickness to stop him. Tiger fans are praying that Ray is just really good.
The defense, as a whole, did better than the offense. Interceptions came from Bonner and safety Kevie Defranc, a redshirt freshman from Florida. There was constant pressure on the quarterback, with sacks coming from Shane Ray, Michael Sam, Lucas Vincent, and Jimmy Burge. Backup linebacker Darvin Ruise led the team in tackles with 8.