COLUMBIA, MO - It was a low scoring, evenly matched affair Saturday morning at Faurot Field as the Mizzou defense beat the offense 16-12 in the Tigers' first scrimmage.“Overall I thought it was a good day," said head coach Gary Pinkel. "In these scrimmages you’re going against yourself – one side will obviously make plays and sometimes the other side makes mistakes. Too many penalties, which is typical of the first scrimmage, but I thought the hitting was good, I thought we were competitive, we’ll get some guys back next week.”
Quarterback James Franklin was sharp in his return from offseason shoulder surgery, throwing 18 for 22 with 228 yards.“I thought he did a good job," commented Pinkel. "He’s an experienced player. I thought he did pretty good at making decisions. Overall, the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense had a pretty good day so I think you’re always encouraged by that.”
Freshman QB Maty Mauk got the most reps on offense, throwing 25-36 with 152 yards.
Meanwhile, the offensive line struggled at times.
“We’ve got some offensive line issues. We had three guys that started the season that we thought would be in the top-10 and they’re not even going to play. We’re working through all that. Evan Boehm, for a young player, he’s out there starting and he looks the part. He did a lot of good things, along with some other guys. We’ll get Justin Britt back next week, we think at the end of next week, and that will help us a little bit. Elvis (Fisher) got a full day out there.
Kendial Lawrance and Marcus Murphy split most of the carries, gaining 35 and 37 yards respectively on 11 carries.
“Our running backs, I think we’ve got some good speed and depth and our running game is certainly real important to us. We just need more continuity in our offense. We need to be a more efficient passing team and with the running game, that’s what will make us a real good football team.”
One of Pinkel's top concerns Saturday was on his players health.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries on our offensive line two years in a row and we’ve just got to keep doing what we do. We’re not going to change things, it happens, you know? We’ve also had years without any injuries, you just deal with it. Move them over, move them up, that’s just what we do. Things happen, you’ve got to work through it.”