Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Offense Sluggish in Mizzou's Final Scrimmage

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Offense Sluggish in Mizzou's Final Scrimmage

Article excerpt

COLUMBIA, Mo. * One lousy scrimmage can't undo the progress Missouri's offense has made this offseason, but after grading the film of Thursday's final dress rehearsal, Gary Pinkel and his offensive staff might want to find a warm, safe place for the footage like the crackling flames of a campfire.

"There is no excuse for the way we played today," co-offensive line coach Bruce Walker said, still fuming after he chewed out his first- and second-team linemen on Faurot Field.

Missing a key starter, Walker's offensive line didn't do much particularly well, except move before the snap. The Tigers were flagged for six false start penalties and a couple illegal blocks.

"There's no excuse to false starts," Walker said. "That's a matter of not being mentally ready to go. ... Guess what, we won't be false-starting in the first game because I just took the first step to ending that crap. And you saw it."

Before Walker tore into his linemen, Missouri's defensive front spent the first two hours of the scrimmage undressing a group that was missing center Evan Boehm, who sat out with a sore foot, the first missed practice by a starter or key backup along the offensive line this preseason. With backup Brad McNulty working at first-team center, the line struggled at times to keep a clean pocket for an offense that produced just one touchdown drive.

Tailback Henry Josey was the lone bright spot for the offense. With his biggest scrimmage workload of the preseason, he ran for 49 yards on six carries, showing no signs of a sore hamstring that kept him out of a practice last week, much less his 2011 knee injury that required three surgeries and nearly two years on the sideline.

"You need those touches to get consistent with things and keep improving like I want to," said Josey, who ran for just 19 yards on eight carries in the first two scrimmages. "I've been waiting to get myself going like I did today. I've just been telling myself, 'Just keep getting positive yards. Let's get four (yards) this time. Get four this time.' "

"He looks great," offensive coordinator Josh Henson said. "He's looked great in practice. …

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