Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mizzou Notes: Early Penalties Are Costly for Tigers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mizzou Notes: Early Penalties Are Costly for Tigers

Article excerpt

COLUMBIA, Mo. * Missouri coach Gary Pinkel has marveled all season about the precocious play of his freshman defensive linemen, but two personal foul penalties by the rookies proved costly in the first half in Saturday's 21-3 loss to Florida.

On the Gators' game-opening drive, defensive end Nate Howard slammed into Florida wideout Brandon Powell after teammate Michael Scherer had already dropped him for a tackle, drawing a 15-yard personal foul that gave the Gators a first down on MU's 11-yard line. Four yards later, Florida was in the end zone with Kelvin Taylor's 1-yard run. It was the Gators' first touchdown on its first possession of a game since 2013.

Later in the first quarter, freshman defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. was flagged for grabbing quarterback Will Grier's facemask along the sideline, another 15-yard penalty against the Tigers. Three players later, another Taylor touchdown, from the 1- yard line, was good for a 14-3 Florida lead. Beckner missed the second quarter and second half of last week's win over South Carolina after being ejected for targeting on a helmet-to-helmet collision.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Grant Jones was also flagged for a personal foul on a punt return that cost the Tigers field position. Pinkel noted that all three penalties were committed by freshmen. But "At the end of the day you don't asterisk the fouls (because they're freshmen)," he said.

With Grier getting the ball out quick, Mizzou's usually active pass rush failed to get much pressure on the quarterback in the first half. By halftime, Grier completed 15 of 22 passes for 154 yards and got sacked just once, a second-quarter takedown by defensive end Charles Harris.

Beckner dropped Grier for his first career sack on the opening possession of the second half. Florida's second series began with another Mizzou sack, this one by linebacker Donavin Newsom. …

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