Missouri’s Black and Gold spring football game on Saturday at the school is closed to the public due to “space limitations,” the school announced in a press release Wednesday.
However, the team did away with the why game and would instead hold a normal indoor practice at Devine Pavilion, which is still open to parents, former players and the media.
“When you look at the calendar and the weather in March, it’s obviously going to be pretty cold Friday and Saturday,” Mizzou head coach Eli Drinkwitz Said. “I don’t think anybody wants to practice on the Sabbath. So, that ended. You can push it back a week, but we’ve got spring break next Saturday and I didn’t think the fans would Attendance would be so nice.” Nor did I think our player attendance would be so good. (Also,) with the game being so close and the parents already coming, I didn’t feel like it was fair of them (not being able to attend).
For the spring game last year, players were drafted to the teams, but with some minor injuries on the roster, not wanting to push the veterans too hard for the spring game and lacking depth at certain positions, the team decided that it wasn’t going the way the team wanted it to go.
“We only have four offensive tackles that have practiced all spring and I don’t think this is a situation where we want javon foster Drinkwitz said taking multiple pictures at a spring game. “We have the same kind of thing at a lot of other positions. There are some injuries right now at the safety position that aren’t long term or serious but we’re going to keep them out this week. We weren’t going to have a game-like atmosphere for the fans.” Be able to split the teams up the way we wanted to make.”
Big concerns remain at center and tight end
All spring the coaching staff has said that every position is fillable. For positions such as quarterback, tight end, center and left guard that may be more true than for other positions.
When it comes to tight end and center, in particular, it seems like they have more questions to catch up on than other positions.
“Yeah, we have to improve quite honestly,” Drinkowitz said in reference to the center position. We’re not playing the football consistently enough (and) physically behind our pads with the right pad level.”
Not only are few basics a problem at center, but Drinkowitz noted players competing for the position (conor tolleson, bence polgar And drake hesmeyer) needed to grow up to handle the demands of the position. It was something Drinkowitz said about Tollison at the beginning of last season.
Tollison is currently listed at 6-foot-4 and 286 pounds, Polgar is listed at 6-foot-2 and 326 pounds, while Heismeyer comes in at 6-foot-3 and 302 pounds.
Drinkwitz said, “We have to move our weight, play more physically and match the intensity of whatever we do to play in the SEC, and we just don’t have that.”
If Drinkowitz doesn’t see an improvement he’d like, he said it’s possible the team could move someone from another position to play center.
“So, it’s a position that we should be open to moving other guys to see who else can snap because there’s an old saying in baseball that I think applies to football, ‘ You’re only as good as you are up middle,’ and you have to be strong in the middle to be effective,” Drinkowitz said. “On offense, this will be your center and quarterback and on defense, this will be your defensive tackle, middle linebacker and free safety.”
However, Drinkowitz didn’t mince words too much when it came to tight ends.
“I think they’re trying, but we need to be more physical at the point of attack,” Drinkowitz said. “We have to be more consistent catching the ball.”
The team has four star signings Brett Norfleet Coming to the end of the year, but that won’t be an option this spring as he’s still finishing high school. If the Tigers aren’t satisfied at center or tight end after spring ball, they’ll see what they can get in the transfer portal when it opens May 1-15.
The Spring Games would have been a great indicator of who could translate their play in practice for live action in front of a crowd. Nonetheless, Drinkowitz was still upbeat about the spring performance of several players, starting with one of his better defensive players.
,annis rakestra Drinkwitz said, “Has done a good job of focusing and you can tell he’s determined to accomplish what he wants to accomplish.” “He pays great attention to detail in person, one-on-one or on perimeter drills.”
Rackestrow is looking to build on a 2022 season that saw him rank third in the conference in pass deflections with 36 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three fumbles and one fumble recovery.
,jayden jernigan Has continued to transform his body in a positive way on the defensive line and has become an effective player inside and along Darius (Robinson) Sliding into defensive end for most of the spring, he (Jernigan) took advantage of his rep and his opportunity to impact the game,” Drinkwitz said.
Jernigan is rejoining a defensive tackle room whose top five players are returning in 2023.
,Jaylon Carlisle “We’ve done a great job being intentional in our drills, especially in our tackling drills and our duplication circuit,” Drinkwitz said. He knew he needed to be aware.”
Karlies was second on the team in missed tackles with 11 in 2021 and third last year with 11, so tackling has been a key focus for him the past few seasons.
JUCO First-Team All-American Linebacker Transfer Tristan Newson “Had an outstanding spring and been the player of the day multiple times” for both special teams and defense.
Finally on the defensive side, the three-star signer zahkai lang Has made progress in his short time at the college level.
“[The]early graduates came in and got some reps with the first team defensive end,” Drinkwitz said. “So, I’m really impressed with Zahkai and Tristan and obviously they have to keep getting better.”
Offensively, Drinkowitz called the wide receiver mookie cooper Has been offensive player of the day on multiple occasions while running back nathaniel peet Seems more comfortable in planning and is picking up details well. Quarterback Jake Garcia The Oklahoma wide receiver turned in his best practice Tuesday after throwing a couple of passing touchdowns in one- and two-minute drills during the transfer theo weiss continues to impress.
On special teams, Drinkowitz said Towson punter transfer riley williams he is doing well because he competes luke bauer to the initial puncture spot.
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