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August 24, 2012
Thursday Scrimmage Notebook
It took about seven seconds for the hype to hit overdrive. In that span of time, Dorial Green-Beckham caught a short pass from Maty Mauk at the 45-yard line, shook a linebacker off his waist and raced the remaining 55 yards to the end zone.
It was the first scoring play of Missouri's final camp scrimmage and, make no mistake, it was the story.
"He can run. He's got great speed," Gary Pinkel said. "That speed is such a great weapon for any player and he has that. He's, right now, a lot different than he was ten practices ago. You all know that. Even you guys can figure that out."
Indeed, Green-Beckham has gone from super-hyped prospect to a player who looks like he can be a major factor in week one for Mizzou.
"At first if you looked at him, you didn't think he was running fast because his stride's so big, but when other guys got around him you could see he was really running fast because they weren't catching him," James Franklin said. "It doesn't seem like that, but he's really moving and I think guys misjudge that."
"He got to show off his speed a little bit," L'Damian Washington added. "The guy's so long, you really can't tell how fast he's going until you see guys just taking angles and he's pulling away from them. I think that was good for him to get his confidence up as camp breaks."
Not that there aren't improvements left to be made.
"He's thinking out there. He's thinking about routes, he's thinking about route adjustments, he's thinking about things he's never had to do," Pinkel said, recalling that he used to have the same criticism of Jeremy Maclin as a freshman. "And when you think, you don't play instinctively, you don't use all your speed."
But with Green-Beckham pitching in on a receiving corps that has returners T.J. Moe, L'Damian Washington and Marcus Lucas leading the way, hopes are high in Columbia as the opener approaches.
"I think we can be one of the best (receiving corps) in the nation. It's all about guys coming out every day and just living up to the potential," Washington said. "Because right now, it's just potential until we get a chance to go out on the field and show what we got."
"I think we've got some guys who are going to make some plays on offense," Pinkel said. "I think we're going to up the playmaker type numbers. In our offense, that helps us tremendously if we can do that. We haven't done it yet, but if we can do that."
For video of Green-Beckham's touchdown and the rest of the day's highlights, click on the video player below.
Coming into Thursday, one of the major questions was whether Max Copeland or Evan Boehm would start. After the scrimmage, the answer may be both.
Missouri has already lost three players off of its pre-camp two-deep on the offensive line. Early in Thursday's scrimmage, starting right guard Jack Meiners went down and had to be helped off the field.
Pinkel said after practice that Meiners had sprained his knee.
"We're hoping it's not serious," the coach said. "We'll get an MRI and see what's up with that."
If Meiners is unable to go, Copeland would start at right guard with the true freshman Boehm getting the nod at left guard. Connor McGovern and Nick Demien were working as the second team guards after Meiners went down.
Even if Meiners is okay, Boehm and Copeland will both be in the rotation.
"I think they're both gonna play," Pinkel said. "We'd like to play more players. That's what I always tell our players, you don't have to be a starter to play. You just have to prove you're good enough to play. If you happen to have a good player in front of you, we'll play both of you."
It could be Monday at media day before an update on Meiners' condition is available.
Neither had much to be pleased about on Thursday. Both went 3-for-7 in the scrimmage. Each made kicks from 36, 38 and 43 yards. Both missed from 32, 39, 40 and 45. Barrow's 45-yarder was blocked.
"Little disappointed in our field goals. Not competing there as well or as consistent as we'd like," Pinkel said. "Went through that a year ago, we know what that's like. That's Missouri beating Missouri. We've got to work that out."
The battle may last through game week, but Pinkel will pick either Barrow or Baggett to handle the job against Southeast Louisiana.
The following players sat out the scrimmage due to injury:
Kip Edwards, Eric Waters, L'Damian Washington, Braylon Webb, Will Ebner, Sean Culkin, Matt Hoch, Lucas Vincent
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