COLUMBIA – — There’s still a long way to go in Missouri’s three-man quarterback derby, obviously, but redshirt freshman Maty Mauk on Saturday showed some of the promise that made him a highly touted prospect in the Class of 2012.
In the Tigers’ first scrimmage of the spring, Mauk completed 11 of 19 passes for a team-high 140 yards. He also showed a willingness to scramble out of the pocket — he ran for a team-best 81 yards on eight carries — and finished with a touchdown rushing, a touchdown passing and an interception.
“Maty’s mobility, that’s just kind of the way he is; that’s a part of his makeup,” said Tigers coach Gary Pinkel. “He’s got great feet, he can run, he’s got good speed. You can buy time and extend the play and make things happen.”
Pinkel added that Mauk has a tendency to always want to make the big play, which sometimes leads to mistakes. But quarterbacks coach Andy Hill said there’s a fine line between helping a player and stifling his creativity, and the staff is conscious of that with Mauk.
“He’s smart enough to know if it’s there or not,” Hill said. “I think when you do have a good set of legs as a quarterback, you do have a tendency to want to get out quicker than normal. But I think he stays in the pocket pretty well.”
Mauk is competing this spring against incumbent James Franklin, who completed 13 of 22 passes for 115 yards, a touchdown and an interception on Saturday. His touchdown pass, a 25-yard strike to a streaking Dorial Green-Beckham down the sideline, came just moments after his interception, which pleased Hill.
Redshirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser, the other man in the three-way competition, completed eight of 22 passes for 52 yards.
Hill said all three players shared the same number of reps with the first-team offense. And though he was pleased with some of the things they did, he noted that as a group, his quarterbacks were not as “sharp” as they had been in recent practices.
“There were flashes of very good things,” Hill said. “But at the same time, we’re going to be judged by how many times we turn the ball over. And all three of the guys made decisions where you’d want them to have the ball back. We’ve been better than that in our practices up to this point, so it’s kind of disappointing today that we had so many turnovers.”
Tempo a key in new offense
Saturday’s scrimmage provided the first glimpse of what Missouri’s offense will look like under new coordinator Josh Henson. There was a clear emphasis placed on increasing the tempo, as plays seemed to be called faster and players got to the line quicker than they did last year.
“It’s a huge change,” said redshirt freshman linebacker Michael Scherer. “The tempo, it will get to you defensively ... you get out there, and maybe the first two plays you’re alright. And then you’re out there huffing and puffing. When they go tempo, it will be a good thing for our offense.”
There were also very few empty sets — a staple of last year’s offense — in the scrimmage. The MU quarterback was often flanked by a running back and four receivers, with one being a tight end split out wide.
Speaking of Scherer …
One player who made a pair of standout plays on defense was Scherer, who intercepted two passes. On the first, he came down with the ball after cornerback John Gibson tipped it into the air. On the second, he said he read Franklin’s eyes and broke on the ball.
Scherer, who was third on the depth chart at middle linebacker (behind seniors Andrew Wilson and Michael Brennan) entering the spring, said he’s striving to earn his coaches’ trust so he can see some playing time in the team’s base packages.
“I’ve got to work on with my coverage,” Scherer said. “I had a pretty good day today in zone, but my man coverage needs to improve a lot.”
O-line takes shape
The first-team offensive line looked like this: Evan Boehm at center, Connor McGovern and Max Copeland at guard and Justin Britt and Mitch Morse at tackle. Ole Miss transfer Mitch Hall, a sophomore, rotated in for Copeland on the left side while sophomore Brad McNulty rotated in for McGovern.
With senior Randy Ponder sitting out due to injury, sophomore David Johnson and redshirt freshman John Gibson rotated at first-team cornerback opposite senior E.J. Gaines. All three finished with two pass breakups apiece.
• Redshirt freshman linebacker Torey Boozer and senior tight end Eric Waters also sat out with injuries.
MISSOURI SCRIMMAGE STATS
(For Saturday, April 6)
DEFENSE 24, OFFENSE 10
•Greg White 27 run
•Maty Mauk 13 run
•Dorial Green-Beckham 25 pass from James Franklin
•Miles Drummond 30 pass from Maty Mauk
Maty Mauk – 11-19, 140 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
James Franklin – 13-22, 115 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Corbin Berkstresser – 8-22, 52 yards
Eddie Printz, Jr. – 6-7, 47 yards
Trent Hosick – 3-7, 14 yards
M. Mauk – 8 carries, 81 yards, 1 TD
Greg White – 4 carries, 42 yards, 1 TD
Marcus Murphy – 7 carries, 38 yards
Tyler Hunt – 8 carries, 28 yards
Henry Josey – 8 carries, 28 yards
Morgan Steward – 5 carries, 24 yards
Russell Hansbrough – 3 carries, 19 yards
Andrew Stevens – 2 carries, 7 yards
Miles Drummond – 3 carries, 5 yards
C. Berkstresser – 1 carry, 2 yards
J. Franklin – 1 carry, 0 yards
Dorial Green-Beckham – 7 catches, 82 yards, 1 TD
Levi Copelin – 5 catches, 31 yards
Sheldon Gerau – 4 catches, 17 yards
L’Damian Washington – 3 catches, 20 yards
M. Drummond – 2 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD
Marcus Lucas – 2 catches, 27 yards
James Driskell – 2 catches, 11 yards
Tyler Hanneke – 2 catches, 11 yards
Brandon Colbert – 2 catches, 8 yards
Jimmie Hunt – 1 catch, 28 yards
Sean Culkin – 1 catch, 20 yards
Darius White – 1 catch, 17 yards
R. Hansbrough – 1 catch, 12 yards
Wesley Leftwich – 1 catch, 12 yards
Jaleel Clark – 1 catch, 10 yards
T. Hunt – 1 catch, 10 yards
M. Murphy – 1 catch, 6 yards
Bud Sasser – 1 catch, 6 yards
Gavin Otte – 1 catch, 1 yard
Andrew Stevens – 1 catch, 1 yard
Morgan Steward – 1 catch, 0 yards
Andrew Baggett – 1-2, make from 26, miss from 45
Blake Owens – 1-1, make from 43
Nick Coffman – 0-1, miss from 26
Michael Scherer – 2 for no gain
TACKLES FOR LOSS
Kentrell Brothers – 1
Matt Hoch – 1
Keric Lickerman – 1
Steven Mack – 1
Michael Sam – 1
Andrew Wilson – 1
Matt Hoch – 1.5
Michael Sam 1.5
Markus Golden – 1
E.J. Gaines – 2
John Gibson – 2
David Johnson – 2
David Sowell – 2
Brayden Burnett – 1
Kony Ealy –1
Daniel Easterly – 1
Michael Sam – 1
Michael Sam – 1
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/04/06...#storylink=cpy