Mizzou Football Spring Game: Recap

Saturday, April 20-

Following a disappointing 5-7 campaign in 2012, the Missouri football team came into the annual Black and Gold game with a revamped roster, and many different positional storylines. The players let these scenarios play out in a defensive battle that was won by the first-string team, Mizzou 1, 21-14.

The game pitted the second string athletes against the first string athletes in the first half, with the third and fourth string players seeing game action in the second half. To begin the contest, the second string team, Tiger 2, began the game with a 14-point cushion.

Mizzou 1 scored 21 unanswered, and the defense shutout Tiger 2 as the starters rolled to victory. All three of its touchdowns were scored on the ground. After a Marcus Murphy touchdown in the first quarter and a Henry Josey score in the second, it was a stalemate for almost the entire second half. This tie was broken with 54 seconds left by a three-yard touchdown from redshirt freshman running back Andrew Stevens.

One of the storylines going into the game was the brewing quarterback competition. James Franklin is currently the favorite to win the battle, and played well for a guy who was sidelined for much of least season with injuries. Franklin showed why he is the number one option as he played the best out of the quarterbacks, going 9-of-15 for 80 yards. These stats won’t blow anyone away, but he was able to manage the game and go without a turnover.

The other two quarterbacks looking to earn themselves playing time got more action than Franklin on Saturday, but were both bit by the turnover bug. Maty Mauk, who is gaining the most attention as a possible threat to Franklin’s spot, went 6-of-17 and threw two interceptions. Corbin Berkstresser posted very similar numbers as Mauk, going 9-of-18 for 93 yards while also tossing two interceptions.

Another lingering subplot was the health of running back Henry Josey, who missed all of last season with an ACL injury. Josey led all players in carries on Saturday, but could never seem to get going, carrying the ball eight times for 13 yards and one touchdown.

Many fans also came out to see star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and he dazzled. Green-Beckham didn’t play for most of the contest, but when he did, he caught three passes for 49 yards. This included a 35 yard catch and run in which Green-Beckham showed off his jets on a crossing rout and out ran multiple defenders for extra yardage.

The offensive line was also a giant question mark coming into Saturday, especially at the center position. 2012 first team freshman All-American Evan Boehm, who is a left guard by nature, moved to the center position during the offseason. Boehm looked flawless in his first go around, refraining from any wild snaps, something that was a major issue for Mizzou last season.

The Tigers will spend the rest of the offseason preparing for their season opener, a home game on August 31 against Murray State.

-Eric Kelly
23 Sports
Staff Writer