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Tag:Gary Pinkel
Posted on: April 22, 2011 1:42 pm
 

Mizzou doesn't want QB rotation

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

You know there's a lack of consensus on how to deal with two evenly matched quarterbacks when even a conservative Bill Belichick disciple like Nick Saban admits he'd consider a platoon under center.

But as for where Missouri stands on the spectrum, offensive coordinator David Yost made it perfectly clear when speaking to the Columbia Daily Tribune: if at all possible, they'll be a one quarterback team:
"We haven’t discussed that, and that’ll come down to Coach [Gary] Pinkel," he said. "We have not done that in the past. Since we’ve been here we haven’t really been in that situation. At Toledo, we had a good competition one year between two guys. One guy separated himself and moved up. We haven’t been in a two-quarterback setup since I’ve been with" Pinkel ...

"Hopefully, we’ll have one [quarterback]," Yost continued. "I know this: It doesn’t always look pretty on the outside to everybody, but I know both guys have gotten a lot better. And whoever ends up being the guy, we’re going to be good at quarterback."
The "guys" in this situation are sophomore James Franklin and redshirt freshman Tyler Gabbert, brother of departed 2010 starter (and top-10 draft lock) Blaine Gabbert. Franklin had the better day at the Tigers' Black-Gold game on Saturday, completing 13 of 21 passes for 116 yards and a pair of two scores, while Gabbert went an ugly 8-of-22 for 48 yards a with a pick.

All the same, when the offensive coordinator is calling it a toss-up and the official Missouri site says "the battle is just getting started," it's too early to declare Franklin the front-runner. Right now, it seems safe to expect the decision to be made deep into fall camp.

But unlike with Alabama and several other schools, given Yost's comments, it also seems safe to expect Missouri to make that decision one way or the other.


Posted on: March 8, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 4:34 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Missouri

Posted by Tom Fornelli

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football  will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at Missouri , who begin spring practice today, March 8. 


Spring practice question:Who will replace Blaine Gabbert in Columbia? 

The last four seasons have been good to Missouri, as the Tigers have won 40 games over that span, including a 10-3 mark in 2010 that saw the Tigers knock off then #1 Oklahoma in October. Now, with Nebraska and Colorado gone, Missouri climbs the pecking order in the Big 12, and has to be considered a favorite along with Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.

Of course, before Mizzou can attempt to win the conference this season, they have another more basic task to figure out this spring. Who is going to replace Blaine Gabbert?

Gabbert was a big reason why the Tigers were successful the last two seasons, and now he's taken the 40 touchdowns he threw in his years as a starter to the NFL.

So while Gary Pinkel will have to find replacements for three missing starters in his secondary, a new quarterback will probably garner most of his attention the next few weeks. James Franklin (pictured), who will be a sophomore in 2011, has the most experience and will begin the spring atop the depth chart.

Franklin appeared in nine games for Missouri last season, but did so mostly out of the Wildcat formation as a runner, not a passer. Franklin threw 14 passes for the Tigers last season, and completed 11 of them, but the last pass he threw came in a 26-0 victory over Colorado on October 9. So all those passes came in blowouts against bad teams, which means we can't really use them as an indicator as to how efficient a passer Franklin can really be.

Franklin was used exclusively as a running quarterback following the Colorado game and through conference play, finishing the season with 116 yards and 2 touchdowns on 23 carries.

While Franklin starts the spring on top of the depth chart, he's going to have to work to stay there. While having a quarterback that can run out of the spread is a bonus, you aren't going to win consistently in the Big 12 without a strong passing attack. Just look at what happened to Nebraska last season anytime Taylor Martinez was forced to throw the ball.

Previous Spring Primers

Which is where Franklin's competition may wind up overtaking him.

Ashton Glaser and Tyler Gabbert, yes, Blaine's younger brother, should provide strong competition for Franklin, particularly Gabbert.

Gabbert redshirted in 2010, but impressed coaches during bowl practices last December. He's smaller than Franklin is, but like his older brother, he has a strong arm and can hurt defenses with his legs.

The true darkhorse in all of this will be incoming freshman Corbin Berkstresser. Berkstresser is more of a pro-style quarterback, with a big arm and a big body to go with it. At 6'3 and 224 pounds, it's possible that Berkstresser can come in this spring and take the job with his arm. Obviously, Berkstresser will start as the fourth option, but since this battle isn't expected to be over before the fall, that will give him time to learn the offense and impress his coaches.

All of which means that the competition this spring amongst Missouri quarterbacks won't just be one of the most important in the Big 12 this spring, but also one of the most interesting.

Gary Pinkel has sent his last two quarterbacks to the NFL. Will he find his third?
Posted on: February 1, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Pair of players arrested in Big 12 North

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With the 2010 season well behind us but spring camps still weeks away, it's prime season for offseason malfeasance and player arrests, as two players in the former Big 12 North have illustrated.

One is Missouri junior defensive tackle Jimmy Burge, who was arrested near Columbia Jan. 17 after several items of marijuana-related paraphernalia were found in his vehicle during a traffic stop. The arrest is Burge's second in less than four months after being cited in October for drinking while driving.

Burge was suspended for two games following that incident. A Missouri official said that "any discipline measures will be handled internally" in this case. Burge started six games a year ago and would be expected to hold onto that position this fall for the Tigers, assuming he remains with the team.

Perhaps on even thinner ice is Iowa State linebacker Matt Tau'fo'ou, who was arrested in the wee hours of Saturday morning and charged with drunken driving after a blood-alcohol test. He has been suspended indefinitely by ISU head coach Paul Rhoads "for failing to comply with team expectations and policies."

As with Burge, the run-in with the law is the second for Tau'fo'ou during his stay in Ames; he was also charged with fifth-degree misdemeanor theft in September 2009 after reportedly taking a piece of computer equipment from an ISU bookstore. The transfer from the College of San Mateo started two games in 2010 and made 20 tackles.

With the North dissolved and the Tigers and Cyclones tossed back into the mix with Oklahoma and Texas, no doubt this is a critical offseason for both programs ... and no doubt Gary Pinkel and Rhoads will hope this is as noisy as that offseason gets.

HT: DocSat.

Posted on: January 3, 2011 5:41 pm
 

Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert to go pro

Posted by Adam Jacobi

No big surprise out of Columbia today, as Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert announced that he'd be joining the NFL draft this year. Gabbert, a junior, didn't have a statistically dominant 2010 season, tallying just 16 touchdowns on the year, and recording only the eighth-best quarterback efficiency rating in the Big 12. Gabbert did look sensational in the Insight Bowl, however, shredding the normally stingy Iowa pass defense for 434 yards and a touchdown (though his game-losing interception was, to say the least, unfortunate).

“This is definitely a bittersweet day for me, I was really looking forward to having a chance to do some special things next season with my teammates, but in the end, this is the right decision to make for myself and my family,” said Gabbert in a statement released by Missouri today.   “These last three years have been an unbelievable experience for me, and I’ll miss being at Mizzou, but I’m definitely looking forward to this next stage of my life.  I’m so grateful to have been part of such a great program and all of the people who have helped me get to this point, and now I have to take what I’ve learned, and build on that for the next level."

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel praised his outgoing quarterback, calling Gabbert "an outstanding leader" for the Tigers and praising the hard work Gabbert put in as a two-year starter with Missouri.

And yet, though we don't doubt Pinkel's sincerity for a second as he lauds and encourages Gabbert, we must wonder how ready Missouri is to move on without its star quarterback. As the Columbia Tribune points out, the next-most experienced quarterback on the roster is freshman James Franklin , who completed 11 of 14 passes for 106 yards this year. Past that, it's fellow sophomore-to-be Ashton Glaser (no passing stats) and redshirting freshman Tyler Gabbert. Yes, Tyler and Blaine are brothers. No pressure, kid!

Posted on: December 29, 2010 8:36 am
Edited on: December 29, 2010 8:47 am
 

Bowl Grades: Insight Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Iowa used a interception return and a late replay overturn to upend Missouri in the fourth quarter, 27-24.

Iowa

Offense: A star was born for the Iowa Hawkeyes in Marcus Coker , a 230-pound true freshman tailback who gashed Missouri for 219 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. Coker's workhorse production -- both his carries and yardage were Iowa bowl records -- overshadowed the absence of starting tallback Adam Robinson , who was already suspended for academic reasons before his arrest Monday night. Coker showcased both power and speed, running over some tacklers and and running away from others, and his blitz pickup was stellar: Ricky Stanzi wasn't sacked all night.

And yet Stanzi was dismal in the second half; he threw two interceptions, and about three more passes that deserved to be picked off. A Missouri interception with under eight minutes to go seemed to put Iowa in a major hole, and if it weren't for the Micah Hyde pick-six on the ensuing possession -- more on that later -- there's no telling whether Stanzi could have driven the Hawkeyes for one last touchdown. It's an odd end for Stanzi's career as a Hawkeye to see him struggle, but get a win for it anyway, but college football can be an odd sport. Grade: B

Defense: What's better to focus on? The Micah Hyde interception and return for a touchdown that eventually won the game for Iowa, or the other 56 passes in which Blaine Gabbert passed for over 400 yards? In truth, both are immensely important in evaluating the Hawkeye defense, which took its "bend but don't break" philosophy to its absurd extreme tonight.

Still, for as much as Iowa's pass defense has been lauded, linebacker Troy Johnson was routinely victimized by Gabbert to the point that he was taken off the field in the first half and never heard from again -- to the point that Johnson was passed up for by true freshmen during the second half. It's good that Iowa took those steps, but if they were necessary, why was Johnson on the field in the first place? Grade: B-

Coaching: Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz deserves a great deal of credit for getting his team focused on the bowl game in spite of numerous off-field distractions, culminating in Robinson's arrest the day before the bowl game. It would be ridiculous to say Iowa didn't miss arrested wideout Derrell Johnson-Koulianos at the other WR spot -- just look at Stanzi's production in the second half -- but the offense stil produced all the same. That was hardly a given coming into the game, and the fact that Ferentz's boys come through to finish the first three-game bowl winning streak in Iowa history speaks volumes to Ferentz's abilities as a coach. Grade: B+

Missouri

Offense: Blaine Gabbert threw 18 completions for over 10 yards on the day, and his 41-57 performance doesn't truly give proper credit for his ability to hit his receivers in stride--half of Gabbert's incompletions hit his targets before bounding harmlessly incomplete. That was basically all the Missouri offense could do; situational running was a noted for its fumbles and failures as it was for its chains-moving. Blaine Gabbert threw for over 400 yards and his offense scored only 20 points; clearly, there's a bottleneck in play.

And yet, the Missouri receivers absolutely excelled. Wes Kemp had some highlight-reel catches as he overcame his season-long bout with the dropsies, T.J. Moe set an Insight Bowl record with 15 catches, and All-American TE Michael Egnew came alive in the second half to finish with seven catches for 64 yards and a score. Assigning blame for Missouri's loss to anybody on the offense seems a little silly. If T.J. Moe hadn't bobbled the 4th down pass after hitting the ground late in the game, as replay officials determined, there's no telling how Missouri would have finished the game. Grade: A-

Defense: Missouri's pass defense was its stingy self, but the image of the night was Marcus Coker trucking Missouri safety Jerrell Harrison on a 3rd and 1, then taking the ball for 30 more yards. Missouri's vaulted secondary ket Ricky Stanzi in check, but it ceded about seven yards a carry to Coker, and Iowa was wable to move the chains pretty much at will as a result. Aldon Smith and the rest of the Missouri defense line were essentially non-factors. Grade: C

Coaching: Iowa's first MVP for the game is Marcus Coker. Its second MVP is Missouri coach Gary Pinkel , who had a 3rd and 2 inside Iowa's 10-yard line after Gabbert had shredded the Iowa secondary on the opening drive, then called a QB keeper and a field goal. Oh, then Pinkel punted from Iowa's 40-yard line on a 4th and 6 in the second quarter. Pinkel also called numerous unorthodox runs in late-half situations, none of which got the ball out of bounds or otherwise challenged the Iowa defense. For as close as this game was and for as easily as Missouri moved the ball in the first half, it would be enormously presumptive to assume Miisouri wouldn't have scored any points if it had attempted both 4th downs. Would Missouri have struggled to keep a lead in the second half if it had maximized its point production in the first half? Grade: D

Final Grade

This may not have been quite as exciting a game as the Little Caesar's Bowl, but it was close, and the fact that Iowa made the fourth quarter comeback that eluded it during the entire 2010 season makes the game quite an important relic. The overturned catch call that handed Iowa the game will properly be scrutinized during the off-season, and Missouri fans can call foul until next September. Still, what a wonderful game for fans of both the Big Ten and Big 12 to watch, and what a redemption for an Iowa program that desperately needed a shot of good news for its seniors, who won 28 games and three straight bowl games -- the last of which is an Iowa senior record. If there's a mitigating factor for Missouri, it's that too much is generally made of bowl results; recall that just last year, Iowa was celebrating an Orange Bowl championship and setting its sights on higher accolades, while only the hardest of hardcore Missouri fans were tabbing this team for 10 wins.

If Blaine Gabbert comes back, Missouri is easily a 10-win candidate again in 2011. If this game is an encapsulation of a larger truth, Gabbert's pro prospects are definitely higher than those of Ricky Stanzi, who struggled mightily against an upper-echelon secondary in the second half. And yet, Iowa takes one last whack at its awful "Can't Finish" reputation with this win and sets the Law of Averages back on its way, while Missouri fans hope the loss means Gabbert's got another year in him in Columbia. All that and a 60-minute, 3-point game to show for it's pretty good, no? Grade: A


Posted on: December 20, 2010 3:36 pm
 

Mizzou players trade blows in practice

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's not too big a deal that Missouri defensive end Brad Madison injured himself in practice last Friday, since his broken middle finger won't keep him out of the lineup when the Tigers take on Iowa in the Insight Bowl Dec. 28.

But it certainly won't help the Tigers for their leader in sacks to play with a plate in his dominant hand, and the injury must sting Mizzou fans even worse when they read how it happened :
Madison broke the middle finger on his right hand in a practice scuffle ... Madison and senior defensive tackle Bart Coslet exchanged punches on two occasions during the practice and ultimately, after the second fracas, three teammates restrained Coslet from continuing the confrontation.
If it seems a little late in the year for the kind of overheated practice-field brawlin' that typically takes place during fall two-a-days, consider that head coach Gary Pinkel wasn't on hand to view Madison's and Coslet's shenanigans, having flown to New York to take part in the day's opening ceremony at NASDAQ.

The odds that either Madison's injury or one less-than-focused practice has any substantial impact on the Insight outcome are negligible. But it's also not the best statement about the seriousness of the Tigers' attitude towards their bowl game that the mice start playing games with each other's health the moment the cat steps away.

Posted on: November 28, 2010 12:46 am
 

What I learned from the Big 12 (Nov.27)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. They call it Bedlam for a reason.  Seriously, Saturday night's game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State lived up to the hype, particularly in the fourth quarter and the closing minutes.  Over the final 15 minutes the two teams combined for 40 points, 31 of which came in the final five minutes.  When the dust cleared Oklahoma emerged victorious, and there was a three-way tie atop the Big 12 South.  Though odds are that when the BCS rankings come out on Sunday, Oklahoma will be ranked the highest and therefore be on its way to Dallas for the Big 12 title game.

2. Which is where they'll find Nebraska.  Nebraska took any possible drama out of the race for the Big 12 North and disposed of it on Friday afternoon, smacking Colorado around to the tune of a 45-17 victory.  Of course, the Big 12 wasn't on hand to reward the Cornhuskers for their division championship because the conference was afraid. Seriously, I don't know if you heard, but Nebraska and the Big 12 aren't exactly BFF.

3. Missouri still has BCS hopes.  It's a long shot, sure, but the Tigers still have a chance to sneak in to a BCS game now that Boise State has lost, and depending on what happens next week.  It wouldn't be a bad consolation prize for Gary Pinkel's team.  By the way, did you know that Missouri has four 10-win seasons in school history and three of them have come with Pinkel in charge?  He's a keeper.

4. Somebody is getting fired in Texas. You know, something told me that if Texas could manage to get a win against Texas A&M on Thursday night and become bowl eligible, even though the season would be seen as a failure overall, the good will of beating the Aggies might save some jobs.  I doubt that's going to be the case anymore.  Sorry, Greg Davis.  I'm not sure you deserve it, but somebody has to be the scapegoat, and I don't think Mack Brown is falling on his sword.
Posted on: October 24, 2010 12:24 am
 

What I learned from the Big 12 (Oct. 23)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Missouri is for real.   Okay, I'm convinced now, are you happy, Tigers fans?  Missouri proved something to me on Saturday night be beating Oklahoma 36-27.  Still, what impressed me the most was Missouri's defense.  Landry Jones was pressured by the front seven all night, and though they gave up some yards and 27 points, they made a play everytime they needed to and forced a couple of big turnovers.  I also learned that Gary Pinkel likes to go for the throat, because a lot of teams might have gotten a bit too cautious down the stretch, but not Pinkel.  Pulling out the hook and ladder, along with throwing the ball late in the fourth quarter, and converting.  Kudos to you, sir.

2. Bob Stoops makes some very questionable decisions.   It all started with Stoops' decision to go for two after the Sooners had cut Missouri's lead to 36-27 late.  Obviously, they didn't convert, but even if they had it's still the wrong decision.  There's no point in going for two so early because if you do convert it's still a one-possession game, and if you don't it's a two-possession game.  That affects your playcalling ability because you can't afford to run the ball anymore.  And don't even get me started on Stoops' decision to punt on fourth down, down nine, with three minutes left and no timeouts.  Just bust out the white flag and go home, why don't you.

3. Baylor is going bowling.  Congratulations to the Baylor Bears for beating Kansas State 47-42 on Saturday night.  The win means that Baylor has six wins already this season, and that for the first time since it joined the Big 12, Baylor will be going to a bowl game this winter.

4. Hi, my name is Texas and I'm a schizophrenic.
  What do we make of this Texas team?  One week it's losing at home to an awful UCLA team, then it's knocking off undefeated Nebraska on the road.  Then it follows up that win, which has us wondering if maybe the Longhorns have worked things out, by losing to Iowa State at home?  Iowa State!?  At least people in Texas have the Rangers to root for right now, because the Horns won't be providing much entertainment in November.

5. Oklahoma State's defense just isn't good enough.
  Okay, so I didn't really learn that this week, I've pretty much felt that way all season, but it finally bit the Cowboys in the butt on Saturday against Nebraska.  The Cornhuskers put up 51 points and 540 yards of offense on Oklahoma State.  Though the good news for Oklahoma State is that Oklahoma lost too, so they didn't lose any ground in the Big 12 South.
 
 
 
 
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