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Friday, August 21, 2009
Pinkel: 'We should be further ahead'

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Missouri's second scrimmage didn't provide much encouragement for Coach Gary Pinkel as the Tigers continue preseason practice.

In fact, the Tigers might have taken a big step backwards as the Tigers prepare for their Sept. 5 opener in St. Louis against Illinois.

"I thought it was kind of sloppy," Pinkel told reporters after Thursday's practice. "The (first-string) one offense was lethargic out there, made a lot of mistakes. And when you have penalties, you have sacks.

"It just dissolves execution. I'm disappointed in that."

Pinkel was also angry that his defense was singed for three touchdowns in two-minute and short-field situations.

"The one defense played pretty good," Pinkel said, "but certainly giving up a couple of big plays at the end is certainly not what you want to be about."

The Tigers line struggled without starting tackle Dan Hoch. His replacement, All-Big 12 guard Kurtis Gregory, was beaten several times at his new position by backup defensive end Brad Madison.  

The defense won the scrimmage, 34-20, as points were given for three-and-outs, sacks, turnovers and other big plays.

Projected QB starter Blaine Gabbert was 14-of-21 for 121 yards and a 11-yard touchdown to Danario Alexander. Jimmy Costello was 18-of-25 for 137 yards with an interception and a 29-yard TD strike to Rolandis Woodland. Blaine Dalton was 12-of-22 for 72 yards and a 3-yard TD pass to Michael Egnew.

Gilbert Moye was the leading rusher with 40 yards on three carries.  Jerrell Jackson, the recent addition to Missouri's No. 1 offensive unit, produced team-best totals of six receptions and 60 receiving yards.

Linebacker Will Ebner and defensive Aldon Smith each produced a sack and two tackles for losses. And freshman linebacker Andrew Wilson and redshirt freshman cornerback Robert Steeples accounted for interceptions. 

But the Tigers' struggles left Pinkel knowing that more immediate improvement will be needed soon with the start of the season looming barely two weeks away.

"I just think we should be further ahead than we are right now," Pinkel said.