COLUMBIA | Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon chose to be magnanimous about the Missouri defense applying repeated kicks to the posterior of the Missouri offense on Wednesday morning.
“It’s safe to say we both got better,” Weatherspoon said, trying to suppress a supremely satisfied smile. “That’s the safest thing to say.”
However, on the third day of Missouri’s pre-season football camp, the domination of the No. 1 defense over the No. 1 offense was obvious.
Dain Wise, starting right guard, spent the day backpedaling against the rush from the left side of the defensive line.
Defensive end Stryker Sulak put starting left guard Ryan Madison on his back.
Safety William Moore spent the morning blitzing into the backfield. In addition, even when starting tackles Colin Brown and Kurtis Gregory managed to handle Moore, other defenders got through.
A worrisome omen that the new MU offensive line may need some shoring up?
Well, Elvis Fisher looked good enough on the second team to warrant a try on the first team. And freshman Dan Hoch has been impressive on the third team.
Both are tackles, not guards. But guard seems to be MU’s weak point on the o-line.
Still, Moore said it would be a mistake to read too much into one day.
“I would never say we’re better than this offense,” Moore said. “You never know what to expect out of this offense.”
DUSTUP WITH DANIEL: During 7 on 7 drills, Moore burst through, leaped high and blocked a Chase Daniel pass.
“We got into it,” Moore said. “Coach called a blitzing play and there’s no o-line (in 7 on 7), so I’m free. He threw the ball and I swatted it down.
“He said, `What the hell are you doing?
“`He said (with an offensive line) you would have gotten cut.’
Moore spat back: “No I wouldn’t.”
Moore and Daniel engage in a lot of that sort of give and take.
“I talk as much noise as I can to him,” Moore said. “because I know he’s a competitor. He’s going to bring it right back.”
ANOTHER IN THE HOUSE: Freshman receiver Rolandis Woodland was held out of practice after becoming the third MU player to run afoul of the NCAA Clearinghouse on eligibility.
“We expect it all to work out,” said MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel. “We’re on top of that stuff pretty good, but sometimes it’s through the high school or the Clearinghouse or the testing sites.
Having yet to practice at all because of previously announced Clearinghouse problems are running back Drew Temple and defensive end Aldon Smith.
COFFMAN DROPS: Missouri pre-season All-Big 12 tight end Chase Coffman dropped a couple of passes. Well, one anyway. The other was slapped out of Coffman’s hands for a fumble by Carl Gettis. The fumble was recovered by receiver Tommy Saunders.
LINEBACKER SLOWED: Rehabbing from knee surgery, often-injured senior linebacker Van Alexander is doing his best to keep up his spirits.
“Hopefully it will feel 100 percent by the Illinois game,” said Alexander, adding that he did not feel cursed by a career full of injuries that have limited his playing time.
“It’s just kind of been a few unlucky spells for me,” he said. “Really, I’ve just missed a few games and one season.”
He missed the first six games of the 2006 season and made only six tackles after coming back. Last season Alexander played in all 14 games and had a career-high 60 tackles.
CORBETT GONE: Pinkel confirmed reserve senior defensive end Jaysen Corbett has left the team. Corbett played in every game last season and had seven tackles.
JONES TOUGH ON MOYE: After struggling to complete conditioning runs on Tuesday, safety Gilbert Moye had it even tougher on Wednesday.
Moye was leveled by a block from freshman tight end Andrew Jones. Jones then rubbed it in a bit, staringMoye down as Moye tried to get off the ground.
FAN DAY TIME CHANGE: Sunday’s Fan Day at Memorial Stadium will now begin at 3:45 p.m. and end at 5:15. Admission is free. Free posters will be available during autograph sessions.