Missouri's Daniel sharp in scrimmage

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Tigers open their season Sept. 1 against Illinois in St. Louis.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Chase Daniel and the No. 1 offense were sharp Monday in Missouri's first scrimmage of the preseason, but coach Gary Pinkel sees plenty of room for improvement.

Daniel was 9-for-12 for 182 yards primarily against the No. 2 defense. He completed his first five passes to three different receivers before the 2 1/2-hour practice was moved inside due to inclement weather.

Pinkel liked much of what he saw during the 160-play scrimmage, but noted the starting offense "made some mistakes. They turned the ball over, they took a sack -- there's always things to work on."

Missouri is less than three weeks away from its Sept. 1 opener against Illinois in St. Louis.

Daniel, a junior coming off a record year in yardage and touchdown passes, was nearly flawless at the outset with Danario Alexander as his favorite target. The sophomore wide receiver caught three passes for 79 yards.

"He's pretty good, isn't he?" Pinkel said. "He's a playmaker. Chase Daniel has a lot of good perimeter people to get the football to, and we're very fortunate enough to have those caliber of athletes."

Alexander caught 15 passes for 251 yards and a touchdown last season. He expects to improve on those numbers.

"I feel great going away from this," Alexander said of the scrimmage. "Chase gave me a chance to make plays and I did what I could do."

The No. 1 defense got the better of the top offense on two series. In the first, running back Jimmy Jackson lost a fumble; in the second, Daniel was sacked to end the series.

"We didn't perform well against the ones at all," Daniel said. "It's just nit-pick stuff, but we'll fix it."

Daniel's backup, Chase Patton, led the No. 2 offense against the No. 1 defense and completed 12 of 21 passes for 216 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

The first of the scores came on the first play of his second series, when Patton hit wide receiver Greg Bracey streaking down the left sideline for a 75-yard touchdown. His second was a 37-yarder to Jared Perry.


* Running back Tony Temple, who injured his knee Aug. 7, was held out of all drills while starting cornerback Darnell Terrell (hamstring) warmed up but did not scrimmage.

* Backup running back Marcus Woods, who started the scrimmage in Temple's spot, was carted off the field after injuring his right ankle following an 18-yard run. He had four carries for 41 yards. Details of his injury were not made available.

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