With seven days to go before the Tigers' final scrimmage of fall camp, here are seven questions we still need answers to.
1. Why wasn't James Franklin named starter sooner?
5. Can the Tigers count on a freshman opposite E.J. Gaines?
Washington was just trying to help John Gibson, but it didn't appear that way during Missouri's second scrimmage of camp.
Washington, a senior wide receiver, was lined up on Gibson, a freshman cornerback, to start the scrimmage. On the first play from scrimmage for the offense, Washington beat Gibson in coverage for a 20-yard catch and run. A learning moment.
"I'm just trying to help him out," Washington said. "When I'm on the field, I'm teaching him also."
Washington told Gibson, who has been his roommate all summer, that he needed to do a better job of getting into the wide receiver's chest. He tried to boost his confidence, not wanting the freshman to lose faith in his talent.
On the next play, Washington tore that confidence down, catching a screen pass and busting through Gibson's attempt at an arm tackle on his way to a 53-yard touchdown.
"It's kind of hard," Washington said when asked about beating his roommate. "I feel good for myself when you go out for the offense and you score.
"John Gibson, he's a tough guy. He's going to bounce back. I know his personality. This isn’t going to phase him at all."
6. Will Missouri's defensive star be ready to go on opening night?
With senior cornerback E.J. Gaines out with a strained patellar tendon, the entire passing offense was able to take off.
Franklin and Mauk combined for over 300 yards passing and four touchdowns, feasting mostly on Gibson, Randy Ponder at cornerback and Matt White at safety.
“E.J’s a great corner. That’s why he’s going to be one of the best in the SEC one of the best in the country.
Definitely when a guy like E.J.’s missing, you’re going to have a huge impact.”
While Green-Beckham doesn’t get matched up on Gaines often during practice, he said the coverage schemes the defense was running made it easy to tell the star was missing. He also struggled when asked who besides Gaines was the toughest corner to face.
“Besides E.J.?,” Green-Beckham said with a pause. “I mean, Randy (Ponder) and David (Johnson) are both really good corners. I would say it comes down to those two.”
Green-Beckham’s hesitation and the passing offense’s production are just two more signs that the Tigers’ secondary needs a healthy Gaines if they want to keep points off the board in 2013.
7. Can the Tigers' tight ends continue to balance blocking and receiving when the games count?
After a quiet first scrimmage, Missouri’s tight ends broke out Thursday. Starter Sean Culkin hauled in four passes for 48 yards and a touchdown, while his backup, Eric Waters, caught three passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.
The tight ends have been focused on blocking throughout fall camp. Both Waters and Culkin have added weight to get over 240 pounds in an effort to open more lanes for the running backs.
On Thursday, offensive coordinator Josh Henson set them free, and it opened the offense up for more big plays.
“That’s going to be tremendous,” Washington said.
“Whenever we can switch it up from four receivers to three receivers and have one of those guys come in and make plays like that, it just adds to the offense."
Supervising editor is Greg Bowers.