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Missouri Football Fan Day guide: 6 things to know

Saturday, August 9, 2014 | 8:16 p.m. CDT
Corbin Berkstresser and Maty Mauk, both quarterbacks, practice during a football training camp at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. While Mauk is the presumed starter, Berkstresser is fighting for a backup position.

COLUMBIA — On Sunday the Tiger faithful will have the opportunity to file onto Faurot Field for Fan Appreciation Day.

Fan Appreciation Day will be held at 3:45 p.m. Sunday in Memorial Stadium. Players and coaches will be available for autographs. The event is free and open to the public.

Sunday will also mark Missouri's seventh practice. If you're heading to Fan Day tomorrow, here are some talking points from the Tigers' first week of fall camp.

1. Marcus Murphy moving around

Senior Marcus Murphy spent last season carrying the ball behind departed running back Henry Josey. But Murphy has spent a majority of this week working with the wide receivers. Murphy is the No. 2 tailback on the depth chart. The Tigers have lost depth and talent at the receiver position, and the quick and shifty 5-foot-9 Murphy could provide some salve in the slot. In 2013, he scored 10 touchdowns and led the team with 1,425 all-purpose yards.

2. Second fiddle, first to fill in

With Maty Mauk named the starting quarterback for 2014, the attention turns to the backups — who will be first to fill in for Mauk? It's an important question: Tiger quarterbacks have been less than durable over the past couple of seasons in the Southeastern Conference. Right now, junior Corbin Berkstresser is listed at No. 2 on the depth chart with redshirt freshman Eddie Printz right behind him. But coaches and players — including Mauk — will tell you that it's a neck-and-neck battle between the two. Both Berkstresser and Printz are pro-style quarterbacks, but Berkstresser is the only quarterback with any college game experience — he saw action against Murray State, Georgia and Kentucky.

3. Tigers on the trainer's table

Team captain and senior safety Braylon Webb and junior right tackle Connor McGovern were nursing injuries coming into fall camp. Webb (shoulder) has been limited at practice. McGorvern (pectoral strain) has been absent from practice. At Friday's practice — the first in full pads — two more Tigers sustained injuries: junior safety Cortland Browning sprained his shoulder and sophomore tailback Morgan Steward "tweaked" his hip, according to coach Gary Pinkel. The status of the injured Tigers is uncertain for Tuesday's scrimmage. 

4. An injury to his pride

Starting center Evan Boehm was hit in the groin with a football at Friday's practice. His little brother, Tyler Boehm, posted a video of the low blow on Twitter. It shows backup center Brad McNulty snapping the ball and Boehm doubled over after taking the shot. The video has become popular with the team and players have retweeted and commented on the clip. Linebacker Michael Scherer's advice to his teammate: "always protect the McNuggets."

5. Who's Eierman?

John Eierman is a 21 year-old freshman quarterback who's trying to walk onto the team. You'll find him at the tail end of the line of quarterbacks wearing green jerseys — he's sporting No. 24. According to MiLB.com (the official site of Minor League Baseball), Eierman signed a 2011 contract with the Tampa Bay Rays out of Warsaw High School, where he was the top-ranked player in Missouri. The shortstop played three years — two in the Gulf Coast League and one in the Appalachian League — before trading his bat for shoulder pads. Eierman never batted over .254 in the minors.

6. All they wanna do is dance, dance, dance!

We saw the defensive line get down on Thursday. We saw the quarterbacks strut their stuff Friday. On Saturday, the defensive backs showed off some moves to Soulja Boy's "Bird Walk." From rap to rock to country to classics like James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing," there's been no shortage of shimmying during practice.

Looking ahead

Week Two of fall camp starts Monday with the Tigers scheduled to practice at 7:15 a.m. Missouri will hold its first scrimmage on Tuesday and has another scheduled for Aug. 16. After that, it'll be time to start planning for the season's first tailgate — Missouri hosts South Dakota State in the season opener at 2:30 p.m. on Sat., Aug. 30.

Supervising editor is Greg Bowers.


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