COLUMBIA — Five takeaways from the Tigers' second scrimmage of fall camp Saturday.
Backup quarterback job still up for grabs
Offensive coordinator Josh Henson said the competition between Corbin Berkstresser and Eddie Printz is "back and forth."
"I see one day one guy has a little bit better day, and the next day the other guy battles back," Henson said.
On Saturday, Berkstresser turned in the better performance. The redshirt junior completed 11 of his 16 passes for 113 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while Printz, the redshirt freshman, finished 9-of-15 for 73 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Berkstresser's pick came after the pass ricocheted high off receiver Thomas Richard's open hands. Printz underthrew his target, and first-team cornerback Aarion Penton took advantage.
Berkstresser might have had the best play of the day among quarterbacks against the No. 1 defense. With good protection, he stepped up in the pocket and rifled a touchdown pass to a crossing Wesley Leftwich in the back of the end zone.
Michael Scherer stepping up
Replacing Andrew Wilson, the Tigers' leading tackler at middle linebacker the past three seasons, won't be easy. But Scherer is in line to try. The redshirt sophomore from St. Louis served full-time in the middle for the No. 1 defense Saturday and tallied three hits behind the line of scrimmage.
Freshmen receivers emerging
Next Saturday, following the team's final scrimmage of camp Thursday, coach Gary Pinkel thinks his staff will have decisions made on which freshmen will play this season and which will redshirt.
In the meantime, wideouts Lawrence Lee and Nate Brown seem to be making strong cases to be immediate contributors. Pinkel said the pair has been "standing out."
The 5-foot-11 Lee from Pensacola, Fla., saw playtime with the second string and drew oh's and ah's from spectators when he made a one-handed snag over plastering defenders. The catch was ruled out of bounds, but Mauk referred to the play when praising Lee.
"He’s a playmaker and he’s shown it," the quarterback said. "He’s been consistent all camp. That’s what you need. "
Kenya Dennis making moves
The transfer from Hinds Community College in Mississippi who came to campus for spring camp and was listed as a No. 3 cornerback made a strong impression this summer. With John Gibson sidelined Saturday with a hamstring injury, the junior Dennis lined up with the first-team unit.
Andrew Baggett quells concerns
The kicker, who missed two of his five field goal tries in Tuesday's scrimmage, connected on all three attempts Saturday from 30-plus yards out.
Supervising editor is Greg Bowers.