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Tigers’ reserve QBs look settled in roles after final scrimmage

Friday, August 24, 2007 | 12:34 a.m. CDT; updated 1:15 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008
Dominic Grooms slips by and eludes the Missouri defense at practice Thursday.

COLUMBIA — There was no significant movement made by the offenses in the Missouri football team’s final preseason scrimmage Thursday, nor was there movement on the quarterback depth chart between the second- and fourth-string players.

Junior Chase Patton and redshirt freshman Dominic Grooms took most of the snaps in Thursday’s scrimmage with neither player leading the offense to a touchdown.

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A scarce amount of starters participated in the contest on Faurot Field despite the team’s first game being eight days away. Players needing extra work took part, according to coach Garry Pinkel.

Patton and Grooms took turns leading the offense against various defensive lineups. Grooms’ fourth drive led to a 29-yard field goal at the end of the 15-minute scrimmage period. Quarterbacks coach David Yost said he was pleased with what he saw from Grooms despite some communication mishaps between him and his quarterback.

“He made some throws and was able to move his group against the one defense a pretty good amount, which was positive for him,” Yost said.

Redshirt freshman quarterback J.P. Tillman saw limited action during the scrimmage, though he did lead his offense to a field goal. Tillman has competed with Grooms through the spring and summer for position on the depth chart, with Grooms staying ahead.

“Dominic had, through spring and through camp, had separated himself in that way, so he had earned more reps because of that,” Yost said.

Yost said he felt Patton displayed the knowledge and command of the offense that has impressed coaches since the spring. The result has been his status as the No. 2 quarterback.

“Chase has definitely improved and will improve,” Yost said. “He has gotten better at controlling the offense getting the tempo down and being in charge.”

Patton, a Rock Bridge graduate, showed some satisfaction in the work despite “too many three-and-outs.” He was complimentary of Grooms as well, who he said did some good things.

As far as his own security as the No. 2 quarterback, Patton decided to defer to the guys in charge.

“It’s not my decision,” Patton said. “There’s been ups and downs, but I have something to build on going into the first game week.”

n Freshman linebacker Michael Keck will redshirt this season after receiving news that he will need to undergo shoulder surgery. The Harrisonville native graduated from high school and enrolled at Missouri in January and hopes to be back at practice before a potential bowl game.


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