April 20, 2009

Offensive Spring Review

The Missouri Tigers completed spring football with the Black and Gold game on Saturday afternoon. The Tiger offense struggled in the spring game, but spring ball consisted of 15 practices overall and PowerMizzou.com was at every one. Today, we look at the spring on the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterback

Overview: Blaine Gabbert came into the spring as the likely starter, though there was plenty of thought this might be a three, or even a four, man race. It isn't. Gabbert struggled in the spring game, but threw for 473 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the two previous scrimmages. The backup job is still unsettled at this point, but there is almost no doubt who the starter will be.

What we found out: That Gabbert has the physical tools to be a very good quarterback and that he's taken the role of leader on the team. Whether or not he is going to be successful is a question that simply can't be answered until we see him play on Saturday, but he's got the arm and the legs to get the job done for sure.

What we still don't know: What happens at the No. 2 spot. Both Jimmy Costello and Blaine Dalton showed signs of being the second-best quarterback, but neither removed all doubt. Dalton and Ashton Glaser should both be better in August than they were in April. But how is the backup role handled? Does the second-best guy get the job, no questions asked? Or is it a situation where Dalton (or Glaser) will have to be significantly better than Costello to avoid a redshirt? I have no idea.

Offensive Line

Overview: The Tigers lost two starters from last season, but the replacements were fairly well known when spring started. Dan Hoch had to deal with a broken right hand, but is set to step in at right tackle. Austin Wuebbels looked good and could be an underrated piece at left guard. Tim Barnes, Kurtis Gregor and Elvis Fisher did nothing to put their starting spots in jeopardy.



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