Missouri is now less than 24 hours from liftoff for Arizona. The Tigers went through their final bowl workout in Columbia on Tuesday morning. As we have been throughout the Insight Bowl preparations, PowerMizzou.com was on hand.
*It was tough keeping a lot of the players straight. Tuesday was NFL Day, where a lot of the players switch jerseys with teammates and can dress however they'd like. Nothing better than seeing Tim Barnes in Brandon Gerau's jersey that was about seven sizes too small. We'll have a photo gallery this afternoon.
*One guy I did notice was Jerrell Jackson, who was wearing No. 9. He made a lot of nice catches during the day. There has been a lot of talk of the young receivers and I think they have promise. But remember that Jackson and Wes Kemp are starters and they'll have to have those jobs taken away.
*Speaking of the receivers, by my count, Missouri has 12 scholarship wideouts and four tight ends. Not one of them graduates. Plus, Mizzou is bringing in a signee at each position. Talk about a logjam and competition for playing time.
*The best NFL getup came from linebacker Jeff Gettys, who has been out most of the year with a knee injury. He wore a polo, black slacks, a black sweatervest and a visor in homage to Gary Pinkel. Pretty good impression and the coach gave him a thumbs up and a laugh. Gettys expressed relief to a couple of people after that because he thought it was 50-50 whether Pinkel would laugh or be angry.
*Yesterday was big man 7-on-7. Today was "Switch 7-on-7" which meant the offensive players were on defense and the defensive players were on offense.
The first play was a completion from Kevin Rutland to Carl Gettis over the middle. Gettis then lateralled to a streaking Jarrell Harrison for a nice gain. After practice, Harrison yelled, "Hey, coach Yost, don't take my play." Too bad Yost already ran that play against Oklahoma.
Wes Kemp won the game for the offense with an interception at the goal line. Kemp barely moved as he was playing zone defense right across the middle. I asked Rutland, a former high school quarterback, how he didn't see Kemp. "Five years, I lost my arm and I lost my eye," he said. "Let my team down."
*The Tigers will take off for Tempe around noon tomorrow. There are fewer team organized activities around the bowl game and the players will have some free time the first couple of days in Arizona. Pinkel said they will have team meals around Christmas as well. I talked to the parent of one player who said that the team has been very, very impressed with the treatment from the Insight Bowl and that it may be the best they've received.
*I will arrive in Tempe on December 27th. We will continue to preview the game and I will provide full coverage of the Tigers and the Hawkeyes from Sun Devil Stadium as well.
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