RB Steward shines in Missouri's first scrimmage

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm •  Published: April 5, 2014
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Morgan Steward knows he needs a few seconds to reach full speed.

But if the Missouri running back can slip a tackle or two, there's a decent chance he could wind up in the end zone.

Steward finished the Tigers' first scrimmage atop the shoulders of offensive linemen Evan Boehm and Connor McGovern after going 58 yards for a touchdown to give the offense a 19-11 win over the defense Saturday.

"He's a bigger running back, so it's going to take two of us this year to lift Morgan up when he scores," Boehm said. "But that's all right."

A 6-foot, 210-pound sophomore, Steward rushed 13 times for 117 yards and three touchdowns. He's about 3 inches taller and 15 pounds heavier than Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy, who incurred shoulder and ankle sprains, respectively, during the scrimmage.

"I think today I took it up another level," Steward said. "I finally got the opportunity out there to go and show it. When you get opportunities, you've got to take full advantage of it."

Coach Gary Pinkel wouldn't comment on the severity of the injuries to Hansbrough and Murphy, who walked off the field under their own power.

The two are listed first and second, respectively, on the depth chart after gaining a combined 1,286 yards on 206 carries last year in relief of Henry Josey.

Steward added 84 yards on 21 attempts.

"With Henry leaving, I think that for him, he knows he's going to play even more now," Pinkel said. "I think all three of those guys know that. But he's talented. I think he's the fastest of the three."