Postgame Quotes - Black & Gold Spring Scrimmage



April 19, 2014

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Head Coach Gary Pinkel

On Redshirt Sophomore QB Maty Mauk's play during spring...
"He is a lot better of a player than he was before, and he was pretty good last year. I think for quarterbacks things slow down the more experience you get because you see more. Being a redshirt and still very, very young, he just knows the offense better and reads defenses better which is typical after playing a third of a season. He is a great competitor, he has a lot of confidence and is a great leader. We are very fortunate to have a young player of his caliber."

On Freshman OL Mike Fairchild...
"He is a very good athlete, moves very well, he's very physical, a very good run blocker...typically for young players it's about pass protection and going against (Redshirt Junior Defensive Lineman) Shane Ray and (Senior Defensive Lineman) Markus Golden, you learn real quick. There is an example of a guy who has done very well in the spring and if he keeps getting stronger he very well might have a chance to be there."

On Junior DB Kenya Dennis...
"He has done a very good job. He came in here as a very good athlete and he really adjusted to being here very quickly. Sometimes it takes a little longer for some players, but he really did a good job."

On Sophomore TE Sean Culkin...
"His blocking has improved tremendously and he has really great hands. He has a block on one of his hands because he has a cast on because he broke it. He is catching the ball pretty well with a cast on. The good news is that cast is going to come off and he is still doing a lot of good things."

On the offensive line...
"We are coming around a little bit, it takes some time and we lost some pretty good players. We also moved some people around and I really think that we are doing well."

On Senior DL Markus Golden...
"Great progress, he has great strength. He and Shane Ray are both high level guys."

On the new stadium construction...
"The program is building, we are in the SEC and it shows when you see the cranes. That's the way it should be. Things have dramatically changed since I got here 14 years ago and this is just another phase of it."


Junior DL Shane Ray
On his role on the defense...
"When guys leave like Sheldon, Kony, and Mike, it is important for us to step up and bring that same level of intensity and same level of play. This entire spring we have been working to get better and be a force on defense and be good leaders for the young guys."

On Mizzou's defense compared to the rest of the SEC...
"I think right now we are doing a good job making strides as a defense and as a program as well. I think with this spring we have seen a lot of good things; we still have a lot of work to do and we are going to keep getting better. Our goal is to be one of the top defenses in the nation and that's where we are going to win it."

On his multi-sack performance in the spring game...
"Yes sir. I think I did pretty good today; just another day to get better."

Sophomore WR Levi Copelin

On his performance in the spring game...
"Well, it wasn't much of a performance, I had one catch. It was just nice to come out here and show the fans what we have been working on and let the people see us in action."

On how he sees his role progressing this season...
"That is a good a question; I don't really know. Basically, whatever I can do to help this University and help this team out, I am going to do it, no questions asked. Hopefully I can keep working, keep improving every day and get to that role where people look for me to make the big plays."

Sophomore DB Aarion Penton

On his performance in the spring game...
"I think it was pretty good to come out and compete with my team for the last game of the spring season."

On how he sees his role progressing next season...
"I come out in practice and I am just looking to get better and better each time. I continue to come out and work on my fundamentals."

On taking more of a leadership role with the defense...
"For sure, John Gibson and I have big shoes to fill of course, but we are just looking to get better each day."

Senior OL Anthony Gatti
On playing with and against his teammates...
"It's a good time being out there playing with those guys, you know they like to have fun. They all focus on their fundamentals, which is probably the most important part."

On why Mike Fairchild won Most Improved Offensive Lineman...
"I think he stepped up as a young guy. He's shown that he can get out, and in a couple of years, he'll be alright. He's done well so far this spring. I think he'll step up and be a good player."

On the biggest goal for the fall...
"I have to try and get better at my fundamentals every day because even the guys in the NFL, they're still working on their fundamentals. You can't give up on working on that. That's the most important part. Once you have your fundamentals down, which you never do, you know, you'll be alright and you'll win.

Sophomore QB Maty Mauk
On his touchdown drive...
"It felt really good, especially the first two. You'd like to go for it down there but things happen and we finished and that's what matters."

On the team's biggest goal before the fall...
"Staying consistent and really just learning each other. We should get to the point where plays are working, but we're moving super fast and being consistent as well. Stuff like that, we're going to start right back up next week and live no days off.

On Mauk's three-yard touchdown run...
"He might have tapped me, but I'm going to score on that. I'm going to tell you that."

Sophomore TE Sean Culkin
On playing with a cast on his injured hand...
"At first, it was a little difficult, only having two fingers on the one hand. But I made do with what I had. A lot of quarterbacks kind of saw that and they banged the ball on my body so I could catch it with my body. But towards the end, I was starting to catch it with my hands, and it felt pretty comfortable. I'm excited to get it off there, that's for sure.

On bringing back the tight end position with the loss of some receivers...
"Well yeah, definitely. There's pressure more to make myself the best player I can be along with all the other tight ends in the group. We're all going to try to be the best football players we can be."



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