Sept. 29, 2012
Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel
"Well, first I think (UCF) is a really good football team. Coach O'Leary has done a great job with this program, building the program as they go into the BIG EAST next year. But they've got good players. They played well and competitive and battled as we did."
On Missouri's performance:
"I talked to our team Thursday (about) when you get into games that are tight games, you can generally go back and find four to five plays, and if you can change those plays to your advantage, you're probably going to win the game. And I think it was a perfect example. There were plays in this game - a bunch of big plays -- that really had a huge difference and impact on the football game. I was pleased how we battled. Our offense, we're still struggling, we have guys limping out there, we've got some problems there. We're going to battle through them. It certainly isn't lack of effort. We're going to continue to work through that. Defensively, we stepped up and the offense did what they had to when they had to. And obviously a huge kicking play and a huge mammoth stop at the end of the half by Michael Sam. There were just huge plays in this game."
On momentum in the game:
"When you play people, the longer they're in that game, they play different than they did at the very end... Momentum was huge there. I'm not saying we didn't have it. They got it back a little bit on that last touchdown that they had, but certainly we did things necessary to win."
UCF Head Coach George O'Leary
On his team's performance...
"I think it's a game of consistency and tackling. I thought we gave up some yards that we shouldn't have and lacked consistency in blocking in the second half. It seems every drive was second and nine, second and eight, and its hard to operate that way against a good defense. I think it's a game where we had opportunities that we didn't take advantage of."
On the sequence of plays before halftime...
"My thought was, I knew it was third down. I've been through this before, and whatever you do, don't take a sack. So that's why I sent the field goal team out. And Blake was like, 'No, Coach we can get a play.' And I know we could, just make sure we throw it through the end zone and whatever you do, don't take a sack, so we can kick a field goal before the half. 'Yes, Coach. I know Coach, no problem.' Well, we didn't do it and you can't give up points like that. I think the second half we went out and offensively, we had opportunities to make some plays, but I think we weren't as crisp blocking and moving our feet like in the first. We have to make some better decisions at the quarterback position, I think he was hassled a bunch as far as pressure and we just have to make plays in those situations. I thought defensively, we were put in some tough situations. We must've had three or four three-and-outs in a row the second half. And defensively, we held up. But you can't miss tackles and give up big plays and that was most of their yardage, along with the missed tackles on the touchdown in the first half. So again, consistency and tackling and the lack of consistency and staying on blocks in the second half were a lot of the reason for the struggle. When you have the opportunities, you have to take advantage of them."
On the momentum being unable to score at the end of the first half...
"I think it would've been great if we got the three points or gone in for a touchdown. That's what you try and get done. You never want to walk away without any points. That is the worst thing that could've happened. But I went in at halftime and went to the team and said we have to move on. It's over and there's nothing you could do about that. You learn from experience. There is a reason you have to throw the ball away, even ground it because you lose 15 yards but still have a chance to kick a field goal. That was the problem coming away with no points. But that wasn't the problem in the second half. The problem was too many second- and-nine's, second-and-eight's and not enough yards on first down."
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