Mizzou Media Day Quotes

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MUTIGERS.COM

MUTIGERS.COM

Sept. 3, 2012

Head Coach Gary Pinkel
Injury Report and Opening Statement...
"Jack Meiners is questionable with a sprained knee, he’s questionable, we will know more as the week goes on and Will Ebner is questionable right now with a stinger.
Other than that came through pretty good, players had today off, except for some study tables that we had today instead of Sunday and they are watching video now, and certainly they are excited about this football game. We are playing a great football team, very impressed. I just watched their bowl game a minute ago and I watched their game last week against Buffalo, amongst other games, they are a very, very talented team, Mark Richt has done a great job there. If you look at the job he has done there the past 12 years, his win-loss record and success that he has had there in the best league in the nation, I’m very, very impressed and always have been. We are excited about this and we will get working at it and play our first SEC game in ‘The ZOU’ this Saturday. “

On the excitement building up to Saturday’s game...
"I think, first of all it is historic that’s why. It’s the first SEC game, first SEC home game, so I think that it is going to go down in history. They are always going to point at it and talk about it, look at it and how it came out, but then we are also playing a great football team. So we are not just playing this average team from the SEC, there is not many average teams anyway, so we understand that we are playing a great football team, a well-coached team, so I think a combination of all obviously makes it very, very big, hopefully there are a lot of big games to come and we will see how that sorts out.”

On Georgia QB Aaron Murray…
“Well he is very impressive, how he handles their offense, fundamentally he is good, he makes good decisions, he makes good throws, he drives the team at the end of half and the fourth quarter. He has some talented wide receivers and tight ends around him and he is a real good player.”

On how the offensive line looks after the first game…
“I think we gave up a couple of sacks, or just one I believe, there were some things I thought, I actually felt better after watching the film than I did during the game, so obviously we are playing a different level of personnel, no disrespect to anyone, but it’s obvious to everybody, so we are going to have to play well against a really good football team and that’s certainly our challenge.”

On the challenges OLB Jarvis Jones presents to the offensive line…
“Well they are good up front all across the board so, if you look at their defensive line and their line backing core, they are outstanding. He is a great player off the corner, can do a lot of different things with him, but they have a lot of good players, you can’t zero in on one, but you game plan like we always play, we play against high level players and you game plan best you can, but you also have to go out there and do those kind of things, block and tackle, those are fundamentals of playing and you have to do those on both sides of the ball.”

On preparing for a player vs preparing for a scheme…
“You prepare for the scheme, obviously I don’t know if they are going to be back or not. We can’t worry about that, we have to enough things to be concerned about that we have control over. If they play, they play. I don’t know what else to tell you.”

On the impact of recruiting in Atlanta, Ga. by winning Saturday’s game…
“If you win it will, it’s like anything, if you evaluate when we went down to Texas, did we win or lose games, eventually it is still about recruiting well and evaluation and experiences for players as they go back and tell their high school coaches, we will do a good job of recruiting in Atlanta regardless, of course we want to win this game.”

On Georgia’s freshman running back Todd Gurley…
“He’s really quick, explosive, he’s a very impressive young player, has a lot of talent, he was a heavily recruited player. He is what was expected of him.”

On the difficulty of getting the team to focus last week…
“I thought our team was very well prepared, I think things were too easy too fast, you have a 28 point lead in ten minutes in the first quarter. As a football coach you like that, but there is also the other side of that, and that is focus. I thought we lost focus at times, but we were able to come back and finish strong and play a lot of players.”

On junior offensive lineman Max Copeland…
“I think he executed well, for a players first start, ever, had very little playing experience prior to this, he did a good job, some injuries there and freshman Evan Boehm did some good things too as a young player, but we all know that the personnel will be a lot  different this week and we expect that and we practice against personnel like that every week. We understand that you have to up your game, but very pleased with his performance, thought he did a real nice job.”

On setting the tone for this new era…
“I don’t get caught up in that  It’s the next game, it’s an important game obviously and our fans have been talking about it since March, and so it’s been huge and that’s great. I’m glad we are playing our first game in “The ZOU”, that place is going to be wild, all of that is great, but this is the second game of the year, it’s the first conference game and its historic and then we will wake up Sunday morning and prepare for the next one.”

On having the first conference game earlier in the schedule than in years past…
“It doesn’t really matter what I like. They didn’t ask me, I didn’t get a call about that. As you know in the Big 12 we always start our non-conference schedule and got to October and then started the conference all the way through, and did that for years, and I certainly liked that format, now the format is like this so I like this.”

On TB Marcus Murphy’s two punt returns looked returning punts…
“Well I think some of his teammates gave him some space, and when you give him some space with his speed and acceleration, he can do some damage. I’m not really that surprised. I think he is very capable of that, obviously against anybody to have two for touchdowns is a great accomplishment, very proud of him for that, and also being named special teams player of the week in the SEC. Hopefully he can do it more, certainly those kind of plays change football games, especially in close games.”

On choosing not to kick long field goals…
“There was just one that we did and we always go in with a yardage that we are going to kick, depending on the wind, so that’s all planned and we make that decision Thursday morning and when we had a penalty that went beyond the yardage then we decided to go different. I don’t ever discuss the yard line that we choose. Also it has a lot to do with the down and distance, is it fourth and 13 or is it fourth and two. We analyze all those things and make the decisions that way.”

On the confidence of the team…
“Hopefully they are confident, I never thought about if I should ask them. They have a lot of pride in playing here at Mizzou, they have a lot of pride in playing where they came from. We are going into a different league, a great football league, with many great teams, but also when you are new you have to prove yourself and you have to earn respect, that’s how I was brought up, that’s what my mom and dad taught me and we are new. So I have no problem with everybody wondering or questioning about us, I anticipated that happening when this happened last November. The good news is that you get to go play and we get the chance to earn some respect, so we will see where we go.”

On giving the other team bulletin board material…
“Without question anybody looks for things and we want to say the appropriate things and he felt sorry for saying it, he just got excited and he has great respect for Georgia as I do and we will learn lessons and move on.”

On how he handles coaches challenges…
“Our plan for handling those things is that if we can see, someone in the press box can see, they have TV’s up there, can see it and think that we have a significant chance of turning it around, then we will. We thought they were out of bounds and that’s what we thought and you have to challenge exactly what we thought and that is the information that I got and we ended up being right on it and I thought we handled that well as a staff.”

On the advantage of having an experience quarterback, like Georgia does…
“The game just slows down so much, the speed of the game slows down because you have so much experience. You can see things, you can come up with secondary reads and different things you get away with if you have an experienced quarterback. With a quarterback who is just now starting you will give him just basic reads, but a quarterback that has a lot of experience you can give him with one coverage you go here, one coverage you go there, this coverage you look down the middle, and it just makes him much more multiple and therefore somebody as talented as him can do a lot of damage because he can see the field so well and anytime you have an experience quarterback that has talent they present a lot of problems and he does a good job.”

On changing the tailback situation…
“No it is the same way, we got Russell [Hansrough], freshman, in there too and he did some good things, we are very impressed with that. Marcus Murphy did some good things, and Kendial Lawrence did some also, we kind of just controlled the reps they did there at the end. One of the great things about this past game was that we got a lot of guys to play, a complete quarter and some a quarter and a half. Corbin Berkstresser, for example, for him to get out, he hadn’t played since high school. So it was really good for him, all of those guys to get experience.”

On how much better senior TB Kendial Lawrence is compared to last year…
“He is just as fast as he was a year ago, maybe a tick or two faster, but I thought he was a good player a year ago. Henry Josey obviously did some great things, but Marcus Murphy had more yards his freshman year when Henry and him were playing together. 

On how fast this team is compared to previous teams…
“We run well, I can tell you how many guys run 4.4, 4.3, 4.5 (40-time) we have stats on all of that, every year since we have been here. That is how we analyze our football team and our strength, speed, and quickness improvements. It is also functional speed, if you run 4.5 are you playing 4.5. that is the other side of it, and being able to start and stop, football is not just a straight ahead run fast, it is being able to start, stop, change direction with quickness, a combination of all of those things. We are going into a league that has great speed, but we are also came from a league that had great speed also.

On not having one or two go to receivers…
“We will see, T.J. Moe obviously is a guy that has played a lot, Marcus Lucas has, L’Damian Washington has, Eric Waters did some real good things in the game. Jimmie Hunt came back and did some real good things, Gahn McGaffie, who had a great camp didn’t get a chance to catch one and that is just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We will see how it sorts out, a lot of times there will be be a receiver or two who separate themselves from everybody else. We will just see where that goes, we will play a lot of receivers, but we also on Thursdays we decide how many plays for example, T.J. Moe he will play seven straight plays then the sub will come in for two, seven and two, throughout the whole game, or four and four for two other receivers or an offensive lineman. That is how we do substitution across the board, so we know going into the game exactly how we are going to substitute for that game for our whole football team and we decide that on Thursday mornings and adjust sometimes during games if we have to.”

On if freshman Sean Culkin is going to play this week…
“Possibly, we have to watch ourselves with him. The cast is getting smaller as the weeks go on, a talented young player, we have to watch what we are going to do, because if it is going to take him too long to get ready then we are going to have to maybe adjust whether we are going to play him or not, so we are going to be very cautious on that. Last week we went into that game, as we also do on Thursdays also if there is substitution that takes place, he was one on the list that he couldn’t go in, now he was cleared to go in and play, we again have to be concerned to protect his redshirt if we need to.”

On Evan Boehm showing that he could be a starter this year…
“It is very unusual, and I have said that before, for a freshman to be able to come in and play. I thought overall he did a real good job, but it is so difficult to play the position because you have to have the strength and the size coming out of high school and most don’t. Most might have the size, but they are not strong enough, that is generally the situation, some might come in at 280 and they are going to have to be 300 by the time they are ready to play. He came in weight wise, strength wise, he was a state wrestling champion his Junior year, runner-up his senior year, very competitive, good student, could learn and the offensive line it is real difficult, especially with all of the stuff that goes on there. Quarterback, linebacker, and offensive line are the three toughest positions to learn from the mental standpoint, but he picked things up well and he will just get better and better as he goes, he will have a great challenge this week as a young player, but that’s good. He’s up for it, he’s a competitor, I thought overall he did a good job and considering our offensive line situation that we have as it presents itself, we are very fortunate to have a freshman that comes in and is capable at such a young age.”

On getting the wide receivers to block…
“Andy Hill does an excellent job with that, he does a good job of coaching the importance of blocking. If you want to get some big plays the receivers are generally the ones to help spring it, then it is the speed of running back or quarterback or whoever has the football. I think those guys take great pride in it and a lot of times we get receivers that come in and they aren’t really into blocking that much, but then they aren’t going to play. They kind of learn that it is important, that is their role on that particular play for the team and our kids take a lot of pride in that and do a pretty good job.”

On freshman WR Dorial Green-Beckham excelling as a blocker…
“He has good size, great athlete, but he his attitude is very humble. He works hard, he wants to be really good, he wants to be a complete receiver, he wants to obviously make plays, but he wants to be a receiver who helps his team on every play and he’s getting better at that.”

On the experience of the starting cornerbacks for Mizzou and the impact that will have…
“Well, Kip Edwards had a few missed tackles, but he really did some nice things, he had missed so many practices recently it was nice to see him back and healthy and ready to go. We are playing not only a good throwing football team, but a good running football team too, so the combination of both, play action, they do a lot of good things offensively. We are going to have our challenges, but I think they will do a good job and I think they understand they are playing some good players. We came out of a league that obviously throws the ball a lot too and has some good receivers too also, hopefully those experiences help us a little bit.”

On does Marcus Murphy remind him of any past returners…
“No, he just has great speed and acceleration, and he is also small, so it kind of hides him, then all of a sudden you shoot him outside, then you get him out in space and that is when he is at his best.  I can’t really compare him to anybody else, I’m not sure who that would be. I’m excited about him, and what happens for your punt return team, is now they know they have a guy back there, and so all of them you block a little bit different, its like you have an all-American tailback behind you as an offensive line, that’s our tailback, that’s our guys so we are going to open seams for him so he can get a lot of yards and I think that’s exactly what it’s going to be like for our, we call our rangers, our punt return team, shoot we got a guy back there that if we block for him can change football games and that lends itself a real positive way, a very motivating way for your team.”

On the quarterback play from last Saturday’s game…
“I thought James [Franklin] did a good job. We had a couple of balls dropped that could have been big plays and then he had a couple of missed throws, he only played midway through the third quarter then we pulled him out.  I thought he did some good things, he got an intentional grounding, but he did what we tell him to do try and get rid of the football and we have to block better and give him more time, but I thought he did some good things. Corbin Berkstresser, everybody is surprised at Corbin, but Corbin is a good player. Played with some poise, coming right out of the shoot, looked real natural back there and I think he was real excited about playing, he hasn’t played since his senior year of high school, and two years ago is the last time he has played in a game and so it’s pretty cool to see him come out and make some real nice throws and move the team and also he likes to run the football, couple of time he kept the ball when he wasn’t supposed to but it was nice to see that.”

On the different schemes that Georgia can present of defense…
“They have a lot of different schemes they do, a lot of different thing. They are a three man front, but they can put a linebacker on the outside and become a four man front, very multiple. 30 defenses are like that you can do a lot of different things out of them.  They present a lot of different problems and that is why a lot of people run those defenses, they can be very multiple. We can get in a 30 defense from our standpoint too and it allows us to be more multiple ourselves, just back one of our defensive ends our generally, good schemes, real good schemes and real good players.”

Senior WR T.J. Moe
On making a statement…
“A week ago somebody asked if it was a good opportunity to shut everybody up and I think if we come out here and play well we have a good chance we will probably have a lot of people talking but not shut too many people up. “

On setting a tone for the SEC with the Georgia game…
“I think it is very important. It is not a game breaker either way, if you come out and not play your best its not really going to mess up your season. But you also would really like to come out and set the tone. When you play well early on in the season you get a lot of confidence and your team really gets on the right track.  You’ve got a lot of guys that are really excited for this game and you just have to do a lot of preparation.”

On Sheldon Richardson’s comments…
“I mean if you believe in that bulletin board type material. No, I think if you need someone to say something to play any harder than you probably aren’t playing the game right in the first place.”

On evaluating Georgia…
“We started yesterday.  After we got done yesterday, everybody on the traveling team came back to watch a half hour. Really last Saturday we were in the hotel room and we watched the game against Buffalo but now you don’t really watch it the same way. But they are a good football team; we have always known that, they have really good athletes and good covers. It is really up to us to come out and make it a good football game.”

On playing with the respect card…
“Well what you want to focus on is to play one game at a time and to improve something on every play but if that makes you play better then fine. I just focus on doing my job to the best of my ability. Whenever I am out there I am not worried about who took a cheap shot at me on the last play or whatever, I need to get back and worry about improving. I just worry about doing my job everyday. “

On shutting out the hype…
“I think that starts as soon as the first whistle blows. You get ready to start playing and the hype turns off. There’s not a whole lot of hype if you are down 21-0.”


 

 

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