Sept. 12, 2011
Columbia, Mo. -
Head Coach, Gary Pinkel
Injury Report... "We got a few players back [this week]. We got Jerrell Jackson back. We got Eric Waters back. We've got Travis Ruth back. Still, Gahn McGaffie is out, as is Jacquies Smith and Kendial Lawrence. De'Vion Moore and Will Ebner are also [out].
Opening Statement... "Players had Saturday off, after we got back at six o'clock in the morning. We had a real good practice [on Sunday], watched the film, as we do after any game, win or lose, and talked about things we did well and things we can do better. We then started preparing for Western Illinois. We looked at the fouls of the game, penalties, which were obviously a bit disturbing to me. We had eleven against us for over 100 yards. That was just a real statement of plain undisciplined [play]. I'm about to make sure this gets fixed. We're just going to work hard to become a better football team and try to improve."
On the lack of depth at running back... "That is a concern. Jared Culver is going to help us out, Greg White is going to help us out. We decided at the end of the [Arizona State] game that we weren't going to play Greg in that particular game. It was his first game, and to give him his first carry in that game, we weren't going to do that. But I think he is a good prospect.
We also are going to have to look at somebody else. T.J. Moe is certainly a name -- he does a lot of things anyway. We haven't really talked to him about that yet, but he would be the first one with his hand up to help out there. It's kind of an interesting situation, and we'll have to work through it."
On the maturation of James Franklin... "I think he did a really good job. I think you look at him and he has matured a little bit. Has he arrived? I think he can be a lot better than what you saw. He's a very talented guy, very poised. As I've mentioned before, he has his personality as a quarterback. He can do what he does. You know, escapability, being able to extend plays -- those kind of things you can coach a little bit, but it has a lot to do with the type of athlete you're dealing with. I expect him to continue to get better. Our receivers are coming along and getting better with Jerrell [Jackson] back. It's exciting to think how much better we can improve."
On the talent at wide receiver... "What happens is if a player has to play better than a starter, if it's a real tight decision, we have both coordinators and myself as head coach discuss what we are going to do. We tell the players that. Some programs will say you can't ever lose your job to injury, but in our program you can. If all three of us think a guy is playing better than [the injured starter], that doesn't come into effect here. Marcus [Lucas] is certainly playing better. We moved L'Damian [Washington] over to the other side so he will get some more reps. Both of those guys have to play, so they will play. We substitute a lot of players. We don't know the number of plays Jerrell will play this week anyway. We'll have to wait and see that. Both of those two players are coming around and maturing. They are starting to make some plays, and that is all anticipated."
On the play of the secondary against Arizona State... "You can't give up five plays for 191 yards. You can't ever do that. That's a combination of this entire defense. You just look at a corner or safety, and that's the one that the average person looks at and says `Well, he got beat', but there is a lot more to it than that. There is a strong correlation with playing great pass defense and putting pressure on the quarterback. So it's a combination of all those things, and we've got to work to get better. But you are in big trouble if you give up that many big plays. We've got to do a better job coaching, too."
On the leadership of T.J. Moe... "There isn't a guy that works harder in practice than [T.J. Moe]. If you watch practice, he goes 100 mph every single play he is in there. Always. That's what he does. Obviously he is a very good athlete, he has great quickness, so with punt returns, you see him do great things, and I think you'll see some good things happen with kickoff returns also. Like I asked [former MU wide receiver Jeremy Maclin] if he wanted to do kickoff return, and he said `Yeah, I want to do that. I want the ball. I want to try and make plays.' T.J. is the same way. We'll watch to make sure he doesn't get too banged up. We will be a little sensitive to that. But that's the best form of leadership you can get -- the great work ethic, the volunteer to do anything. When a guy like that stands up and says something, players are going to listen."
On Henry Josey stepping up against Arizona State... "He is a player that we really thought was an electrifying type of guy when he was in high school. He is very, very good in space. When he gets out there, he's hard to deal with. Really, [his play against Arizona State] didn't surprise us. For him to be put in that position, in that kind of environment, and perform like that and make some big plays, it was hugely important for our offense. It's nice to know as a sophomore, a young player, to think how good can he get. Certainly, he ran well with the ball."
On the impact of Trey Barrow in the field position game... "One [punt] was about 70 yards. It's a remarkable advantage for field position. It was unbelievable how we flipped the field several times. He's been doing a really good job."
On the missed field goal by Grant Ressel... "He's a great kicker. There are so many plays in that game, just look at the penalties. All the positive things we got from them making mistakes, we just gave it right back to them. We all kind of shared helping each other out that entire game. You talk about the attention to detail and the little things to win close football games. That's our plan to win. And to think, we had over 100 yards in penalties. There were a lot of plays in that game, we left the ball on the one or two yard line a couple of times. We block a little bit better and we're not even talking about [missed field goals]. So he is a great kicker, he always will be, and he'll come back. There were a lot of plays to be made out there where that kick would have been insignificant."
Henry Josey, Tailback
On being the last healthy running back with experience... "I'm kind of the last man standing, but the [guys behind me] are going to pick up the slack just like I did. I'm going to do everything I can to help them out just like I got help from De'Vion [Moore] and Kendial [Lawrence].
On the workload he can take on and still remaining healthy... "It really just comes down to being tough and physical. That's what we are all about. I'm not worried about getting hurt at all. I'm just looking forward to it, really."
On his capability to handle the majority of the carries... "I'm more than capable of [handling the workload]. If they need me to do it, I'm ready to.
On his play against Arizona State... "I was very happy with what I did. I was happy I could help my team out. That's the biggest thing of all. I know I had to step up and take on some big shoes, and I did what I had to do for them."
On the offense's ability to score inside the opponents ten yard line...
"That's just comes down to practice. We've got to get in the end zone. When we get down in there, we have to get in. We're going to work on it this week, and I think we'll be ready for it this weekend."
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