Mizzou Media Day Quotes



Sept. 17, 2012

Head Coach Gary Pinkel
On injuries…
“Jack Meiners, he played about 15 plays in the game… and really gave it a great effort, but we pulled him out and we expect him to be 100% back this week so we’re looking at him as a starter going in to this week’s game against South Carolina. James Franklin will play if he can play, so we’ll see how the week goes practice-wise until game time and we’ll see where we’re at from there. Hopefully he’ll be ready to play. Zaviar Gooden, we expect to return. He had a hamstring strain and he sat out last week… Those are a little bit touchy. He’s been working with our medical staff… Hopefully we can get him back 100%. We certainly miss him. And Rolandis Woodland is questionable with a hamstring also that happened at practice last week.”

On Kenronte Walker’s award of SEC Defensive Player of the Week…
“Congratulations to Kenronte Walker for really just some big couple huge plays in a really big game. It was nice to see him do that. I’ve seen him grow and mature since he’s come to Mizzou and so that’s really cool to see all that happening.”

On preparing for South Carolina…
“[They’re] a really good football team. I have great respect for Steve Spurrier… He’s a really good coach and I’m very impressed with him. They’re a very physical team, very consistent with the SEC. Their defensive front is outstanding. Offensively they are also. They have a couple quarterback issues that we have. We’ll see how that sorts itself out. And Lattimore their running back, their all conference all American running back is returning from ACL surgery is my understanding and he looks really good. He’s a very impressive player. So we’re preparing and excited about the opportunity to play, I hear it’s a great place to play. It’s a great game day event there and we’ll work very hard to bring our best effort.”

On South Carolina’s great defense…
“They have great defensive ends and defensive tackles, very very good up front. Big big athletes, running athletes, in the perimeter… Overall it’s real good. That’s our challenge, it’s always going to be... There’s some great defenses in this league and these guys are real challenging, and their backups are also… You’ve got to be able to block, the fundamentals of blocking, running, catching, and all the different things you have to do, tackling. Those are thing’s you have to do and certainly we’ll try to help our line out the best we can but you’re going to be faced with some one on  one situations and you’re going to have to get it done.”

On his reaction to James Franklin’s injury…
“You have to understand this, I have never made a medical decision ever. I’ve never went up to a trainer ever since I’ve been coaching and even said get a guy ready, not once in 22 years of being head coach, ever. The medical staff does a great job in working with our athletes and parents on medicine on treatments, and all those things. I never, ever get involved at all. Anybody that questions James Franklin’s toughness, they have to have been in a coma for the last two years. He’s one of the toughest athletes I’ve ever been around.”

On Corbin Berkstresser’s ability…
“I think he does a pretty good job, he extended the play several times. I thought it was a really good start for a young player, a red shirt freshman with an offensive line that is young also. It’s not like we have a veteran offensive line up there. I really think he did some good things. We did better in third downs this game than we have all year and he made some great throws on third downs, in fact that was when he was at his best, when we needed some third down throws… Out time of possession was a lot different than it normally is and I think you all noticed that. That was a lot of the play calling we did. I thought he did some really really good things. There’s certainly other things that he’s got to do better but it’s a very difficult situation and as you all know if you look at win-loss records when teams lose their starting quarterbacks. It becomes very difficult. We got a good victory, so I feel good about that.”

On bad snaps and holds for field goals…
“We had a muff punt return. Marcus did a great job, he’s one of the tops in the country, which is great, but he muffed one, too, and that’s what you don’t want to happen.  We had a punt snap over the punter’s head, which you don’t want to happen. We had some poor holds and we had some poor snaps. So a combination of all of those things, which is just coaching. We work hard at coaching, but bottom line is, it isn’t good enough. So that starts with me and our coaching staff. Those things don’t mean that you’re going to line up and make every field goal, but if you know that the snap is perfect and the hold is perfect then you give your kicker a great chance of making a field goal. And the majority of those weren’t very good.”

On the team’s track record with fourth quarters this season…
“I think we’re working on that, but also a big part of that has been our kicking game. We’ve been down there, we’ve been in position and through poor kicks, poor snaps, poor holds and turnovers that those are things right now that if you come away… from every one of those with a field goal, they’d probably be different games. So that’s the first thing we have to fix. “

On the ‘Battle of the Columbias' and the bowl game in 2005…
“Well, you know, I’m trying to win a football game, I don’t know anything about the “Battle of the Columbias”. I know Columbia, Missouri is a great place to live and I’m told Columbia, South Carolina is a great place also… Coach Spurrier must have more time on his hands than I do. I’ve got great respect for him, I got to know him at the bowl game, we were fortunate to comeback and get that win, but that was a long time ago. Most of these players I think were probably in the fourth grade. “

On when ASU was had the ball inside the five late in the game…
“When they did that roll out to the right side, we had every single guy covered and then our secondary run support contain guy was Will Ebner so he couldn’t run with the football either. He tried to make a throw and Kenronte knocked that ball down. I had no idea what happened, all I knew is there were going to be cheers or no cheers and I’m glad I heard cheers.”

On not knowing which quarterback South Carolina will use…
“I’ve seen quite a bit of film and the defensive staff has seen a lot more today and they think they’re very similar in play calling. Both of them are doing a good job. I have no idea who’s going to play or who’s not going to play and we’ve got to be prepared for both, but it’s not like one guy goes in and he’s completely different than the other. I think they recruit certain types of quarterbacks and they parallel each other a lot, obviously one is much more experienced but the backup player has done a real good job in execution.”

RS Senior S Kenronte Walker:

On performing under pressure…
“As a defensive back, that’s what you want – the last play of the game, and it’s on you.”

On coming to Mizzou…
“Mizzou was always the best fit, it’s been a great transformation for me.  I came here to learn.  People like Kenji Jackson (former Mizzou safety), and the coaches have shown me the right ways, and taught me how to play the safety position.  It’s very family oriented, we stick together and play together - I feel very comfortable.”  

On adapting to college life, and SEC football…
“I wasn’t used to a lot of this stuff.  Meeting new people, getting to know them and them getting to know me.  Trusting people, them trusting me and getting to feel comfortable – regardless of background.  I feel good.”

On progressing as a team, and as a player…
“Everyday I try to get better, that’s the goal for everybody on this team here at Missouri.  Every week we’re trying to get better, and to raise the bar.”

On being SEC defensive player of the week…
“It means a lot.  The help of my teammates, them making plays and encouraging me, that’s what caused it.  All the glory goes to my teammates, and to God.”

Junior QB James Franklin
On the support of his teammates while injured…
“It’s tough being on the sidelines, but they were really cool about it.  They’re all really supportive, joke around and help make it not that a big deal for me”

On improving in the fourth quarter…
“We’ve been hampered by a couple mistakes here and there – but the defensive has been doing a really good job of getting stops and we should do a better job of capitalizing off of their momentum.”

On playing next week…
“On a scale of 1-10 - I’m a 9.”



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