Oct. 1, 2007
Head Coach Gary Pinkel
Injury Report & Opening Statement
"Good afternoon. We've been fortunate not to have very many injuries, and so to this point, we've been very fortunate. We did get Dain Wise back. He's back ready to go from a strained knee, and practiced these last few practices and is doing a pretty good job, and expect him to get better and better. As the week goes on, [Dain] will prepare for the game. Danario Alexander is back, and has been at practice these last couple of days. He has a cast that is very, very small. He wears it under a glove like a bionic arm, but he's catching the ball well, he's running well with it, but a little fatigue the last couple of days because of intensity of the practice. He's been really looking good."
"We're real excited about the opportunity to play Nebraska. As you all know, I think we are playing a defensive team that is very physical. Offensively, I have been very impressed with their quarterback Sam Keller. I think he's an outstanding player. I think [Nebraska] is very fortunate to have a player transfer in of his caliber and actually play, as well as he's playing. [Marlon] Lucky, their tailback, is not only a great runner, but also leads the team in receptions, so they use him in a lot of different ways. He's very athletic and very quick. [Maurice] Purify and [Terrence] Nunn are exceptional receivers. Their offensive scheme is a West Coast-type of scheme, doing a lot of shifting and a lot of motion. They do a great job game planning, and they've also done a great job against us defensively, so it's going to be a great challenge for us. We're excited about [the game] being at the Zou, and certinaly it will be a great game day environment."
On the home crowd factor:
"I think anytime that you play in a hostile environment, and the fans are excited and on their feet and cheering, I think that's difficult for anybody. That is what's tough about going on the road. We need everybody to wear gold. That's what we need to wear, so don't plan on coming in unless you have gold on. We expect you to stand up and we have to give you something to cheer about, but it needs to be the loudest stadium in the nation on Saturday night. Our fans can do that."
On the hype of Saturday's game:
"I think the game itself, with all the hype, and the two teams in our division fighting for a championship like everyone else. All those things are out there, but that in itself, you still have to play well. How do you play well? You prepare by doing your best throughout the week, and none of that changes. Our players will draw a little bit from the game and playing Nebraska plus the environment, so there's no question about that. I don't think this game is any more important than two games from now. This is the next one up, and we don't really treat it any differently.
On the recent Big 12 North success:
"This is a tough league, so nothing surprises me. Obviously, there was a couple great wins in our league. I didn't expect [my players] to believe that we're not going to play anyone, but exceptional teams. It's a tough business, and that's why it's difficult to win.
On the game plan for TB Marlon Lucky:
"Well, I don't think you're going to stop him. I think what you have to do is contain or do the best you can. We're working real hard on run defense, just as well as everything, and that was an experience of this football team going into the season. We knew that there were going to be growing pains, and that being said, we got to play better, and I expect us to do that."
On the schemes and play of the offense:
"We just try to do a lot of different things. We might have four or five different things in each game, and we can certainly go back and look at some of that stuff. There's also a bunch of other ideas that we have. There's still the fact of lining up against the other defenses and getting it done, so we'll have to see."
Quarterback Chase Daniel
On focusing on all areas in a game:
"It's the never die attitude. I think you look at that and you look at what we've been able to do and accomplish in penalties and turnovers, we're in the Top 25 in all those categories. That's something that Coach Pinkel's been harping on and something that's worked so far, so we should continue that."
On whether the winner of the Mizzou vs. Nebraska game will win the Big 12 North:
"I think people can believe whatever they want to, but for us, it's just the next game. It's the first conference game for crying out loud, you can't go in there and say this is going to predict the Big 12 North title game. You can't do that at all. If you have that attitude going in, you obviously won't play very well. We just have to go out and play our `A' game."
On playing better against Nebraska than he did last year:
"I just want to go out there and play hard, play tough and be as physical as we possibly can be against a good Nebraska team. Obviously I want to play better in all my games. I obviously didn't play well in the Nebraska and Oklahoma games last year but those aren't on my mind. It's a brand new season and who knows what will happen."
Tight End Martin Rucker
On whether the Nebraska game could turn into a shootout:
"It definitely could be. There's some pretty good offenses going against each other but there are some pretty good defenses as well."
On opening up conference play:
"We're very eager to open up conference play and it's going to be rocking in `The Zou'. We can't wait to get out there."
On facing Nebraska:
"It's definitely a lot bigger game and it is okay because we have to look at it that way. From a preparation standpoint, you have to prepare more for a bigger game, and that's what it is and we're looking forward to it.
Wide Receiver Danario Alexander
On Jeremy Maclin:
"I learned a lot from Jeremy the last couple games. He's an explosive player and we're going to work together."
On the upcoming game against Nebraska:
"It's the start of Big 12 and it's going to set the tone for conference play. It is an important game, there's a lot riding on this game."
Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon
On the upcoming game against Nebraska:
"I think it's a big game. Coach Pinkel said it's a big game because we made it a big game. We have two good teams playing against each other. It's definitely a big game and everybody knows it's a big game. Ever since spring ball, people have been talking about October 6, but in reality, during spring ball everyone was focused on the Illinois game. But now the game is at hand and it's definitely a big game.
On Nebraska's offense:
"They have a great looking offense. They have Purify, Marlon Lucky, a great quarterback in Sam Keller, and some other receivers that can get the ball. They're a pretty sound and physical offense."