Mizzou Football Media Day Quotes - Nov. 4

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MUTIGERS.COM

MUTIGERS.COM

Nov. 4, 2013

Head Coach, Gary Pinkel

Opening statement...
"We are just working on the University of Kentucky right now. Obviously one thing that is different in this league than other leagues I have been associated with is, and that with the SEC there is so little drop off in the talent in this league. Every team is good. I think this also applies to Kentucky. They are a good football team, and we are going to work very hard to play our best football game Saturday."

On what worries you most about Kentucky as a team...
"Honestly, I think with the two quarterbacks playing is the biggest thing. Who is going to play the most, and they are each a little bit different as players. I think in terms for preparation, it is significant. We will have to keep an eye on that. We have seen so many teams with quarterback problems this season. We have had the same issues. It is interesting that we have never talked about that before. Their starter should be back, but we got to be prepared for both."

On Missouri also dealing with injuries at the quarterback position, and the performance of freshman Maty Mauk filling in...
"It is difficult. I think I said this after the game, that I went through a long time without losing a quarterback and it is very rare when your backup quarterback can play close to what the starter can play. I think that is just the way it is. I think a lot of times they do not get the experience because you do not trade people in and out. The other thing is because I think it is true in every level (NFL and college football), that you can name a dozen teams that the starter goes out and you are not going to be able to match that performance on the field. I feel fortunate that Maty has done a good job. I think what has helped Maty without question is that upfront we are playing really well. The offensive line that helps him, and having the receiving core intact allows him a greater shot of being successful."

 

 

On the defensive line's performance up to this point, and the impact it has overall on this football team...
"I think we are playing really well up front on the defensive side, and actually both sides of the football. We have impact players that make plays, with great quickness. If you mention one name we got to mention nine. I'm certainly pleased with the effort there. We are a lot better at defensive line. We have taken it to a different level, starting with the first game of this year. Shane Ray is playing at a different level. Michael Sam, we all know historically what he has been doing. You look at all of these different guys with all the plays we have been making. Kony Ealy, Harold Brantley, Lucas Vincent, Matt Hoch. I can keep on going. We are playing really well. If you can play well on both sides of the football you got a shot. My best football team I have had here is when our line of scrimmage is the best. That is where you stick all the perimeter people. If you're good up front it gives you the chance to be really good."

On the recent performance of offensive lineman, Justin Britt...
"He is just getting better. We talked about him today in the coach's meeting. He is really standing out. Often offensive linemen can stand out, but he has been blowing people up. He is just a very talented player. He is playing at a whole different level since he has been here. He is a very talented athlete. I call him a flat belly offensive lineman. He is really going well right now, and I'm really proud of him. The offensive line in general is also playing really well too."

On the photo of the little boy that dressed up as you for Halloween...
"Yeah, I did see that. I got that sent to me from four different people within 20 seconds. They said that the boy looks a lot better than what I do. I got the chance to actually meet him after the Tennessee game, and talked with him. He was really neat, and is a really nice young man. He is a young man with autism, and I am involved with the Thompson foundation here in Columbia a little bit with fundraising. I have been a part of that group the last couple of years. It was really neat to be able to see him after the game, and give him a hug. We do a lot of that community service with kids that have medical needs. We are involved a lot as an athletic department, and certainly our football program is too. Something that you don't see or read a lot about. Our kids do a lot of other things to help other kids."

On what Marcus Lucas brings to the receiving core...
"Marcus is really playing well, and doing a lot of good things. We are very fortunate to have a receiving core, where probably six or seven of them are really good players. He (Lucas) is a senior, and doing things that we expected him to do. We had him inside a little bit, and that sometimes can be served as a possession receiver but it kind of depends on what we call and what the game plan is. He has great speed, and great hands. It is neat to see the contribution he has made, and he is really talented. "

On E.J. Gaines returning last week against Tennessee...
"He was really excited. I think it was one of those things I used to say, that when he is in the huddle we are a better defensive unit. When he is on the field there is a sense of confidence. He was our best defensive player coming into this year. I think it was really difficult for him to sit out these past few weeks. He is a great competitor. It is neat to see him come in and make some of the plays that he makes. So that is certainly a jump for us."

Senior Wide Receiver, Marcus Lucas

On the success of the wide receiving core this season...
"We have been pretty consistent in most of the games that we have played in. We are just out there having fun. It is not really about who is getting the most catches or most touchdowns or anything like that. It is about having fun, and we all enjoy watching each other having success. So, it has just been really fun."

On the wide receiving group growing throughout the years...
"The coaches definitely did a good job of recruiting us. We are playing to our potential. That is one of the things that we have kind of had to work on. We have had to mature a lot. We have had a lot of the same faces that we have had last year on the team. It was that extra year to mature and to set different goals and have different mindsets and things like that. It is paying off for us."

On personally maturing as a player since last year...
"I mean just to eliminate some of the outside distractions. That has been huge. Just focusing on what you can do and the things you can control and just leaving it on the field. My mindset this year was each game is going to be my last time doing that game, so just to play each game like it's the last game you are ever going to play. I think some of the other guys have that same kind of mentality. It is paying off."

Redshirt Junior Running Back, Henry Josey

On the importance of having all three of the running backs available, despite the injuries...
"Yes, it is definitely important. You can't just rely on one of us the entire time. We also serve as a combination. So, we are all just one together. Having all three of us out there together is a big thing, and we each individually love seeing all three of us out there."

On Morgan Steward and Greg White getting carries in the Tennessee game...
"That is always exciting. We love seeing those guys get in there, pound the ball and breaking tackles. We just laugh at it the next day. It is very exciting. We love seeing those guys get in."

On having such a large number of team rushing yards against Tennessee...
"It was the offensive line. They are doing an amazing job and also our receivers are doing a great job of blocking on the outside and making everything so much easier for us. We don't have to look out left, look out right and then all of a sudden someone is coming for you. It is just straight ahead of you and you have these guys in front of you that you have to make them miss, then it is time to go."

Senior Defensive Back, E.J. Gaines

On the emotions after getting injured in the Georgia contest...
"It hurt knowing that I was going to miss my first college game since I have been here. In the end, it was just up to me to help my teammates and especially after a tough loss like South Carolina that I didn't get to play in, just trying to keep their spirits up and being a leader and a captain for my players."

On helping out his team when he was injured...
"As soon as I got hurt, coach (Pinkel) came up to me and told me that I would be like a coach until I came back. That is kind of how I took it."

On the emotions of playing against Tennessee coming off his injury...
"I was excited. I am a competitor and I couldn't wait to get back out there with my players and my teammates. I had a lot of fun."

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