Tigers Hold Weekly Media Day

Gary Pinkel

Head Coach, Gary Pinkel

Injury Report…

“Jared Perry has a fractured tibia. It’s going to keep him out for four-to-six weeks. Post season would be an opportunity, if we’re in that situation. It’s really unfortunate for him.  He’s done so much here. The good thing is that it isn’t a reconstruction of his knee, so we try to get something positive out of.”


Opening Statement…

“The football team is preparing for Iowa State.  They are playing very well, and are bowl eligible. Paul Rhoads has done an exceptional job with the football program. They have a dual threat quarterback, probably the best in the league, and one of the best in the country. He is very impressive. So that is going to be our challenge with him. They also have a great running back, a 1,000 yard rusher. I’m very impressed with them on film, they’ve got great players and certainly for a first year head coach it’s a tremendous job that they’ve done. It will be senior day for us, that’s a big deal around here.  We want to honor our seniors their last time playing at ‘The Zou.’ Our fans, last couple of experiences haven’t been very good there so we certainly owe them a better effort than we’ve done in the past. We are trying to play two good games in a row.  We haven’t done that yet this year. It’s going to require a lot of work, but we’re going to do it.”


On filling in for Jared Perry…

“I think we look at everybody, Jerell Jackson is doing a lot more than he’s done in the past. Wes Kemp, he’s in there and done some things. Rolandis Woodland got a little playing time last week. Brandon Gerau was in there a little bit. Four years ago when Danario (Alexander) and J.P. were freshman, a couple of guys got injured and they both started playing a little bit. Both of those guys really showed up, as freshman. So everybody’s got to pick it up, and I think they all understand that. It will certainly be a loss, he is one of our big play wide receivers, it’s very unfortunate.”


On Aldon Smith’s sacks…

“I’m really proud of him because he’s got a great motor, he’s playing hard. He had some great examples in front of him, watching Ziggy Hood a year ago, and Spoon (Sean Weatherspoon) watching how he plays. These high level guys who play every play everyday hard and he is developing those habits. He’s not there.  He is going to be a lot better player a year from now. You can have all the ability in the world, but if you don’t have the motor and the want to and the desire to be good, you’ll never get to that point. Who knows how good he is going to be someday.  But, the reason he is as good as he is at such a young age is how hard he plays. He has developed great practice habits that are carrying over to game day.”


On Danario Alexander’s eight yard touchdown…

“Well that was an interesting quarter to say the least.  There were 58 seconds left when we got our fourth play of the third quarter. The good news is that they only had six points and the best news was that a play later, Danario makes a big catch over the middle and makes it a big, big play. Those are huge, they are impact plays.”


On feeling nervous at the beginning of third quarter…

“I don’t ever do that.  You stay focused. They only had the ball three plays, so they were moving the clock. I don’t ever get doom and gloom like that. The only time I got doom and gloom was when we had three penalties in the first quarter, I was ready to retire. Some of the second half issues we’ve had on our team, the only thing you can do is stay focused and get the best you can out of it. There was no magic there.  Guys made plays and we had execution on offense. You block, throw the ball well, we catch, we run the ball, it wasn’t magic calls it was just the offense executing and the defense making some turnovers and getting some shorter fields for us.”


On being ready for Iowa State…

“I’m thinking right now we better be ready to play our very best game if we want a chance to win the game, so that’s were going to try to do. In the whole season we have not played two back- to- back games well this year and I’m responsible for that. There’s a lot left out there too but sooner or later you’ve got to take care of your business.”


On differences between the Kansas State and Baylor game…

“I just think that we were a focused football team (against Kansas State). That doesn’t mean you are going to win, but it allows you to play better. We are going to try to be that this week too. It’s all a mental game. We’ve got a lot to prove.  We are playing a very good football team at home and it’s the senior’s last game they are going to play here. We’ve got a challenge.”


On Danario Alexander’s leadership…

“I think there are all different kinds of leaders, everybody’s got to do it within in their personality, and role. First thing you have to lead by example, with work ethic and performance, if you’re in position to do that. There are some guys who lead well that don’t play a lot. Jason Ray didn’t play a lot but he was a great leader. Everybody leads in their own way and we call upon that. Our seniors are dealing with a real non-experienced football team but I think they did a great job last week. “


On a small senior class…

“That’s just the way it is, we knew that going in. Do you think anybody cares that we have a bunch of young players?  I don’t. But there are challenges that go with that and that’s part of my job and what we do. You try to work through it and grow from it.”


On Lorenzo Williams addressing team…

“That was kind of a private deal for us.  We don’t do that a lot. But he did a great job and players enjoyed that. There are a lot of players that are going on with their lives right now and love Mizzou and have helped us build this program.   In this particular decade there was a lot of winning and the neat thing about that is they have a lot of pride in who they are what they’ve done.”


On Maclin’s records close to being broken…

“It would be hard at the beginning of the season if you would have told me that to believe it. I did say at press day that Alexander is a great player that has been hurt and he has really surpassed what I would have expected from him. I think his confidence has grown tremendously, when you can go in there and play-in and play-out and make plays. J Mac is the best player I’ve ever been around at any position that could change a game like that, but this guy is doing pretty remarkable things. As far as all conference and awards, media can draw attention fast these days, and the most important thing is winning but you also wish that he would get what he deserves based on this year. When you talk about Crabtree, and Maclin he is in the same category here. I feel deeply for him, because I know what the guy has been through. No one can really understand the hours and hours he spent in the training room with Rex Sharp. Always coming back with a good attitude, for him he wants to make plays and help us win games.”


Jared Perry, Wide Receiver

On his season-ending injury:

“I’ve just got to rehab, support my team and be more of a leader. It was a bad blow, but I’d rather it take four-to-six weeks than four-to-six months. I’m just going to rehab, be there for my teammates and come back strong.”


On how he will be replaced:

“Young guys have got to step up. That’s really what it is. I’m going to have to coach and talk to some of those young guys that need to step up.”


On the senior class:

“A lot of us are really close. Some of our guys came in together and played as true freshman, like me, Spoon (Sean Weatherspoon) and Danario [Alexander]. We’ve been together and lived together for awhile, so we look out for each other.”


On his and Danario Alexander’s leadership skill:

“Me and ‘Nario are quiet-type guys. We try to lead by example. If they see us going hard in practice, they’ll think, ‘We need to go hard in practice too.” So if we lead by example, everybody else will go along with it.”


On who Blaine Gabbert will throw to now:

“He’s got receivers. People have just got to get open and make plays. They’re going to be more focused—they’re ready to play, and they want to step up.”


Kevin Rutland, Defensive Back

On what was different in the victory at Kansas State:

“I think we prepared the same way, we just stayed focused during the game. That was our big focus, and that’s what we did—instead of going into half-time laid-back, everything was quiet. There wasn’t much talking, and no laughter at all, we just kept our focus and got the victory.”


On Sean Weatherspoon’s halftime speech:

“Spoon is a vocal leader, and that’s what he did this week in the locker room. When we came into the locker room at halftime, he got everything quiet and just said, ‘Guys, we’re not going to have this again. We’re not going to go out and start off slow.’ When he said that, guys listened, and we did that.”


On the Kansas State-dominated third quarter:

“Those two drives only resulted in field goals. We kept them from scoring touchdowns, and so we were happy with that performance. We knew that if we could come out and score touchdowns, we’d be fine. It was a great moral victory.”


On holding Kansas State on first and goal in the fourth quarter:

“I think it says a lot about the defense’s character. Although the game was clearly won at that time, we still had that not-give-up attitude. We made a stand, and made it happen. I give a lot of credit to the defensive line and linebackers, because to close on the one-yard-line was extremely hard to do, and they did it.”


Sean Weatherspoon, Linebacker

On Kansas State:

“We knew that we were going to go into a tough environment up there—that their fan base was really into that game, and that it was a big game for them. We came out and played together as a team and the leaders did a great job of getting everybody ready.”


On Danario Alexander:

“Danario is a playmaker. He’s a guy that kind of does his thing in between the lines, by giving young guys that example to look at. He fights for yardage, and just does whatever he can to make plays. He’s a pretty good leader too. I’ve seen him when guys get a little emotional on the sidelines, he’s the guy that kind of gets them focused and tells them not to worry.”


On the play where Alexander’s helmet was ripped off:

“He caught a great ball, and then the guy tried to take him down and his helmet popped off. That just shows how determined he is to go out the right way as a senior. I think that was the play that everyone was excited about, just to see his determination. Even when his helmet went off and a guy from K-State tried to take a shot on him, he was still fighting for yardage.”


On staying focused:

“We started the season well, but then we haven’t played our best. Our best games have probably been K-State and Illinois—and there have been eight games between them. Hopefully we can get it going quicker this time. We had a great week at Colorado, and then the next week we were embarrassed in front of our home crowd. As leaders and captains, that taught us a lesson.”


Aldon Smith, Defensive End

On playing well after halftime:

“A lot of times in the season we would start off the game really well, and then after halftime we would come out flat. What Spoon preached this week was to just finish the game. We have to keep going after the half. The game is four quarters, and we have a thing that we say—‘You can’t win a game in the first three quarters, you’ve got to win the fourth quarter.’ That’s what we did this week.”


On Missouri’s good away-game performances:

“I think we’re starting to learn to respond well to adversity. At away games, you have a crowd that’s not going your way and sometimes referee’s that aren’t going your way, so I think our team does well in adverse situations.”


Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback

On Kansas State:

“It was a good game. We executed on both sides of the football throughout the entire game. Danario is finally healthy, and he’s someone that can make a big time play every time he has the football in his hands.”


On Jared Perry’s injury:

“It’s a big loss. To see one of your starting wideouts go down to injury is never good, but our young receivers are going to have to step up. All the young receivers are going to step up—Jerrell Jackson is taking his position, and all the young players are going to rise to the challenge.”


On Senior Day against Iowa State:

“It’s a big time game for us. We haven’t won in a few weeks at Mizzou. We’re going to go out there and play Iowa State to the best of our ability, and it’s going to be a good game. They’re a good team—they beat Nebraska at home, so it should be a good game.”


Jerrell Jackson, Wide Receiver

On winning on Senior Day:

“It will be really big, especially for the seniors. We haven’t won a home game in a long time, so coming in and winning this home game is huge for us. Being consistent is one thing that coach always talks about, so that’s one thing that we have to do.”


Danario Alexander, Wide Receiver

On younger receivers replacing Jared Perry:

“The guys are ready to step up. They know that they’ve got an opportunity in front of them, and we’re going to get them ready to go.”

On coming out of the tunnel for the last time on Senior Day:

“I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now. My time is coming to an end, and it’s kind of bittersweet. I’m sure emotions will be flying everywhere, but I’ve got to try to contain them and play my best game.”


On advice he gave Jared Perry:

“I made sure I was the first person to try to talk to him after he was injured, to try to keep him positive about the whole situation. It’s hard when they pretty much tell you that you’re going to be out for a couple of games, but I told him to just be positive and get ready for the bowl game.”


On the senior class:

“We’re very close. Most of us came in together, and we’ve been through a lot here. For the last game to be here is kind of sad, but we’re just going to try to come out and play our best game.”




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