Dec. 8, 2013
Executive Associate Athletics Director Bryan Maggard
"On behalf of Director of Athletics Mike Alden, who is attending meetings in New York City tonight, and our head football coach Gary Pinkel, we want to thank each and every one of you for being here. It gives me great, great privilege to announce that the University of Missouri has officially accepted an invitation to compete in the 2014 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The lineup should be very, very exciting, as we will take on the Cowboys from Oklahoma State University. This should be a great matchup from Mizzou and Oklahoma State, respectfully. We are very excited about accepting this invitation. As you are well aware, we competed in the Cotton Bowl in 2007 against the University of Arkansas. Mr. Rick Baker, who is the president and CEO of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is one of the finest bowl executives in America, and he and his team will certainly put on a fantastic week for Mizzou, our student-athletes, staff, coaches and families. So we are very excited and very honored to accept that invitation.
The location of Dallas, Texas, is really good for Mizzou, from both a fan base standpoint, a recruiting standpoint, and we look forward to having a very strong fan base following us down to Dallas as we take on the Cowboys. With that said, I'll turn it over to Coach Pinkel. I just want to publicly thank him and his staff and student-athletes for an unbelievably successful season this year. We could not be more proud of what he, his staff and the student-athletes have accomplished."
On ticket allotment and expected fan support...
"We expect a high level of enthusiasm from our fan base. We're allotted 12,500 tickets, which were opened up to TSF members and season ticket holders. To date, we had a very solid response. Tomorrow at noon, the tickets will go open to the public and we anticipate selling our allotment out midweek or by week's end."
On the bowl selection process...
"We had spoken to the conference office last week to try to analyze potential lineups. At that time, with the (SEC) Championship Game still to be played, we could have gone in a few different directions. How those bowls converse with one another wasn't really shared. But we do know we're very excited about being invited to the Cotton Bowl this year."
Head Coach Gary Pinkel
"First of all, it is good to be doing this again after a year off. It's always great when you are sitting here talking about going to a bowl game. The AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic has a rich tradition; we attended a few years ago. What a great experience our players will have. (The Cotton Bowl) is as first class as any bowl in this country, they do things right. It's also an alumni base for us, one of the largest in the country outside the state of Missouri. Our fans have been traveling great all year, so get your plans made up and head on down to the Cotton Bowl.
We're playing Oklahoma State, we are familiar with them a little bit. It's funny how things have flipped. We go from the Big 12 and play against Arkansas last time, now we're a member of the SEC and we're playing a member of the Big 12. They're 10-2, we're 11-2. We're playing a really, really good football team and it will be a challenge for us.
I'm very proud of my players, I'm very proud of my football staff and all the people who assist our players so they can be successful as a team. I'm very appreciative of some of the players being here with finals going on. It's a difficult 24 hours, after you played a tough football game, so I'm very appreciative of those guys being here."
On representing the SEC against a former Big 12 foe...
"You always do in bowl games. When we were in the Big 12 at the end of the bowl season, you always looked at the Big 12 record compared to the other leagues. I did that when I was a coach in the Pac-10. There's certainly a great deal of pride. We're representing the SEC and every (SEC) team that's playing in bowl games represents the SEC. We have great pride in that."
On familiarity with Oklahoma State and the matchup...
"We know each other a little bit. Obviously for two years we took a break with one another. I think it's a great matchup, look at the two teams' records, the great years we've had. There are a lot of great (bowl) matchups but I can't imagine any better than this one."
If this year's team will embrace the opportunity like the 2007 team...
"The 2007 team was a great football team and did the things they did. But this team, the 2013 team, is very unique. This team had things it had to overcome and things it had to do. They'll go down and compete. They want to win and they want to be successful."
On the bowl preparation schedule...
"We'll iron out the details in the next few days. Our first practice will be a week from tomorrow. Once we get the schedule done we will get that out." On relishing the chance to play in the Cotton bowl after missing a bowl last year... "Our goal is always to win a national championship. Our next goal is to win the SEC East, since that's the only way you can get to the (SEC) Championship game. The other thing is to go to a bowl. I'm really proud to be back and to play in a great bowl."
Junior TB Henry Josey
On getting back to a bowl game after a year absence...
"As a team we are proud of ourselves this season and then able to get to a bowl, we just turned this program around like we wanted to. So, that was something that was in our goals. We've gotten there and we are very happy as team to be where we at."
On playing in his home state of Texas...
"I miss my kid a lot and it's good to go home and see my family. Also just to have so much family in that area and then also in the Houston area, they'll be able to come to the game. That's very exciting."
On the sense of pride playing a Big 12 team as a member of the SEC...
"We are going back just to prove a point that we are still here and we've gained their respect just like we've gained the respect of the SEC."
Sophomore OL Evan Boehm
On if the game means more playing a Big 12 team...
"No, I think the media is going to hype up that we're more of a Big 12 team than we are. We are in the SEC and they are in the Big 12 and we are going out to play our football."
On the SEC's conference-wide sense of pride...
"You do have a sense of pride playing in the SEC and going up against great teams like you do. But that's when you look back on the season, and you went to an SEC Championship game and you've lost two games throughout the schedule that you had. But you can throw all that stuff out the window now because you have a bowl game to look forward to and you have a great Oklahoma State team that we are getting ready to play."
On the excitement to get back to practice...
"I think everybody in that locker room last night was ready to get back to practice. It was a tough loss and it was a tough to be in the situation that we were in. But like I said earlier, we are going to back here in the next couple of years; next year and the year after that. We firmly believe in that and not a lot of other people may believe that but we do. And that is what' s got us here now. But at the same time, you just got to go out there and practice like you have these last 12-13 weeks."
Senior WR L'Damian Washington
On playing in the Cotton Bowl...
"I'm excited for a lot of people in the Dallas area from on our team. It's definitely a home game for them. It's a home game for me, basically I'm two hours away from Dallas. It's going to be good that my brothers can see me play in my last game. And I get to play in (AT&T Stadium)."
On getting Mizzou back to its recent winning ways...
"That was our goal at the beginning of the year, just to get Mizzou back in the old traditional way of winning, and I think we've done that this year. Our goals aren't over; we've got to win the bowl game. We want to win 12 games this year and I think whenever you can go into a season and can win 12 games, it's a successful season."
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