Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel Quotes

On the game...

“It was obviously a very soggy day out there. As always, I’m very proud of my football team and how we competed. I look back at the way we started the game and the turnover that we had and it’s instantly seven points. And then the fourth-and-one on the goal line and how our defense answered that, we got a first down on the four or five, and held them for four downs; and then our offense responds with a 99-yard drive. I think [it was] obviously a huge turning point in that football game. There were a lot of turnovers, we got a little sloppy in the fourth quarter, there are certainly a lot of things we need to improve on, but I’m very pleased with the effort of our team. When I took this job there were some inherent barriers. There have been a lot of them. I contributed to this as a head coach here this past five years. This is another barrier we finally got through. I’m glad that’s over with. But, I’m proud of my football team, health wise we came out pretty good. Smitty is getting his hip x-rayed; he’s got a hip injury. I don’t know the extent of it right now. Obviously we’re very concerned about that. Other than that, I think we came out pretty healthy.”

 

On the 4th and 1 stop...

“We talked about crunch time. There’s a time when you have to make a play. We haven’t done that every time this year, but a lot of times we have in different games. You talk about fourth and one on the goal line, and being able to make that stop, and have offense answer and go 99 yards, it’s just a remarkable momentum swing. You do it by your players making plays; nothing magical out there, it’s certainly says a lot about my football team, and the character of our team, and the fight of our football team.”

 

On Chase Daniel...

“I think he’s a pretty special guy, I think we all know that. When he had that blitz I think there were a couple things there when that happened. One is, we had a mistake on the offensive line. Number two, when he sees that blitz, he can’t hold the ball that long. We’ll work together on that. I think we got out of sync for a drive or two, but I think he settled down. I don’t know what his numbers were, but I know he’s a pretty special player and a competitor. And he’s got a good supporting cast and a good offensive line.”

 

On snapping the 13-game losing streak...

“Well, it just hangs on you a little bit. I could sit there and lie to you and say it’s no big deal, but that’s why we talk about...this is ’06, we have no control over the past. We have absolutely nothing we could do, and I felt that the players understood that and focused on it, and we had all that adversity early and they’re probably going, what the heck’s going on around here?’ Certainly we responded well, and I’m pleased with that.”

 

On taking advantage of turnovers...

“We had all of those opportunities, and we didn’t get one of them. We told our defense at halftime, we’ll probably get some opportunities, we just have to take advantage of them when we get them; and we did. It was very similar to the Texas Tech [game], those turnovers, back to back, which I never thought I’d see. But it was very close to being the same. I was disappointed that we didn’t respond better defensively. I think they let their air out a little bit, kind of like this is going to be easy, the scores up there.’ And that’s where we’ve got to get better as a football team, on offense and defense. When you’ve got a lead like that, you keep that high level of execution. So there’s certainly a lot of things to do to get better.”