Mizzou Football Media Day quotes - Nov. 12

From the University of Missouri

Head Coach Gary Pinkel

Opening statement:

"Not really much of an injury report today. We expect everyone that played this week to be back. We're playing a very good team from Syracuse. They're very well coached, they've got a lot of talent, they're very powerful on offense and very athletic on defense. We know the significant win they had just a week ago. It certainly says a lot about their talent and their team. It was very impressive to watch. So coming off an important conference win for us and to have a non-conference team like Syracuse to come into the Zou is very significant. I was very appreciative with the Mizzou fans and the turnout we had at the Tennessee game. Our fans get it being in this league and I appreciate that as we build our program and continue to try and make it better. It was a great showing for Mizzou fans from a national standpoint and we're very appreciative of that. That being said, too, we're going to break next week for Thanksgiving and we'd like all of the students to sign up and be at the game and not go home until Sunday; so we've got to get that message out. And certainly all of the people who live here in Columbia if they could just come support us as they've done all year we'd be very appreciative of that also."

On team's confidence since the bye week

"Well I think there's only one way to get confidence; you have to have success. There's no other way that it happens. That was a very emotional win. It was a very tough game. I think attitude wise; it's a [great way] to refill our tanks a little bit. We also haven't won back-to-back games this year. It's been a long time since that's happened. We've had a difficult schedule."

On Will Ebner having significant playing time without injury

"First of all I'm very happy for Will. It's tough when you put so much into it and get hurt over and over again but it's also the will inside of him; the competitive side of him. 'I love football and I love this football team.' To battle through all of those things, it's much more difficult than anyone can imagine to put all of this time into it and then you spend half of your time in the training room. He's had a great year and he's been a great leader. It's been great to have him there. The continuity of our defense and the consistency of our defense go hand-in-hand. He's done a real good job."

On progression of Jimmie Hunt/Bud Sasser and breakout performances

"I think both of those guys are really good athletes and we expected them to be good players. It's just that maturity level; all of a sudden they get to that point where they look like they belong. They start to make some big plays and I also think what goes with making big plays [are] confidence. I told our team that at halftime. We've got to make plays, there's not magic out there; no magic out there that makes all that happen. Both of those guys made significant catches. Bud [Sasser] made that big catch at the 10-yard-line where James got outside and threw it downfield. That certainly ignited us. Jimmie Hunt certainly with that touchdown later and the kickoff return. And just like the other guys were in there making plays. Marcus Lucas came back off a difficult game or two. I really admire them when they come back from that and he had a really good game. DGB keeps getting better each and every week. At the end of that game James made some throws that were as good as throws you can have in college football. Maybe we should throw it down there more."

On Dorial Green-Beckham figuring out the wide-receiver position

"I just think also his athleticism and his instinct. He kept both of his feet in on that big throw. You talk about a big play; how big could that play be? It's probably game over if that play doesn't work. That's also James extending that play and making a great throw in a great spot. You want that, you coach it. Both of them kind of just ad-lib it a little bit. That happens a lot. It happens with all of other quarterbacks and receivers. I think for Dorial, that's experience. He's playing more he's getting a little more confidence and I also think there's instinct there."

"He's got a lot of talent and we know that. He's also practicing very well. He's a lot different football player right now than he was five weeks ago because he's working so had on fundamentals and so on and so forth. It's a glimpse of what he can be. A glimpse. I said the same thing about Sheldon [Richardson] a year ago. If he continues to work hard like he does, then a lot of good things will happen for him and for us."

On personal attention to seniors on Senior Day

"My first few years I was here I would just hug them in the locker room and say goodbye to them. It's a great day to honor them. They've made so many sacrifices here. Their life has been the school of Mizzou football."

"It's documented; I'm an emotional wreck by the time the game starts. It takes me about five minutes into the game [to regain composure]. They're so committed and given so much to this school and Mizzou football. It's real emotional for me."

On Kendall Lawrence's outstanding play

"I don't think it's surprising. We've talked about him. In spring football it was like that; it was like he was on a mission. He was like that during two-a-days in August the whole time. He's been like that all year. That's how he's played and that's even with all the problems we've had on the offensive line. It's great to see the consistency from him when we've had all of these other problems. He can run and obviously he's got great speed, too. Maybe he just wanted to prove he was as fast as Henry, so maybe they've got something going on with that whole thing."

Junior Quarterback James Franklin

On the four overtime victory last week…

"It was pretty exciting, obviously more exciting with the win, but that's something we didn't plan, but thankfully we came out on top."

On the team's confidence level…

"We are going to do our best to not let us affect this upcoming week, about having an emotional win like that and staying on top, that's one thing we are going to try and work on. The focus this week is kind of taking the positives from them, but not letting it feel like we just won a championship and not even prepare well this week.

On how one big play can tend to lead to another big play…

"I think so. Once one big play happens, then I think the guys kind of see: 'oh well we can still do this and we can make plays and guys kind of go from there and make plays.'

On the younger wide receivers stepping up…

"They have really stepped up with their performance, I know that the younger guys aren't typically the leaders on the team, but they have done a good job of stepping up their performance and leading by example"

On what did he do at halftime to have the comeback that he had…

"I think the biggest thing was kind of getting in the right mindset and it really helped when Kendial Lawrence made that long run in the beginning of the second half, that's really I think what sparked a lot of us, cause guys are ready and they are thinking that we could do, but after Kendial did that, it was like we can do this and thankfully, eventually we did."

On how conscious he is of sending the seniors out with a win…

"Trying to not be too conscious, we definitely want to get the win first off and execute, but I definitely will be thinking about it a lot and it would mean a lot to send them out with a win for their last home game. We want to get the win first off, then afterwards you can kind of be like we sent them out with a win, we did that, and that kind of thing."

Senior Defensive Back Kip Edwards

On how important his last home game at Mizzou is…

"We just need a win, as a team. We need to keep ride this confidence that we have and put some wins together. We haven't won two back-to-back yet, so it's time to do that. That's what it's really all about on Saturday, putting two wins back to back."

On the locker room after the game last week…

"It was kind of like being at a rock star concert, you had Max Copeland, he's rocking it out. It was just a fun atmosphere, it was a fun plane ride back - it wasn't long. A win always makes it shorter, so we had fun. It was a great win and we are looking forward to Syracuse.

On taking anything special away from this last game…

"I'm not going to take any special mental pictures, I'm not going to do anything different, I'm going to prepare like I have prepared for the last ten games. All I want to do is win."

Junior Wide Receiver Marcus Lucas

On how big a game all three wide receivers in your class had on Saturday…

"Yeah, we're all roommates so we talk about that kind of stuff all the time. We all three get really excited for each other when we are doing well, so it was great to put together a whole game up with us three making plays along with the rest of the offense, the rest of the defense, the whole team really, just put together a complete game. We started off slow in the first half, but when we went into halftime we just talked to each other and were like we have to make plays and as you guys saw in the second half, we were able to do that.

On Jimmie Hunt's progression…

"Yeah, it really comes a lot with confidence. He has a lot of confidence whenever he touches the ball, he thinks, he knows, that he's going to get into the end zone and you see it every time you touch the ball, it's a touchdown play. So we all get excited whenever he does get a touch and hopefully the coaches will recognize that and get it to him a little bit more."

On making sure Mizzou continues the streak of reaching a bowl game…

"It is definitely important for us, but right now we kind of just focusing on this Saturday for the seniors. We are going to try and send them out right and we want to get them a last win in "the Zou" first and if we can do that, then it will take care of both of things that way. That's where our main focus is right now, just getting these seniors their last win in "the Zou".

Senior Offensive Lineman Elvis Fisher

On how big a deal it is to go through senior day and play instead of being injured last year…

"Well I did go out last year, I don't know if anyone else saw me, I was in coach's attire, I was in a collared shirt. It was a different feeling last year, just because I didn't know with everything going on, if I would be able to come back, or staying or leaving or what not, I didn't' know what was going on. So it's a little different this year, because I'm pretty sure there is zero eligibility left for me to get, so I'm going to go out there in full gear and it's going to be emotional. My family is going to be there and everyone is going to be cheering, and hopefully the stadium is packed. I know our fans are going to love to see our seniors one last time there and it's going to be weird. It's going to be weird to have to shut it off right afterward and just kind of focus on the game too, that's why we are there, but it's going to be fun for senior day.

On how important is it to play in a bowl game this year…

"Every class has their responsibility and every team has the responsibility to keep the tradition alive and we want to keep that tradition of going to a bowl game, what we have to do is focus this week and take it one game at a time and not worry about if we win this one what bowl we will go to, because we still have one more game after this one, but this week right now our focus is Syracuse and that is what we are focusing on and if we take it one game at a time like that good things will happen."

On his health…

"I was feeling pretty good in the beginning of the season, but then got my other knee hurt and then taking a couple weeks off, not running on it or anything, kind of, I don't know fatigued it was when I was out there and I couldn't play that much. But these last couple of weeks its felt great and I will keep doing treatment every day and I think my knee is just getting used to it. I think I'm just getting used to everything and its coming back into my old self I guess, I don't know if that's right, but I am. I'm playing better so I guess that must be it."

On do you remember your last game at each level…

"I do remember it, before this year I remember my last college football game versus Iowa in the insight bowl. You always remember your last game and I'm going to remember my last game at "the Zou" and I want it to be a good one, so focus up this week.