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Missouri Postgame Quotes
December 06, 2008
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THE MODERATOR:  Coach, your thoughts on tonight's game?

COACH PINKEL:  Well, let me congratulate Oklahoma.  They got a great football team.  You know, you play a team like that, you've got your battles throughout the game, but there's certainly a turnover aspect of it.  You can't turn the ball over.  You've got to give them short fields.  When you get short fields and we got our share of short fields, sometimes we didn't do anything with it.

So you've got to obviously play better defense against the best offense I've ever seen.  And certainly when you play these guys you've got to match them score-wise.  If you don't match them score-wise, the only team that did it this year was Texas.  So we give them a lot of credit.

We battled, and obviously, I'm disappointed.

THE MODERATOR:  Okay, questions for the student-athletes and coach, if you would, please.  

Q.  Sean and Chase, how much do you think Daniel really wanted to beat these guys?  Because he struggled against them.  And it's one of the few teams that he has.  Was it -- can you comment on that at all?

CHASE COFFMAN:  It's not just him that wanted to beat them.  We all wanted to beat them.  No person in there wanted to beat them anymore than Chase or any of us.

SEAN WEATHERSPOON:  I definitely don't think there was any doubt that Chase Daniel wanted this game just as bad as anybody else in the locker room.  We were all pumped up for this game.  We knew what type of game it would be.  If we made mistakes, what type of offense they have, they'd capitalize.  Things just didn’t go our way.

Chase wanted it a lot.  Even though we were down in the half, he was still the guy that came in and tried to rally the troops.

JEREMY MACLIN:  They hit it right on the point, man.  Everybody wanted to win the game.  Unfortunately it wasn't what we expected.  He's a warrior, he wants to win every game.  He's his own critic, too, so he gets down on himself for a while.

But, like I said, everybody's out there to battle.  

Q.  You guys have first four possessions with good field position, only got one score out of that.  Did that have a deflating effect at all?

CHASE COFFMAN:  Yeah, definitely, when you get the ball and can't really do anything with it, we had a couple of turnovers there and that really hurt us.  Just can't make mistakes.  We've got to bring our A-game for those things and we didn't.

JEREMY MACLIN:  Yeah, against a good football team, you've got to capitalize, especially on possession on the field, man.  You get the ball in their territory, you've got to capitalize, and we can't do that.  Like I said, they've got an explosive offense.

So, like Coach said, we've got to match them score for score in a way.  But we didn't take advantage of it.  

Q.  Coach kind of touched on it, he said it was one of the best offenses he's ever seen.  Can you comment on how good this Oklahoma offense was?

SEAN WEATHERSPOON:  Well, my hat goes off to those guys they came out and played with intensity.  The proper intensity in order to get a win.  The offensive line did a great job establishing the run early.  And their quarterback capitalized on every little mistake that we made.  So I give a lot of credit to those guys, great offense.  

Q.  Given how your career has gone, is Oklahoma always going to be there as kind of the one that got away?

CHASE DANIEL:  I don't think it was the one that got away.  We just weren't able to win the games.  You know, it's disappointing, but I don't look back to any other Oklahoma games except this one.  This one hurts the worst.

You know, senior year, can't get it done.  Then too many turnovers on my part.  So you can't win a game against a team like that turning the football over. 

Q.  This is basically for everybody.  This morning the Kansas City Star there was a write-up about Missouri's efforts to reclaim or revisit its glory years, the ones that were in the 1960s.  Do you feel like you're going to have to beat a team like an Oklahoma, and win convincingly in order to get that back?

COACH PINKEL:  Well, I think what you have to do is you have to continue to build your program and win.  And obviously you're going to face some certain games that you want to win that maybe you haven't.  We've had to overcome a lot since -- a lot of these guys overcame a lot.

What we'll do is we'll go back to the day when we got here.  We'll recruit and battle.  We've made a lot of progress, but certainly we have not arrived.  I've said that often, so we'll continue to work hard.  

Q.  Earlier this week Bob said that Bradford's the best quarterback he's had in his tenure.  Where do you slot him in the quarterbacks that you've seen?

COACH PINKEL:  Who, I'm sorry?  

Q.  Sam Bradford.

COACH PINKEL:  Oh, Sam.  He's good.  I just told him on the field. I congratulated him and gave him a hug, you know, as Chase always does against the opponents that we play against.

You know, we respect those guys.  This league is fortunate that there are -- Chase is the Offensive Player of the Year a year ago, and one of the great quarterbacks that I've ever been associated with.

And you know, you've got Graham, and you can just keep going around the horn.  But this guy's playing probably as good as anybody I've seen play.  He doesn't get flustered.  He's got a lot of help around him.  He hardly ever makes a mistake, and that's a lot because of his offensive line.  That's where it starts.  Gives him time.

You know, his touchdown to interception ratio is borderline staggering.  So he deserves, I think, to be Offensive Player of the Year this year.  He's one of the best I've seen.  

Q.  You're looking at those stats, burrowing your brow.  What most upsets you about this game?

CHASE DANIEL:  Just the lopsidedness of it.  It's just, you know -- it's disappointing, but, like Coach Pinkel told us in the locker room, we've got to come back and we've got to win ten games.  Whoever we play in the bowl game, wherever we go, if it's California, San Antonio, wherever we go, you know, we've got to finish the season off with ten wins.  

Q.  A follow-up to the question that was asked, this is for Coach Pinkel and also for our two seniors here.  It's natural at a time like this to kind of compare the programs.  Do you think anything exists at Oklahoma, at Texas, wherever it might be, that does not exist at Missouri that keeps it from becoming the program that you're wanting it to?  Or is it just a matter of time and what needs to happen to get that program to the next step?

COACH PINKEL:  Well, I think it's consistency.  I think, you know, you look at historically, you know, they're certainly different.  It's my job to get it there, so if it's not there, it's not there yet, it's my job, and I've got to get that done.  

Q.  You got it to within 10-7, and on the scoring plate Saunders was called for a non-contact foul, what was that foul, what did having the kickoff from your 15, what kind of hole did that put you in?

COACH PINKEL:  Well, it put us in a poor hole, obviously, after answering with a score.  It was a taunting foul.  You know, we'll deal with that internally.  He's a great kid, great competitor.  There's a lot of stuff going on out there as you all know.

But we had those short fields and three-and-out, we had a turnover.  You get the short fields against those guys, you better take advantage of it.  And we didn't.  And that's certainly that's unfortunate.  

Q.  What happened to William Moore?

COACH PINKEL:  He has the -- the cartilage in between his ribs, he hurt it in Wednesday's practice a little bit.  And he tried to play the game.  He played a portion of it, and he just couldn't play anymore, so the medical staff made a decision he couldn't finish.  

Q.  I wondered if you could put Oklahoma's team in perspective against some of the other Big 12 teams you've seen in the past?

COACH PINKEL:  They're really good.  I'm not going to compare teams, I don't think that's my role to do that.  They're one of the best football teams I've seen.  They've been with us for a long time.

This isn't just based on our football game.  I'm watching all the film, this whole season, watching these guys.  And I'm just being honest with you.  You know, if I didn't think that, I wouldn't say it.  

Q.  Coach Pinkel had talked about Oklahoma's offense being one of the best he's seen, how would you rate their defenses?  Is it maybe one of the best you've seen?

CHASE DANIEL:  They're a good defense.  They played well in a big game, and that's that. I mean, they were able to force some nice turnovers, on short fields and stuff like that.  So I'm not going to compare defenses to who is better, who is this and that.  They're a great football team all around.  

Q.  On one hand, the four years that they were there, Missouri is at a level that they haven't been at in a awhile, but yet, on the other hand, you never won the Big 12.  Can you put into perspective the four years that you guys have had taking Missouri to a level they've never been, but still some goals?

COACH PINKEL:  Yeah, the answer to all those questions, have you arrived.  I've said that a number of times, we haven't.  Until you win the Big 12 championship, you haven't arrived.  We've made a lot of progress.  I'm very proud of these guys.  We've done a lot of good things at Mizzou.  But have we arrived?  No.  When we win a Big 12 championship, we'll have arrived.  

Q.  Just considering where you were last year, No. 1 going into the Big 12 championship game and knowing where you were the start the year, how do you feel right now in terms of -- do you feel like you let yourselves down from where you were a year ago?

COACH PINKEL:  Well, I don't think that.  They can answer those guys.  But our goal is to win the Big 12 North championship in a three-point loss and a five-point loss.  I've said that before.  Anybody, we all evaluate it the way we want to.  But our goal is to win the North championship. We did.

Do I wish the regular season would have ended up that we were 11-1 instead of 9-3, yeah, we should have done that.  But I think we had a good year, and you always look back.  There are a few teams every year, Texas Tech is one that did it this year.  First time in ten years they went up to that highest level.

In order to do that, you've got to win every close game you have as we did a year ago.  And I think it certainly gives some credit to some other people, but my players battle, and I'm not going to in any way say that we didn't have a good year.  We had a great year.  

Q.  It looks like more than likely tomorrow could be, say, the Alamo Bowl.  How much of a disappointment is it to know that your season ends in the Alamo Bowl instead of the BCS Bowl?

SEAN WEATHERSPOON:  I think whatever bowl we get, we have to take advantage of the opportunity that we have at hand.  Missouri's never won 10 back-to-back – 10 games in back-to-back seasons.  Our goal is to go out there and whatever bowl game we get, no matter which one we get, we go out there and get the win.  We're disappointed we didn't get the win tonight and go to the BCS Bowl.  But you can't hang your head low; you've got to pick your team up and go out there and win a football game.

JEREMY MACLIN:  Sean hit it right on the money.  Unfortunately the season didn't turn out like we wanted it to.  But we are the Big 12 North champs, back-to-back seasons, and we've got another ballgame to play.

But like Sean said, you can't hang your head low.  It's probably going to hurt for a while, but we have another ballgame. That's the good thing about it.  

Q.  In the grand scheme of things, not that big of a deal.  But I want to note the drive before half, the thought process into the one timeout left, the 15 seconds left at midfield, what was going on in that and you guys decided to let the clock run out?

COACH PINKEL:  We were getting the ball at halftime, last thing we wanted to do was make a mistake there.  

Q.  Is there a 24-hour rule for this game?

COACH PINKEL:  Well, these guys, you know, we won't be practicing for a few days this week.  Guys will deal with it the best they can.  They're all competitors, they're all warriors.  This is not the fun part of the business, but it's certainly how we handle it. We'll ultimately determine how we play in the future.

So we'll battle back. We'll come back from this.

THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  

Q.  Having played Texas, Oklahoma in this league, and how tough it's been, do you think those two deserve to play each other in the national championship game?

COACH PINKEL:  Do you want me to evaluate the system?  

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