Head coach Gary Pinkel
Opening statement
“Good afternoon everybody. I appreciate you being here today. As usual, on Monday we got back into our normal schedule, or at least that was our goal since we faced a lot of challenges traveling back to Columbia following the Indiana game. That was the first time in 37 years as a coach that I did not return home the same night of an away game. I thought we really handled the challenges that we faced well. Our goal was to take care of our players following the game. We wanted to get them back here, get them fed and let them get some quality rest. I think the staff did such a great job of doing that. We re-organized some schedules this year, and our Sundays’ are filled with activities such as players working out, study groups, meetings and practices. My big thing was to get done with the post-game Indiana activities on time yesterday, and I think we did that. We definitely adjusted some things when looking over everything. I think we are right where we should be. Our focus now to needs to be on Arkansas State. I think as a football team we are just focusing on improving and get after it tomorrow afternoon at practice.”
On how the team’s depth at wide receiver helps the offense…
“We are running a number of plays lately. We almost ran 100 plays against Indiana, and that was with really the last eleven minutes of the game just sitting on the ball and waiting for the game to be over with. We were fortunate to be in that position. We are playing a lot of players, and I think our depth has helped us. There have been a lot of guys contributing within that position. For the most part, I am pleased with their abilities to make plays. I think we need to focus a little more though, on gaining more yards after the catch.”
On Dorial Green-Beckham’s first career 100-yard game…
“After the game, and after we win, it is a big deal. It is great that it happened. He has been working to get better, and you can see that. His position throughout the game caught like 11 passes, and I think he had eight of them. He is talented, but the other guys did some good things as well. I am pleased with the whole group overall. They held on to the football, and it is important that they continue to make big plays.”
On James Franklin’s journey back from injuries to his hot start in 2013…
“I thought James was going to be a great quarterback. Coming off shoulder surgery, it all changed a little bit, but it does not surprise me at all. I know it surprises a lot of people out there. He came off a great sophomore year. We are really consistent with the sophomores we have. But I am going to say it again so it is clear. I had more injuries with James in one year than I did in quarterback injuries combined in my 21 years of coaching. It certainly was not a lack of effort on his part.”
On matching Dan Devine for career wins at Mizzou and nearing Don Faurot…
“First of all, I have tremendous respect for Dan Devine. I had the chance after I got the job to talk to him on the phone for a little while. That meant a lot to me. I met him once years and years ago. Just to have your name thrown up there with theirs is a tremendous honor. With that being said, I just want to continue to become a better team and focus on Arkansas State. This is what I am and this is what I have done.”
On Kony Ealy’s ability to get his hands up during passing…
“I think he is gifted a little bit there with that ability. It is kind of a part of him. He has great range as a player. He is just a big guy, and has great size overall. It is fun to see him batting down a couple balls down, and taking it out. It was a big play for us against Indiana. It was 14-14 and then we just scored, and he flipped the game back right around for us.  He got us back up 28-14 after that play, and I liked how our football team handled the situation. It is huge when your defense can make those kinds of plays.”
Senior Quarterback, James Franklin
On the changes (if any) made after the interceptions against Indiana…
“Nothing really. On the first one, I just tried to beat the safety, and on the second one it was just a misread and a miscommunication on my part. It was really not too big of a deal. I was more upset because there were a lot of throws that I missed, even though I was seeing the field really well. That was really the only thing that was frustrating.”
On seeing things on the field slower…
“It seems like a lot has slowed down. It is like I needed contacts until now. It just seems like your mind works a lot faster, and more thoughts are going through my head. For example, different possibilities on a certain throw. I think things like should I back shoulder this, make it a jump ball, etc. Those are the things that go through my head.”
On the impact of the team playing better, when there’s a higher level of play at quarterback…
“I definitely think so. It helps the offense out with really being smart with the ball. Not having to make great plays, but catching the ball for the receivers and getting the ball to the tailbacks and letting them do what they do.”
Senior Linebacker, Andrew Wilson
On the defense not having to blitz often…
“The defensive line is doing a great job. I think we have had a lot of interceptions because the defensive line is getting after the quarterback. We have not had to blitz much, since the guys up front are doing a great job.”
Senior Wide Receiver, Marcus Lucas
On James Franklin’s play this season…
“I think he has overcame a lot of injuries. Now, he is just playing the game, staying healthy and really playing the game to the best of his abilities.”
On James Franklin’s accuracy this season…
“James has taken a lot of time this offseason doing a lot of reads, and not centering or predetermining who he is going to throw to. He has done a good job of letting it come to him during the game, and I think that is helping him out. He is really relaxed back there and not overdoing anything.”
On James Franklin’s sliding on a run…
“I like to see him slide. It is fun to make fun of him when he does that. But overall, I like to see him run. He is a playmaker, and a fun kid to watch. When he is running and scrambling out, it is fun to try to get into scramble drill mode and things like that.”
Senior Defensive Lineman, Kony Ealy
On his ability to get his hand on the ball…
“It is something I have always had since high school. As I go on through college play, and observe NFL players, I idolize players like J.J. Watt. It just helps out all the way around.”
On being named SEC Defensive Line Player of the Week…
“It is just an award. I definitely recognize it because it is an award that is not given to everybody. I am grateful for that, but I have to focus on our next opponent, get out there and continue to get better.”

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