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Tigers Talk Oklahoma with Media
November 26, 2007
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel, quarterback Chase Daniel, tailback Tony Temple, receiver Denario Alexander, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and tight end Chase Coffman met with the media at the MU weekly press conference Monday afternoon.

No. 1 Missouri (11-1) faces No. 8 Oklahoma (10-2) in the 2007 Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Game at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday, Dec. 1. ABC has the national telecast beginning at 7 p.m. Please visit Big 12 Championship Central for complete information on the game. Read up on the Tigers with the Sooner Scouting Report.
 
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and select players will meet with the media on Tuesday at noon. Watch the press conference live from Memorial Stadium in Norman via the free webcast at SoonerSports.com.
 
  MISSOURI HEAD COACH GARY PINKEL
 
Injury Update:
"We've been very fortunate this year for the most part. Obviously we lost a great player in Pig Brown, but we're a pretty healthy football team. We're nicked and bruised like any other team would be in the country after 12 football games. Right now Chase Coffman is the only one who is questionable for this game and he's in a cast right now, which is a form of treatment that they do so that there is no movement at all in his ankle. Hopefully he'll take that off on Wednesday and he'll practice a little bit Wednesday and he'll practice full on Thursday and hopefully he'll be ready to go. We're going to think positive, certainly our medical staff thinks positive and Chase, certainly if there is anybody that is going to get himself ready to play, it would be Chase Coffman, so we'll see how that goes."

On preparing for the Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma:
"We're excited about playing in the Big 12 Championship game in San Antonio. It's certainly a goal that we had. I'm very proud of my football team for how they played against a very good Kansas football team. For us, it's just going to be like game week, we're not doing anything different than we normally do. We'll go down Friday afternoon and just lock in the way that we prepare for every game. That's one thing we're really trying to do is to make sure we get those things done in terms of our preparation being real consistent."

On Oklahoma:
"Oklahoma's a great football team. Obviously they beat us at their place in Norman about seven weeks ago or so. I have tremendous respect for Bob Stoops, he's one of the great coaches in the country and I have tremendous respect for their team. Obviously, they've been in this situation before. They've been in Big 12 Championship games, they've been in National Championship games, without question, from the experience standpoint, their football team and program have that over us."

On Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford:
"Sam Bradford I think is a great player. For a redshirt freshman to be playing like he's playing, I know he got dinged up a little bit at Texas Tech, but certainly for a guy to be able to play like he's playing, he had a great game against us the last time we played. He has great receivers.  He's got a great offensive line intact and they're a very potent offensive football team. From a defensive standpoint, they're typical Oklahoma. They run well, they hit, they have great athletes and they are well coached. That will be our challenge, we're excited about this great opportunity and we'll get going tomorrow morning. Our staff, as always, is game planning now and our players will start with the 7 a.m. meeting tomorrow morning."

On not letting the No. 1 ranking distract them:
"I told them what I told them the week before, the week before and the week before. It would be wise to focus on the task at hand and focus on our preparation. I know that's redundant and boring, but that's how we have an opportunity to play our best game and that's all I'm looking for, is for us to try to play our best game of the year when we play Oklahoma."

On the No. 1 ranking and the reactions toward it:
"There's a sense of pride, there's no question about it. I'm very pleased for my staff and very pleased and happy for my players because they've worked hard. Obviously also for the fans and the players that have played here over the years and the loyal fans and the alumni. That being said, you really don't have that much time to think about that stuff because we're playing a great football team. I thought about it for about a minute-and-a-half and then you move on."

On the team reacting to the loss to Oklahoma early in the season and seeing it as a positive:
"I think first of all, that starts out with the respect our players have for Oklahoma. That's number one. Number two is that we competed at their place and I think they've won every game in there in forever, it seems like. We had a lead going into fourth quarter, we made some mistakes, they created some mistakes, so that's how you look at it. I think our team at that time said, `Hey, we can be pretty good. If we keep getting better, we might have a chance at this.'"

  MISSOURI QB CHASE DANIEL

On if losing the Big 12 Championship Game will ruin the season:
"Yeah without a doubt, but you can't go into the game with a mind set like that at all, and that won't be on any of the players' minds. We've never gone into a game thinking `hey, we can't lose this game', but it's more of a `hey, let's go out there and execute the offense, defense, and special teams.' We have to play as hard as you can and don't leave anything on the field."

On if this week is any different:
"No, not really because you're playing longer into the year, and I like to play as many ballgames as we can. We're fresh for the most part. We'll get back to work on Tuesday and start going."

On maybe forgetting the Kansas victory since there's a new task at hand:
"I think you have to take positives out of that game, and how well we played them on a national stage. But, fourteen penalties, that obviously has to be corrected, and it will because Coach [Pinkel] said that would be addressed tomorrow. For the most part, we just have to go out there and play with confidence that we've had for the past five weeks."

  MISSOURI RB TONY TEMPLE

On when he watched the last Oklahoma game at home injured:
"Yeah, I'm up and pacing. Getting up and down from my seat every play. My heart is dropping every play, and I know that everything is going on because we studied them obviously, and it was just hard. It was just heartbreaking to see my guys out there working hard and I couldn't do anything."

On the benefit to thinking about being #1 for a short time:
"Yeah, we definitely can't think about it. Easy come and easy go, therefore, we need to take the time and do what got us here. We have to breakdown Oklahoma, and correct all the little things that we did wrong. If we do that, then we'll be successful."

On getting back to where he was before the injury earlier this season:
"Oh, I think so, yeah. I'm definitely a hundred percent now, and I'm starting to click with my offensive line. It feels good to be out there."

  MISSOURI WR DENARIO ALEXANDER

On the second touchdown in the Kansas game:
"I had a real route at the beginning of the play. I finally saw him run out, and I broke out with him. It was crazy that he was able to get the ball to me."

On voting for him and Chase Daniel for the Pontiac Game Changing Performance:
"Oh, no I hadn't seen that yet. Oh, I will vote for it a couple of times."

  MISSOURI LB SEAN WEATHERSPOON

On how good Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford is:
"Oh, he's great, and he's just a freshman. He's going to be there for a while, and he's been playing at a really high level this year."

On the Oklahoma loss being the best thing that could happen for Missouri:
"Yeah, I wanted to win that game. That really would have been the best thing to happen to us, but when we lost that game we rallied together and grew from it. Everybody just talked about how we could get back to the Big 12 Championship and play against [Oklahoma], and we took it one week at a time. It's great to be here."

On knowing that they could, and can play Oklahoma well:
"I think everybody believed that we could, but when we first got out there for the first series, I think it kind of grew. Coach Pinkel told us that we didn't want to go down there and play with mediocrity, but we were going to take care of business."

  MISSOURI TE CHASE COFFMAN

On the percentage chance that he will not play Saturday:
"Hopefully zero percent. Ever since the first Oklahoma game, that's when [the pain] started, and it's been nagging me ever since."
 
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Quotes courtesy Missouri Athletics Media Relations.
 

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