September 16, 2008

Media Day Notebook

The Missouri Tigers may have appeared perfect offensively on Saturday. Gary Pinkel insisted they were not. Despite the first-team offense scoring seven touchdowns and a field goal in its eight possessions in the 69-17 thrashing of Nevada, Pinkel found things to work on when watching the film.

"There are little coaching points that, even though the play worked, there might be three or four things that the players can do better," Pinkel said. "We don't just say, 'Oh, that's great. We scored, we scored, we scored.' We analyze every single thing. When you see that, you think this is just perfection at the highest level. Certainly there's great execution, consistent execution, but still there are things to learn on every play."

Some have suggested one of Missouri's weaknesses on offense might be that the Tigers actually make it too easy. For example, Mizzou got the ball back with 2:03 to go in the first half. They scored a touchdown on a six play drive that lasted just 32 seconds. Is there, perhaps, a time to let off the gas a little bit and not score quite so quickly?

"In all the years of coaching, I've never really had that problem. I would suggest that most coaches in the country would love to have that problem," Pinkel said. "Trust me, things will balance out here. This isn't magic here. We play good teams and we'll have our tough days and we'll have our times where we have to overcome adversity."

There were a few questions about running up the score, which Pinkel quickly dismissed.

"Anybody that knows me knows I'm not," he said.

Buffalo Brings back Memories

The visit from Buffalo will bring back memories for two members of the Missouri coaching staff. Both of Pinkel's parents were born in Buffalo and he still has numerous relatives in the area. For Andy Hill, the connection is to the other sideline. Hill, now Mizzou's wide receivers coach, was a receiver at Missouri when Bulls coach Turner Gill quarterbacked Nebraska.

"He was obviously a great football player, finished like second or third in the Heisman Trophy balloting back when I was playing," Hill said. "They had the triplets, Rozier and Irving Fryar and Turner Gill and those guys were a phenomenal team."

But the two have continued to keep in touch well after their playing days over the last 25 years.

"I was a volunteer graduate assistant at SMU in 1992 when Turner Gill was the wide receivers coach at SMU," Hill said. "I talk to him four or five times a year and we keep in touch. I'm sure I'll text him this week."

Gill was 3-and-0 as a player against Missouri. As an assistant coach, he went 12-and-1 against the Tigers.

"Obviously he's a winner," Pinkel said. "He's won at everything he's ever done."

Injury Update

The Tigers came out of the game against Nevada fairly healthy. William Moore aggravated his sprained foot and was termed "probable to doubtful" by Pinkel. Linebacker Andrew Gachkar has a strained Achilles. He has not been ruled out, but is doubtful for this weekend.

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