"Congratulations to Gary Pinkel and the Missouri Tigers. It was a very physical Big 12 football game, which was no surprise to us. Missouri lost a lot of close games, but had played a lot of outstanding football. It's a heartbreaking loss. We would have loved to win the Big 12 North outright, but we're still co-champions and way beyond what anybody in this room besides me thought we would be.
"We're going to postseason play and have a winning season. We're obviously disappointed in the final score today, but I don't want to let this thing fall to wayside from what these kids have accomplished this year. Their character, integrity, the way that we've won, and handled losing when it happened – all those things make me real happy to be the head coach here.
"We're looking forward to finalizing our destination in the days ahead. We know that we'll get a great opportunity, based on all the conversations I've had with some tremendous bowl people around the country. It doesn't get any better than the bowl games that we have tied in with the Big 12 Conference. We look forward to the opportunity to playing in another part of the country and play football, and match up our football team with another team."
"It was one-on-one coverage on both sides and their defensive back made the play and we didn't. The kid made a great play on it. It wasn't a bad throw at all, but their guy made the play. Had we kicked a field goal, it probably wouldn't have gotten to overtime. But Bret has done a phenomenal job. We wouldn't be going to postseason play without Bret Culbertson. He was 21-of-22 before he missed that kick. He's had a tremendous season. He's paying his own bills, is a walk-on, nobody knows his name when he gets here, and he's out there helping us win games and get to postseason play."
"We have faith in what we're doing with our run game, and we tried to punch a hole in there and make something happen. We end up losing some yardage on the thing and end up coming back having to throw. That was not what we had anticipated. There were a lot of very good plays from both teams."
"I told them how proud I am of them. We lost a game today, but there is not one loser in that locker room, coach or players. I'm really proud of being a co-champion in the Big 12 North. We would have liked to have won it outright, but we're still co-champions when they picked us sixth in the North and 12th in the Big 12. We were 90th in the country preseason.
"People thought we were down and out when Texas A&M got after us, but the resurgence, hope, faith, integrity, and inspiration that this team has had through these tough times, I'm really proud of them. I'm thankful this is not our last game this year, because we want to have one more great celebration as a football team. Hopefully we'll be able to do that against a real good opponent at a bowl game."
"When we get opportunities we have to make plays, and some of the guys that had opportunities were young guys. But I still have faith in those kids. It's a great young bunch of people to be around. I love coaching this team, and we'll get a chance to spend more time with them. They need a little break right now, and we've got to get on the road recruiting. We'll get some rest and get them ready. All of the kids that went out with injuries today should be ready for a bowl game, which is great news."
"I didn't. We've had the business-like attitude for weeks and weeks now. I didn't notice anything different. It was the same focus, locker room, meetings, approach, and sidelines. We're in a tremendous conference in the Big 12 and anybody can get you every Saturday."
"We thought it would be one-on-one and we've got two of the best young receivers we've had here in the history of Iowa State football. We were trying to let those guys make a play, but their defensive back made a magnificent play on the ball."
"(Bret Meyer) has got so much maturity for a young guy. Can you imagine what he's going to be like? He's helped put us in postseason play for the fourth time in five years as a freshman. He's got great heart and courage."
"This will hurt and we'll try to get this behind us. We're really looking forward to coach them and play in another game. I'm real proud of the development of all those young kids. The future is real bright for Iowa State, and fortunately we get to play another game in 2004."
"I can't imagine a team that has given their coaches more than this one has in the last few weeks with the run we've made. They need some rest and we'll give them that."
"I believed we were going to win the game. We had done that and were down at Baylor, at Kansas State, and here we go again. It's a tie game, 7-7 at half and 14-14 in regulation. I had the same feeling I had in those other games – that we were going to win the game. It was a huge play and great job by Steve Paris. We made lots of big plays today, but in the end they just made a couple more than we did."
"There were so many variables, intangibles, and huge question marks coming out of last season. But I knew in the spring that we had a chance to be improved. Whether we had a chance to be second in improvement in the country as we were going into today's game, I don't know. I knew there was enough there from leadership and the development in the spring that we'd be an improved football team."
"We had a lot of opportunities to come on top, but we didn't finish it. Whenever we get into that goal-line situation, being a good offense, you've got to think you can run the ball in. We just didn't get it done today. We'll have to overcome this if we want to win that bowl game."
"None of us came out under-estimating Missouri. They were picked preseason 17th, so it was a great team that had some rough losses. They had a bunch of guys playing their last football game, they were ready to go, and in the end they made a few more plays than we did."
"It makes you want to throw up. It's a sick feeling. I'm proud of my teammates, we fought all day, and it wasn't any lack of effort or intensity. Everyone came to play and was playing to win. There are a lot of sick guys in the locker room right now."
"You run into an emotional high, especially when it's first-and-goal. That's sports, though. You never know what's going to happen. That's the great thing about these games, but we came out on the losing end of things. On that last play when they intercepted the ball, it hurt watching them run down the field. I need to get that feeling out of my head."
"Right now I'm kind of blank. You feel so much deep in your heart that you're going to win. Obviously, we just didn't make the plays when we needed to at the right time and Missouri did."
"This pretty much sums up the whole season; it's been a range of emotions. We've had letdowns and great times. Today you saw it all in one game. No one is to blame. Everybody has to take this in and suck it up. It's not like the season is over with; we have a bowl game to go to."
"Up to that point, they were driving but I kept telling myself that somebody was going to play. I wanted to make the play. The ball wasn't coming my way, but I was ready for it. I felt like something good was going to happen, and I look up and Stevie picked up the ball and took off. I thought he was going to score himself, but he didn't. The offense came in there and it didn't happen."
"I knew what was at stake, but I just pushed it. My heart just dropped. It was just bad technique on my part. Being that close to the post, you don't have to play the wind. I should have put it straight down the middle."
"I wish I would have gone more over the top. I made a bad throw."
"It's not going to effect us in a negative way. We've got too much character and people that have been through a lot. This season is special. I don't care where we go for a bowl game; I'm going to be happy and have fun with this team. We'll be together for that extra time."