During Monday's Big 12 Teleconference, Coach Pinkel talked about how his team has handled the loss, at the beginning of the season, of their starting TB, Derrick Washington.
"Obviously, he was a big part of the offense, and the expectation of our offense this year," said Coach Pinkel. "That's just something that we've had to deal with. Really, we've done a good job, and learned a little bit about ourselves, and the capabilities of some of our young players.................. We're kind of right where we want to be going into our first conference game."
Coach Pinkel also talked about things that his team will be working on during the bye week.
"I think the consistency of our offense," said Coach Pinkel, "that's probably the thing, the consistency of our execution. Mostly, just execution, you know, playing catch, and being responsible, and so on and so forth. I think there's an area that we're a little concerned about. We're concerned about penalties. We've got too many penalties................. We don't like to be a team that beats itself. Most areas in our kicking game have been okay. Our kick-off return is an area that we can improve. Both sides of the football, it's third downs, getting better at third downs. Then, big plays on defense. I could talk another twenty minutes. It's an ongoing process of trying to get better every week."
Coach Pinkel responded to a question about what's different about this year in that the Missouri defense has been causing an increased number of turnovers.
"We've always worked tremendously hard at it," replied Coach Pinkel. "I've been very disappointed, you know last year, and two previous years, how we've fallen off, as far as just turnover margin. Our goal is always to be in the top ten in the nation. That aims high, but we know the influence that those have on winning and losing. So, we're doing a few extra things in emphasis this year. It does get contagious a little bit. I think there's a point where if you're fortunate to start getting the ball out, whether it's interceptions or fumbles, then there's the expectation level that it's going to happen. Hopefully, that'll continue in our conference schedule, because we all know that there's nothing that can influence a game more than that."