On Monday afternoon, Coach Pinkel addressed the media, and updated us on injuries, the depth chart, and the current state of his team.
Junior DT Dominique Hamilton will miss the remainder of the season with a fractured ankle. Coach Pinkel said that he didn't know what Hamilton's status would be for a bowl game, saying that he would be re-evaluated as time goes along. Sophomore Jimmy Burge will start in Hamilton's place on the nose, with junior Brendan Donaldson backing up Burge. RSF Marvin Foster moves up to second string, behind junior DT Terrell Resonno. Coach said that Foster "did some good things" on Saturday against Oklahoma, and that he'll just have to step up to the challenge.
Senior LB Luke Lambert remains sidelined for this week, as well. There were no other injuries to report, despite the report from several Missouri players that the Oklahoma game was the most physical game in which they had played to date.
Of note with respect to the depth chart, is that RSF OL Mark Hill is listed second at left tackle, behind junior Elvis Fisher. At defensive end, sophomore Aldon Smith is listed as one starter, backed up by sophomore Brad Madison. And, junior Jacquies Smith is listed as the other starting DE, backed up by RSF Michael Sam.
Coach Pinkel talked about the play of his offensive line.
"I think for the most part, this offensive line," began Coach Pinkel. "And, I have a high expectation level for them, we played really, really well against Oklahoma. The challenges still exist there. The protection Blaine had was outstanding. The run blocking was really good against a really good defensive football team. So, I was really pleased. And, that's what I think we're capable of.................. I think from a consistency standpoint, our offensive line really played well last week. And, that's what we hope we can repeat every week as we finish the season."
When you listen to Coach Pinkel talk about this team, it becomes readily apparent that he really likes this team. One of the things he likes about this year's team is that they are getting better. And, he talked about how they play as a team very well together.
"This is a very competitive team," explained Coach Pinkel. "That's probably the thing I like the most about it. We compete! We get to go to the next play. Maybe things didn't go well. They make a great play. You play great football teams, they're going to make great plays. But, this team gets back up and really competes really well. Collectively, it does. And, I really like that. These kind of teams are fun to coach."
"To this point, one of the things I like about this team, also, is we're a lot better than we were in the middle of September," continued Coach Pinkel. "We're a lot better football team. Every coach wants that. But, I think the majority of the time, that doesn't happen. And, I think that's allowed us to become a better team as a whole."
Coach Pinkel talked about Gahn McGaffie.
"Gahn's a good athlete," said Coach Pinkel. "He's got a remarkable attitude. He's always got a great attitude. He's always out there working to get better. It was really great to see him do that................. That was a huge play!"