Gooden's Attention Focused on Iowa State spoke with Missouri Tiger linebacker Zaviar Gooden to get his thoughts on what the Tigers need to improve on to pick up their first Big 12 win of the year at homecoming this Saturday.

Earlier this week, spoke with Missouri WLB Zaviar Gooden, whose 28 total tackles is third on the team, and who is also among the league's leaders. He talked about the Kansas State game, as well as taking a little look ahead.

"They obviously have a great running game, with their QB and their RB," began Gooden, talking about the challenge that the Tigers faced last week against Kansas State. "You have to stop two guys. Obviously, it wasn't good enough, definitely not good enough to win, but I think we did a fairly good job of containing their running game. We held them to well below their average for the season. But, we had a couple of mess-ups, a couple of lost leverages."

"We're running to the ball very well, I believe," explained Gooden. "Just some guys in the wrong places. I think that's more of the problem. The effort is there. We're definitely playing hard……………………………… Sometimes it's communications problems, sometimes it's just mental errors that occur. It's just a lot of different reasons. Sometimes it's just misreading the play. I believe most of the time that's what it is."

I asked Gooden about the issue of tackling.

"There were a few (tackling issues)," replied Gooden. "But, we understand that realistically, there's always going to be some missed tackles in a game. But, we have to minimize them, and your teammates have to be having your back."

Gooden turned his attention to Iowa State.

"They're definitely a good team, and we can't take them lightly," said Gooden, speaking of the Cyclones. "So, we've got to play better than what we've been playing to win………………………………….. We've just got to study film, and do your assignment, do your job. Just got to read your keys, and play football."

I asked Gooden about the effect on the team of getting off to a disappointing 2-3start.

"Obviously, we're not where we expected us to be (at this point)," said Gooden. "But, I think this team has a lot of heart, and a lot of fight. Basically, we're at a crossroads, where we can either give up, or continue fighting, and get better. I think the team is choosing to fight, and get better. So, I think we're all on the same page, and like I said, this team's got a lot of heart. And, we still have faith, and believe that we can be a great team. And, that's what we're going to do."

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