I asked Coach Henson if Missouri is getting the ball out of the QB's hand quickly enough?
"Yes, we are," replied Coach Henson. "Obviously, we gave up a couple of sacks and a pressure on some drop back things that are going to take a little longer. But I mean, if you look at some of the other passing game, yeah, the ball was coming out quick. I mean, it's coming out quick enough for it to work."
I asked Coach Henson if the offensive line is doing a good enough job up front?
"Yeah," replied Coach Henson. "I mean, we always could be better. We did not have any mental errors at South Carolina. We got beat a couple of times. We came off of a twist when we shouldn't have once, and then a couple of times we got beat on an individual match-up. All three of those things, when we got beat, the guy had a nice move, but we weren't playing with proper technique. If we'd have been in the right position like we were the rest of the day, you know, and that comes down to focus, doing it right every time. So, if we'd been in the right position, I don't think we would have given up any pressures."
"I thought overall, we all played pretty good up front," said Coach Henson. "You know, there's just so many little things that you don't see inside. There's just so many little things when it comes down to really maintaining a block and blocking a good player; hand placement, steps, knee bend. And if any of those things are off, the defense has got the advantage. That's what we've got to do. We've got to work really hard at just becoming more consistent in our technique. If we do that, we're going to be fine."
"Probably the biggest thing at South Carolina, if anybody wants to question the offense, is just consistency of execution," continued Coach Henson. "And it's not just one area. When we did execute, there were a lot of nice plays made."
Coach Henson went on to credit South Carolina, saying that the Gamecocks "got the job done, and we didn't".
Coach Henson said that Missouri did intend to throw the ball down the field more at South Carolina. He pointed out that when they did throw down the field off of their play action, which was their plan, that it worked well. He pointed to the lack of continuity in their offensive drives, and the limited number of offensive plays that Missouri had in the game, as part of the reason for not getting the ball down field more times.
"We were throwing slants and things, and getting 20-yard gains off of our play action," explained Coach Henson. "We didn't execute that consistently enough, like we would have liked during the game. In a game like that where you go three-and-out, three-and-out, and the first quarter is over, you're not going to get very deep into your play book."
"It just gets back to the consistency of execution," explained Coach Henson. "And, I know that sounds like coach speak, but it's just the truth………………………………………. When you play good teams, you can't do that. You can't not execute base things in your offense. And that's on us as coaches. We've got to get our guys playing better."
Coach Henson said that the offensive staff wants to get more carries for Missouri's tailbacks. Again, he pointed to the low number of offensive plays.
"It's frustrating! Because when you go back and look at the film, and see the (defensive) looks, we had good plays called that we didn't execute," explained Coach Henson. "It gets frustrating! The things we had called had chances to be successful. All you really have to do is look at the plays that were successful, and a lot of those other plays should have looked like those plays. What's at issue is a breakdown, one guy not executing his assignment correctly on too many plays."
I asked Coach Henson if he believes the Missouri offense will work?
"Yeah, it will," replied Coach Henson emphatically. "Heck yeah it will!"
I asked Coach Henson if Missouri has the personnel to make it work?
"Yes we do," replied Coach Henson.
I asked Coach Henson what does Missouri need to do to make their offense work?
"We've got to just get better," replied Coach Henson. "We've got to practice better. The truth is that we played last week about like we practiced. I didn't think our practice was very consistent. It wasn't consistent enough to beat a good team on the road."
I asked Coach Henson if Missouri's players are good enough to compete with Georgia and South Carolina?
"Yeah, we are," replied Coach Henson. "Turn on the film and watch it! I mean, I think those guys on Georgia and South Carolina are good football players……………………………………………………… But, can we block them and play with them? You bet!"
"Are we good enough? I've got no doubt in my mind that we're good enough," continued an impassioned Coach Henson. "We've got to play better. We've got to execute better. To do that, we've got to practice better."
Coach Henson said that he has no problem with the play calling.
"None," said Coach Henson.
"The only way that I know to fix this is to practice better," explained Coach Henson. "My experience has been that when you practice with more intensity, and you practice with more focus, and more grit, you play better. That's the only way that I know to fix it."