On Friday, the Missouri Tigers once again returned to the practice field in preparation for the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers practiced indoors for two hours in full pads.
“Overall, I think we’re practicing well, and I think that’s good,” said Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel, following Friday morning’s practice, during which the Tigers focused more on game week preparation. “With no classes right now, and that being over, that takes a load off of those guys. Because what you have to do during the football season to be able to practice, prepare, and also academics, is certainly very, very difficult.”
With the AB practices completed, Missouri turned their attention to a practice schedule that was more in line with a game week practice. The Tigers will go through their regular week of practice prior to Christmas. Then after everyone is reassembled in Dallas next Friday, the Tigers will repeat their game week of practice at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
“I thought it was good work, overall,” continued Coach Pinkel. “This was like a Tuesday practice for us in its entirety. And, we did some good work.”
Missouri Assistant Coach Craig Kuligowski coaches Missouri’s defensive line, which has been one of the strengths of the Tigers during their 11-2 season. He also talked about Friday’s practice.
“I thought we had a great practice today,” said Coach Kuligowski. “Today was a great practice! Guys are getting in their run fits where they need to be. (They’re doing a) good job on the pass rush. Good hustle. I thought it was physical. So, today was a good practice. And I think that our other practices that we’ve had up to this have been very good. So, you know, I’m happy with the way that we’re practicing.”
Coach Kul talked about the work that the younger players got in during the AB practices earlier this week.
“We get a chance to get some extra practices,” explained Coach Kul. “These young guys haven’t run our defense for a good portion of the year. So now, they get to get in here and run our defense against the other young guys, and it makes our team better by doing that. It benefits our guys, not necessarily for this bowl game, but it benefits us for into spring ball and into next year that these guys are getting these reps. And, that’s why we do it. And then also it helps that we go good against good with the older guys, and obviously, that helps us for this game.”