Gary Pinkel press conference quotes

After Mike Alden announced Gary Pinkel as Missouri's new football coach, about 50 people told him to beat Kansas in about 15 minutes. He talked about the importance of the game on Monday, among other things. Here are some select quotes from his press conference.

On Kansas:

"We're obviously very impressed with their football team. There is a significant difference between them from last year to this year, which I had anticipated. They're doing a great job with that program."

"When I got here, the first 50 people I met said, 'How are you doing,' and, ‘Beat Kansas.' So I figured it out real fast. I think it's important for the older players to explain the rivalry to the younger players, and to help them figure out the importance of the game. It's a very, very big football game because you're playing for a lot more than just yourselves. It's for the fans and alumni too, and we understand that."

On Kansas QB Bill Whittemore:

"He's really playing well. He runs well, he has great quickness and great pocket awareness. He's one of those guys that everything can be collapsing around him, and all of a sudden he senses it and he's gone - not just in the sense of running the football, but also getting out onto the perimeter and making a lot of plays. They have a very good offensive scheme, they try to present lots of problems to you. It's a very well thought out offense."

On Brad Smith's big block for Zack Abron:

"I thought it was a pretty good hit. We have a big hit award that we give to our players, so we gave him one and told him I never want to give him another one for hitting."

On J.D. McCoy's fourth-down catch during the last drive of regulation:

"I've been in this business a long time, and I've been fortunate to have been around a lot of come-from-behind victories. I've seen a lot of 4th down catches made in the process, and that was one of the best 4th down catches I have ever seen. The ball was thrown behind him, so he was going the other direction and someone else was going through his knee. To hold on to it was a remarkable catch. He had the whole program in his hands, because if he drops that, it's all over."

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