Conference call thoughts: Oct. 4

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel and Baylor coach Guy Morriss spoke with the media Monday morning on the Big 12's weekly Coaches' Teleconference. Read on for the coaches' thoughts on their matchup this weekend and other issues affecting their teams.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel

Opening statement: "It was obviously a very good win for our football team. There was a lot of adversity and things that happened in that football game…hopefully we have matured a little bit."

On freshman TB Tony Temple: "I think he's doing really well. The thing you have to understand about Tony is, Tony missed almost the entire of two-a-days. He didn't practice. He's doing a great job learning the offense. He's just an exceptional athlete. I think he's going to be a high, high-level player in the Big 12. But he's still learning the system. Could we possibly use him? Yes, that's not out of the picture at this time."

On his defense: "I think we're making progress as a defense. We've got better players: strong, faster and quicker. We all coach better when we have better players. We're working hard to improve. We're not close to being a great defensive football team, but we are making progress. I think that‘s kind of where our football team is."

On Baylor: "I see a very well-coached football team. They're 2-2 now; they played a great Texas team, arguably one of the top teams in the nation. I see a lot of improvement on the team. This is the Big 12; every week, you're gonna play good football teams and we're playing a good football team this week."

On the wide open conference race: "Everything goes in cycles. Right now, I have no idea why it is the way it is. That's just the way it's happening. Obviously, it's exciting for everybody because of the opportunities that are there. For some reason, it's just falling the way it is this season this far. It's exciting, but we have to focus on trying to get better and just try to stay in the race."

On what he expects from Baylor: "Shoot, we expect a dogfight. I think they're a good football team. We're not close, but we're trying to be a good football team. We're playing a very good football team and it's at their place and it's certainly a huge test for us and our program."

On the early opening of the window of opportunity to win the North division: "In this business, I don't know what to expect. The only thing I expect is to work hard every week and try to win your next football game. It's very difficult…the whole key is to stay in the race, the whole key is to keep winning. That's what the whole focus is."

Baylor coach Guy Morriss

Opening statement: "We went down to Texas…our kids played real hard; I don't question any effort from anybody. We just continued to keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We're not a good enough football team to overcome those kind of mistakes. I think the kids can take heart in that there was some positives in the film. Our challenge now is to prepare for a good Missouri team coming in Saturday night."

On routing Colorado last year after being 0-2 in conference play: "We haven't made much reference to last year. That's water under the bridge. I think our kids know that if we had not made so many mistakes, we could have given Texas a little bit better game than we did. Hopefully they realize that and get that kind stuff out of their system. We got a great opportunity to play a good football team this weekend here at home. We should have a good crowd, national TV audience. If you can't get yourself ready to play in those circumstances, we need to go find a new line of work."

On the late kickoff: "I never liked them as a player. That makes for a long Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, a long day period. In our case, we welcome the chance to sell our program to a national TV audience. Hopefully we'll be ready to play."

On taking something out of Troy's upset win against the Tigers: "I think you want to see what they did to them to win the football game. To some degree, maybe adapt some of those things into your offensive scheme if you can. We're not gonna line up and try to run Troy's offense and defense. Everybody in college football is basically doing the same kind of thing. You just look for schematic stuff that you can maybe slip into your offensive and defensive schemes. You don't go in and make wholesale changes."

On his biggest concern against Missouri: "Defensively, I think they're a lot like us. Brad Smith is the straw that stirs the drink. Everything they do comes off the zone play. Between him and No. 2, that's primarily the way their offense is geared. We're gonna have to deal with Brad Smith and the Nash kid."

On struggling to catch passes against Texas: "I think it was obvious. We all saw the same thing; there's no hiding it. It's right there in black and white. Look at the tape. We dropped too many balls."

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