"Absolutely. We want him around and we need him to help the younger guys stay focused. Hopefully he doesn't drift away from the team because we need him. We need his mindset and his attitude."
How about the impact and progress of some of the younger players. Obviously you never want to see anyone get injured but the way your younger guys have responded has to make you feel pretty good?
"It's been fine. We were actually just talking the other day about Isaiah (Anderson). He's done a really nice job at turning in his tests and preparing himself each week. He hasn't really gotten many opportunities because Hubert was out there so much each week but really I've never had any insecurity about Isaiah going in and playing because I know he understands what he's doing. He understands the system and he does a great job with his preparation tests each week and that's not just coach speak. He does a tremendous job on the tests. I get them and I grade them every Friday night and he's spot on every time so I'm not concerned about his knowledge or readiness. It's just about him going out and getting through the nerves around his first start and getting after it. He's a good football player and he'll do a great job."
You've dealt with receivers at the college and NFL levels, how much do drops concern you? Also, it's more of a mental than a physical thing, isn't it?
"It really most of the time comes down to guys taking their eyes off the football. Blackmon's had one drop in the past few weeks and people have kind of been on him a little bit. Really, the truth of the matter is that one in the past two weeks is not like he's putting the ball on the deck. I'm not overly concerned with Black. The drop that he had Saturday, that would have been a tough catch for anybody. It was 50 yards down the field on a rope on his outside shoulder. Those aren't ones that you just chalk up. It's not a gimme; it's not a two-foot putt. He was also a little banged up out there so I tip my hat to him for pulling in eight catches when he wasn't at his best … Hubert on the other side, that's the first time I've seen him put a couple down in a while. Those weren't easy and, again, he didn't have any against Texas and he made some huge, tough catches in that game. Including the other guys, I'm not really concerned about the drops or their ability to catch the football."
Are you confident Blackmon will be back playing on Saturday?
"Yeah. Yes I am."
Was he feeling good in practice yesterday?
"Yes. I think he's going to be fine. It was more precautionary than anything else and Michael (Harrison) was playing fine. Black really wanted to get out there and play but it was just one of those things where we felt it was probably best for everyone involved if we held him out. I think it's worked out great for everybody and I think he'll be ready to go."
What are your impressions of Baylor's defense?
"They're aggressive. They play strong, their defensive backs are quick and fast to the football, they rally hard and it's not something where you're going to get a bunch a cheap plays out of them. They get in your face, play hard and aggressively. It's not so much like Missouri when they're back a little bit, but they're aggressive running to the football and they're an athletic unit."
Being ranked No. 3 in the BCS poll is a big step for this program and this team. Is it difficult at all to keep the players grounded and focused when there is so much hype swirling around them?
"Really, you can't get too caught up in thinking about that. We just have to go out there and go to work and let our kids play. I haven't heard our kids talking about it and they're through my office all the time. Nobody is running around with signs on their backs saying 'We're No. 3' and bouncing around or anything like that. That's a good thing. We just have to be business as usual and keep playing and have fun and make sure that we handle our own business."