Missouri will face Kansas State at 11:30 this Saturday in Manhattan. Both coaches met with the media on the Big 12 teleconference Monday morning. See what each had to say about his team.
On Daniel Thomas: "Daniel's a very good young person, he's very conscientious, he's a hard worker.. He obviously has the phys capabilities. He gives us kind of a multipurpose dimension. I like that as a running back, he's a pretty physical running back. He has reasonably good size, but he has demonstrated this past weekend, he's got a major motor that keeps him going. He stays on his feet well. He's gotten better i think as the season has progressed. That comes from und the system a little bit better, some of it comes from just the exp, some of it comes from the daily practice routine, but his development I think has been very good and he's playing well."
On Thomas arriving late to campus: "I think it might be a little bit easier at that position than it is at a number of others. Grant Gregory has had to do the same thing, his position is probably a little bit more difficult. Just as you indicated, coming late, part of it is the social development as he relates to young people in the program, but he's a very humble young person. When you first enter a program, humility is a major asset and I think our players have taken to him because of that so that has made the transition much easier for him."
On Thomas as a quarterback: "In all honesty, I don't know, we haven't played him there. I think when I saw him on videotape he was playing at wide receiver. He's a good young guy. His capacity as a quarterback I think is probably he'd be a pretty good running QB, probably has the capacity to throw the football. We've utilized him back there taking snaps, he's thrown the ball back there a few times as well."
On keeping the team grounded: "One of the things that we haven't, which is a difficult thing for all coaches to be able to establish is the consistency within your program in all phases. We have shown some inconsistency in our play but nevertheless the approach has remained consistent and I think our young people have responded to that...It's time to improve ourselves today and look at tomorrow when it comes...Now they may be in that position but I would like to think that they've est a mindset that has been built up over the past three or four months. Hopefully they keep their focus where it belongs. I'm not naïve enough to think that they don't think about what could take place...I believe they have the appropriate mindset. I'd like to think that's the case."
On the turnaround since the loss to Texas Tech: "That's not kind of the way we were thinking. We're probably not smart enough to think along those lines. It was what were our lessons in that ballgame, what can we do to get ourselves better and set out to do that. Which would have been the case regardless of the outcome of the ballgame. I don't try to make those kind of projections. Did I see as I reflect back anything that would have told me we would have done anything one way or the other. I cant tell you that I did. The guys have been very very responsive. I thought they'd go back and work hard and try to overcome the loss we did have and the way it happened. Was I certain that they would? No, but I kind of had that feeling that we could get better...They've done that and I felt that there were indications they would work to try to do that and they did."
On Injuries: "He (Carl Gettis) didn't have a concussion, that wasn't the issue. The issue was more he had some concern about a neck injury. He's fine, he's 100% he'll be ready to play, Hardy Ricks had an ACL, he'll be out for the rest of the season. He'll have surgery, we don't have a date set for that, it will probably be a couple weeks. We have some bumps and bruises, but I think we'll get most of those guys back."
On the biggest disappointment from the Baylor game: "You just want to play well and you want to play your best game. You can get beat playing your best game. I'm responsible to have our team to do that. Defensively, we didn't and you give them credit for all they do, but we had 18 missed tackles and we didn't respond very well and that's my job."
On Kansas State: "I think they're playing really good football, very consistent. I think without question that I'm very very impressed. I think that Bill has done a great job and I have great respect for him, known him for years and this doesn't surprise me. They're a well coached football team. They're playing real cons football and they're playing real good defense, they're running the football well and their kicking game's solid obviously with the ability of some of their players, Brandon Banks what he can do in the kicking game, Lamark Brown had a big play last week, obviously Thomas is an impact player, Grant Gregory's doing a good job. The combination of all those things, that's why they're playing well and hats off to Bill, he does a great job."
On Danario Alexander: "I think he got a lot of confidence as the season's gone on, just making it through games. You've been injured as much as he has not like you're waiting for it to happen, but you've got to get some confidence about some of the hits that you take that you can get up and respond well...he's done a tremendous job and he's a big play player, people try to double him and do a lot of things to him, it's a cat and mouse game."
On the offense had Alexander been healthy at the same time as Jeremy Maclin: "I don't know. I just think that would have been pretty nice. Very rarely do you have two people that high level. The story is how he's battled through all this. He's overcome tremendous adversity with a great attitude so it's very rewarding and I'm certainly excited for him."