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Missouri Football Defensive Presser Notes: Tennessee Week

Blake Baker and select defensive players met with the media on Tuesday to recap the Kentucky game and preview Tennessee.

NCAA Football: Abilene Christian at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Baker | Defensive Coordinator

  • “I obviously kind of feel like a broken record. It has been a season of some really, really tough losses. But, you know, I thought the kids played hard.”
  • “Thought the atmosphere was really good again, I’ve been really, really pleased and happy with the fans are out every single every single week, man they keep showing up. So, I want to thank all the fans that showed up in the game.”
  • “Tennessee’s tempo is the hard part, the physical part and the mental part. Probably a combination of both things, you know, the same fatigue makes cowards of us all. That’s what they want to do; they’re trying to take you to the deep water and drown you, but you got to survive.” On Tennessee’s offensive attack
  • “So, you know, just even going back from my days at Texas in the Big 12 when everybody was up-tempo has carried over through really my entire career. You know, we’ve had some success being able to line up quickly tempo teams.” On his experience handling up-tempo teams
  • “So, they got tight splits and they do a good job. They’re well coach working together up front, and there’s not a lot of area to kind of split them. We got to be creative and try to find some ways to do that.” On Tennessee’s O-line
  • “I love this town and I love this community. Again, I’ve been so impressed with the fan base. And I think we’re building some special here. I really do when you look at the ways that we’ve lost in the points that we’ve lost by, man, we’re right there. So I do believe in what we’re doing here I believe and coach Drink’s vision. I believe in the players that we currently have and I believe in the ability to recruit here, and to me there’s no reason why not you know what I mean?” On accepting his contract extension last week
  • “There’s some really good things I thought they did. I just don’t know if they necessarily fit what we do. But yet, you always, watch you watch an upcoming opponent you always want to try to take things that gave the opponent some issues.” On what Georgia did to UT’s offense
  • “You feel good about all of those guys against the anybody in the country. I think those two guys are elite.” On Ennis Rakestraw and Kris Abrams-Draine
  • “I mean, he comes in the team meetings two hours before practice and he’s already got his shoulder pads on. I mean, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. So I think that’s really the credit to why he’s had the success. You know, he’s a blue collar, lunch pail kind of guy.” On Kristian Williams

Kristian Williams | Defensive Tackle | Senior

  • “They’re the most complete offensive line that we’ve faced.” On the Vols’ offensive line
  • “For it to click for the defense as a whole, it’s a beautiful thing to see. It’s just fun.” On the defense’s 6-sack performance against Kentucky
  • “Early is on time. I hate to be late, because I hate to have to rush. It’s been like that ever since I’ve been a kid.” On why he’s the earliest guy for practice
  • “It’s all about reps. Once you learn the game and where everyone else is supposed to be, you start to learn and manage what gaps you can and can’t hit.” On how to attack an opposing offensive line

Ennis Rakestraw | Cornerback | Senior

  • “I was watching the Alabama game, he’s very explosive. #4, he started the year injured but uses his hands well. I saw them both before and they’ve developed into great receivers.” On the issues Tennessee’s receivers present
  • “Open-space, a lot of people get to see how your footwork is, at the next level that’s what they want to see. We have to maintain our leverage and trust our safeties on the post.” On defending a team that spreads the team sideline-to-sideline
  • “I play so well because I trust those 10 guys on the field with me, when you have trust like that and confidence like that, you aren’t afraid to fail.” On his high-level play this season

Joseph Charleston | Safety | Junior

  • “Getting the call, getting lined up. That’s the main thing, half the battle is pre-snap with tempo teams.” On how to handle a tempo offense
  • “I got to work on my tackling angles. Getting my hips squared and not getting turned around.” On what he believes he still needs to really improve upon