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Missouri Football Defensive Presser Notes: Kentucky Week

Blake Baker, Martez Manuel, Darius Robinson, and newly-crowned SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week Isaiah McGuire met with the media to discuss the South Carolina game and preview Kentucky.

NCAA Football: Louisiana Tech at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Baker | Defensive Coordinator

  • On his defense’s performance: “This isn’t coach talk, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”
  • “From an intensity and focus standpoint, this was our most complete game.”
  • On why the defense got so many sacks on Saturday: “It was the style of game; we were playing with a lead for the first time so they could pin their ears back from a mentality standpoint.”
  • On the team’s overall performance: “Saturday was a great team win. With all 3 phases, that was the most complete game we’ve had this season.”
  • On Daylan Carnell’s development: “The last two weeks he’s starting to practice much better. I think he’s maturing; still has some ways to go. It’s resulted in him getting more playing time.”
  • On Kentucky’s offensive attack: “It’s a physical group. Their offensive line rolls off the ball and their backs go downhill. It starts and stops with their run game. We gotta pack our hard hat.”
  • “There’s not a team on this side of the league that isn’t physical, the SEC dominates at the line of scrimmage. If you can win in the trenches, you’ve got a good shot at winning in this league.”
  • On how they scheme blitzing defensive backs like Martez Manuel: “We try to do a good job to let those guys use their speed and leverage to not get hung up on a 300-pounder.”
  • “We always say in this defense the offense decides who is going to make the tackle.”

Isaiah McGuire | Defensive End | Senior

  • On being named SEC Defensive Lineman Of The Week: “It’s a blessing from God. It’s been building with all of the hard work I’ve put in, but it’s a group effort. Although one guy may get the shine, all of us contribute.”
  • On Martez Manuel’s noteworthy pregame speech: “Tez gave a fired up, emotional, passioante speech. It was about not having regrets and laying it all on the field.”
  • On what’s led to his level of play this season: “Just being consistent with how I work and how I watch film.”

Martez Manuel | Safety | Senior

  • On his pregame speech: “Told them what was on my heart, I took it the respect route. We aren’t very respected in this conference, so I used that to our advantage. I was so in the moment, and I didn’t prep it.”
  • On if the South Carolina win earns Mizzou the respect he wants: “No, I don’t. We’ll have to win a SEC championship to get our respect.”
  • On his ‘Sandstorm’ celebration: “I’m not gonna lie that might’ve been planned. I didn’t think it’d have the backlash it did, but I don’t regret it. I think people are just upset about the loss.”
  • On keeping the defense focused on improving: “It’s my job as captain to make sure we don’t toot our own horn. People telling us we’re a great defense, that’s poison to us.”
  • “I love our defense so much, we feed off each other’s energy. We all know success as a group is way more important than success as individuals, and we all want to make sure we do our jobs to not let down our brothers.”
  • On Daylan Carnell: “He’s better than I was my sophomore year I’ll say that.”
  • On playing defense with a lead: “It takes a lot of unnecessary pressure off people, and lets people play free.”
  • On Kentucky’s offense: “They’ve got an NFL caliber running back and quarterback and some offensive linemen that’ll play at the next level. I don’t like them enough to say more.”
  • On Kentucky being his ‘personal’ rival: “I’m excited for Saturday, that’s all I’ll say.”
  • On Blake Baker’s personality: “He’s a lot of people on this team’s favorite coach.”
  • On keeping the same scheme under Baker yet adjusting some aspects over the offseason: “It’s like revising a paper, you just have to fix the errors.”

Darius Robinson | Defensive Tackle | Senior

  • On Kristian Williams: “Kristian is really smart, he watches a ton of tape and plays extremely hard. We have a lot of fun together too.”
  • “I always thought the D-end room was the most talented room on the team, and now they’re showing it.”
  • On Kentucky’s O-line: “They play hard on the play-action scheme, they work as a group well.”
  • On Kentucky being a rival: “I definitely believe so; that game is a physical game for all four quarters. It’s a rivalry game for us.”
  • On what he remembers from the 2020 Kentucky matchup: “I remember I was hurt but I was on the sideline turnt. Offense kept running the ball and defense kept getting stops. I’m really excited, this is a big game and a big moment. This is all about us.”
  • On the D-line’s depth: “Nobody is taking super-high snap counts over anybody else. We just keep rolling guys in.”