On the team's success on defense…
I think it starts up front on defense. Getting through gaps. Any time you get penetration in a gap, what it does, it really makes it difficult for the offensive lineman and the running back, or even the passing game, to function as the play was designed. Penetration in the gap creates a lot of problems. I'm thinking of that one time, we punted the ball and put our defense, backed them up to the five-yard line and almost got the safety. I think one time we had four freshmen in there, a redshirt freshmen in there at one time afterwards. I wasn't happy with that because you don't want to be in that situation, but we've also got some players playing at a high level being young guys. I think that's really helped us, especially coming off all the guys we lost. Having this core group of guys doing some good things has been a real plus. I think it starts up front. Scheme-wise, we can do a lot of things too. On defense, you can put a lot of people in different gaps. That's what you see on TV, you see it a lot. We did it a year ago, it's just our designs were a little bit different. We're going to get a certain percentage of that in every game is what you're going to see. I think it's a combination of all of those things. Nothing hurts the run game more than penetration. It destroys all blocking assignments and it creates a lot of problems.
On what being able to have freshmen contribute on the defensive line says about the program…
That says a lot, it's great. It says we've recruited well. They're also very eager to learn and play at a high level. That's certainly a huge plus for us. They're going to get better and better. Stronger, faster, quicker. They'll become different players.
Pinkel said Charles Harris is in the weight room right now. "They’re not supposed be lifting weights right now, he’s in there."— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) September 14, 2015
Pinkel says they're doing some different things scheme-wise with Charles Harris, moving him around the defensive line.— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) September 14, 2015
Pinkel on Harris: "I said from the beginning -- people ask me who's the next guy -- and I brought his name up. It's not surprising to me."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
Pinkel mentions that Charles Harris used to be a basketball player. I had not heard that, I don't believe.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
Asked if Kentrell Brothers saw what Terry Beckner did to ASU C Devin Mondie during Saturday's game: "No. I hope it was bad."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
Craig Kuligowski on the Brady-Moore-Beckner-Howard all-frosh line vs. ASU: "I just closed my eyes and listened to the crowd reaction."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
Kuligowski on his class of 2015 defensive linemen: "These guys are Cadillacs. We’ve just got to make sure we’ve got enough gas."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
.@BKSportsTalk tells Kuligowski 50% of opponents' 2nd-half plays go nowhere or worse (cont.).— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
Kuligowski: "Who's got the time to calculate all that stuff?" @BKSportsTalk: "That'd be David Morrison." Kuligowski: "That's what I thought"— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
How's that black hole at running back coming?
* Witter (head), Hunt (groin) and Steward (hip) are all battling some form of lingering injury,but all are apparently well enough to go against the Huskies. Pinkel had hinted at thinking of lifting a redshirt from a true freshman to help deal with depth issues but -- with nary a freshman on the chart -- it appears he has decided against that for now.
* Chappell takes over for Abeln at left guard after Abeln started the first two games. Chappell played almost all of the Tigers' second-half snaps against Arkansas State.
The situation was so dire Saturday that Mauk became the de facto running back, getting 75 yards on mostly designed draws.
"We’re going to have to run him a little bit more," Pinkel said. "I think that’s obvious."
Unlike last week week, the Tigers go into practice Tuesday knowing Hansbrough won’t be part of the game plan. The co-captain initially sprained his ankle on his first carry against SEMO, but Pinkel didn’t think he damaged it any further with his short workload Saturday.
"I just don’t think it’s healed yet," Pinkel said. "We just need to back him off a little bit. … We certainly need to get him healthy and 100 percent, because he’s definitely a force. It’s vitally important to the success of our offense if we can get him healthy."
[Chase Abbington] was supposed to graduate in May 2015, but did not. He finally joined the team in late July, just a few days before preseason camp began.
Those delays came after using a redshirt year during the 2014 season. It was a process that left Abbington out of shape.
"I was behind," Abbington said. "Being out for a year, I was around football but I wasn't getting the reps in practice and stuff. Being out shape, that takes a big toll.
"I got out of shape quick, that's for sure."
In the six weeks he's been on campus, Abbington said he's now in the "best shape (he's) ever been in." He said he arrived around 230 pounds, and now weighs in at 217. Still, his work load has been very limited through two games. He had one five-yard carry against SEMO, entering the game late in the fourth quarter.
Pinkel says Witter is 100-percent. Said he didn't have any headaches at all after the hit he took in the fourth quarter on Saturday.— Pete Scantlebury (@PeteScantlebury) September 14, 2015
Ish Witter on his ASU injury: "I was a little dazed and I didn't want to push it too much." Said he passed the staff's concussion tests.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
Pinkel said #Mizzou will try to get Chase Abbington more involved. "You can't get seven running backs ready to play. You can't do that."— Steve Walentik (@Steve_Walentik) September 14, 2015
Pinkel says Chase Abbington will get more involved this weekend. Didn’t play SAT b/c he doesn’t like putting new guys in pressure situations— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) September 14, 2015
Pinkel says they work to get three running backs game ready. They will have one of the freshmen ready in case they need to use him.— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) September 14, 2015
Pinkel says they will have to use Mauk more in the run game. "I think that's obvious." #Mizzou— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) September 14, 2015
Pinkel said he doesn't think Russell Hansbrough hurt his ankle any more: "Just wanted to back him off a little bit."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
Pinkel said Morgan Steward is still working through hip injury, movement-wise, but said he's a lot better than he was four weeks ago.— Steve Walentik (@Steve_Walentik) September 14, 2015
Pinkel on the O-line: "I think we're doing pretty good overall. I think it goes hand-in-hand with the running back situation."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
Pinkel said Taylor Chappell and Alec Abeln "are both going to play" at left guard "if they do the right thing in practice."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
(mouth clicking noise)
Pinkel on Corey Fatony: "Knowing you've got a guy like that for three more years?" (mouth clicking noise) "That's good."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
And looking ahead...
How are the commits doing?
Yes, she Kan (sorry)
Today in out-of-context Wes Clark tweets
People never woke when u need em to be— Wes Clark (@Im_back_15) September 15, 2015