Missouri coach Gary Pinkel
(James Franklin back healthy?)
“James is 100 percent. He’s had some extra practices, so thats been a plus for us. Players really respect Maty Mauk, a young player coming in and playing the way he did.
“It’s really neat to see (James) back. He went through a lot last year and got hurt again. It’s really nice to have him, and I think our players are excited.
“He’s been out four games, the bye makes it five weeks. He’s had a lot of experience. It’s different with a player that’s played a lot over the years. Our extra practices have helped us. I think he’ll do OK.”
“I think we’re excited about it. It’s difficult to be in this situation. You can have a real good team and not be in the hunt for a championship. This is the fourth time in seven years that we’re taking a run at this. It’s exciting to be in this position. We’re playing somebody really good. That’s the way it is. We’re playing at their place. It’s a great place to play. Our players are coming back. They’re very fresh. Last week you didn’t have to prepare mentally. That was good both physically and mentally. They’re refreshed, they’re excited, but they know we’re playing a great team and they have to play well.”
(Last year’s struggle help this team?)
“I think there’s a drive there. We’re used to winning here, and also to be criticized for not being good enough to be in the SEC, and all the things that went along with that. It starts with the seniors, and without question there’s an extra drive that these guys have.”
(Ole Miss wide receivers?)
“People talk about the size of our receivers. I never think about it till they bring it up. They’ve got receivers as big and bigger as the receivers that we do, and they’re very talented. Their perimeter personnel is a lot like ours. They’ve got high-level wide receivers that can make plays, and running backs that are very good. It’s easy to see why they’re averaging 500 yards a game.”
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze
We’ve talked about embracing the opportunity we have to play in a game of this magnitude this late in the season against a very talented opponent. This will be our fifth top-10 team to play. That goes with playing in this conference. I’m glad we have them at home. They’re extremely balanced in what they do. You struggle to find weaknesses in their team.
(Take anything from SC Game? Was asked if he receive a call from Steve Spurrier)
“We watch all their games and try to pick up things. Certainly, they did some things late that were effective, and we’ve looked at all of those to see if they’ll fit into our stuff. I’m expecting a call any minute from (Steve Spurrier) to say something to inspire us. I look forward to that call.”
“Hopefully we can run the football enough to keep us balanced. They’re certainly a very talented group.”
(On Mizzou QB James Franklin)
They are who they are regardless of whether it’s Franklin or Mauk. We don’t have to plan for two different systems. To have a senior on the road with so much on the line. He’s been in these battles for them. That’s advantageous for them. Both are quality, and that’s why they’ve had success, because of both of those trigger guys.
(On Mizzou wide receivers)
‘It’s a scary matchup. We have good-sized wide receivers also. They’re size is really special. It’s not just one of them. They have good size all the way around. It’s going to be a great challenge for our guys to try and win some of those one-on-ones. Hopefully we can limit their explosive plays, but they’re going to have some. They have against everyone. It’s a physics problem, like I said early in the week, that can’t be solved.”
(Surprised by their success?)
“I was an assistant coach here when we played them before. You don’t vie for championships in any BCS league without being a quality team. The injuries they suffered last year, if we’d have gone through the same scenario we’d have been in the same boat. I’m not surprised that they’re competing at a high level. There are small things that separate some of these games, and they’ve got some of those intangibles, so I’m really not surprised.”
(Ole Miss record day of offense vs. Troy)
“I knew we had a good day. WE spent the whole fourth quarter just trying to make sure we had everybody in the game and giving them reps. I was told after the game by our SID that we broke a long-standing record for yards. That was when I first heard it.”