The stakes could not be more clear for Missouri entering its Saturday homecoming game against Kentucky.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
Win, and the Tigers improve to 4-4 overall, earn their first Southeastern Conference victory and keep their hopes of an eighth straight bowl bid alive. Lose, and the Tigers are in danger of finishing dead last and winless in the SEC East, as they will be the underdogs in remaining conference games against Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
With that kind of pressure, and MU coming off a bye week, it would not be unreasonable to wonder if the coaching staff used the extra time to make sweeping changes to an offense that has largely struggled. But while offensive coordinator David Yost said Monday there could be some tweaks, anyone hoping for wholesale changes will be disappointed.
“We’re real consistent around here,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “We don’t come in here and change things. Our bye week schedule is our bye week schedule, we don’t put in brand new offenses, we don’t change the way we lift weights, we don’t change the way we practice — we’re very consistent.”
With good reason, perhaps. During his 12 seasons at Missouri, Pinkel has amassed an 88-58 record, which probably explains his belief in his system.
“What we do works,” Pinkel said. “If we coach better and if we play better, then we’ll win more and that’s just the way it is. The system doesn’t change. We just have to coach our players to do a better job and then we’ll win more. That’s what we’ve done since I got here and that will never change.”
Pinkel also reaffirmed his stance that the Tigers aren’t going to allow a rash of injuries to be a crutch this season.
“We don’t have excuses for anything around here,” Pinkel said. “Whether you have one injury or 30, I’m still responsible for us winning and being successful.”
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.