has had an opportunity to look back and reexamine the factors that led to the defeat.
One of them, it seems, was his team’s hyper emotional state, which he accepted full responsibility for during the SEC coaches weekly conference call on Wednesday.
“There is an optimum level to compete – if you’re too high, you don’t play well and if you’re too low you don’t play well,” Pinkel said. “I think I could have helped players more in terms of not getting too hyped up. I didn’t do a very good job of that.”
Missouri, of course, made a game of it despite the final score, trailing 27-20 well into the fourth quarter. Pinkel also dismissed the notion that a physical Georgia squad – which scored the final 24 points of the game – simply wore the Tigers down.
“What wore us out was turning the ball over on the 1-yard line and 4-yard line,” Pinkel said. “That will wear you out fast.”
Both of those turnovers came in the fourth quarter and were caused by star linebackerJarvis Jones, who had an interception and a sack/strip of quarterback James Franklin
on back-to-back drives.
Pinkel was again complimentary of Jones, who led the Southeastern Conference in sacks last season with 13 ½, when asked about what other teams can do to block him in the future.
“Block better and get more people around him,” Pinkel said. “They moved him all over the field…so it’s not like you can sit there and say he plays here. You can keep people in to block him and move the pocket more, but he’s a great competitor and I’m just glad we’re not playing him again.”
Pinkel also seemed pleased with the play of Franklin, who completed 25-of-41 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns.
“Except for the pick he threw when it was a seven-point game, I thought he did good things against a good football team,” Pinkel said.
Especially when you consider that Franklin – who only managed 25 yards on 20 rushes (counting negative 45 yards in fumble yardage) – was harassed at times by Jones, who generated a pass rush despite the fact the Bulldogs routinely rushed three or four men and dropped the rest into coverage.
“The trouble is (on) our offensive line, five of our top 10 O-linemen are out,” Pinkel said. “That’s difficult. Snaps were errant, we didn’t execute that very well…anytime you put a really inexperienced O-line in front of an experienced quarterback, it’s much more difficult to be a quarterback.”
Pinkel said he is now focused on making sure the Tigers don’t feel the residual effects from the loss as they prepare to take on Arizona State on Saturday.
“It was such an emotional game, such a buildup, (we have to) make sure we don’t have a hangover here,” he said.To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.