Head Coach Daryl Daye:

On if play where Lindewood player got injured was unusual:

“I don’t know that it was an unusual play. You see those hits all the time, I guess the unusual part was that Landon never saw him coming and the kid gets kind of got funneled back into making the play. From what I saw at the game, in looking at it on film, his helmet was low, and as a result of Landon not being able to avoid him, the kid kind of getting pushed into it, the contact occurred because of that.  It was a vicious hit, and Landon is still bruised up from it, the right side of his leg, and it was tragic that it turned out for that kid that way.”

On Truman State:

“Truman, I think I can easily say they are the best coached football team in our conference, I’ll make that statement.  They do things right, the kids are where they are supposed to be, they play hard every game, they don’t make a lot of mistakes.  They are in the gun a lot, they run a little speed option and you know they run the football.  Defensively, there an even front, multiple defense, and I remember from being here last time, you know you better bring a full lunch with you that day, because you know they are going to fight all the way to the end and  I like to say our kids are the same way.  Our kids will fight you to the end, as proof last week. We kept fighting back and getting back into it.  Truman is going to do that too, you can tell they are very well coached because they just don’t make a lot of mistakes, and they are going to make you beat them because they aren’t going to beat themselves.”

On offensive tendencies:

“They are pretty balanced off their last three games, when you did a breakdown of the last three games, but they played some top ranked teams to the wire and they held them to 20 or less points and anytime you are doing that you are playing some pretty good defense as well.  They are very well coached on special teams and very disciplined as well, they got a good kicker and they play smart football.  They play good field position and they don’t gamble a lot and they let you beat yourselves.”

On strong start, but fading away at end:

“You know there is so much there. You can pick out a lot of different areas there, not to go into them all, but ultimately when you have a chance to cut the game to an eight point game, although we missed the extra point which would of cut it into a seven-point game, you got to stop them and give yourself a chance and we did not do that. They made big plays and they made them consistently throughout the day and we made critical mistakes with personal fouls and penalties and it cost us the football game. Those are the things you can’t expect to do and win a football game when you are so evenly matched. We talked about it all year, you can’t have turnovers, and you can’t have penalties.  I talked to our guys after and told our guys you won the football game from the shoulders down, but from the neck up, you lost it, but that is something that can be corrected, we got to work on it, concentrate on it. If you are in position to take a shot at somebody and it is potentially late, then you need to pull off.  We can’t get the late hits, the after play penalties and expect to win football games.”

On feeling more comfortable with Jay McDowell at quarterback:

“He shined pretty well the other night. He got out there and threw the ball very well. You know he has got a good quarterback feel about him. He feels the pressure from one side and he gets out of the pocket and ran for some big first downs. He threw the ball very well and then the option pretty well too. His biggest thing is managing the whole game, putting it all together. He has got segments that he does very well at, but it just takes time and game experience for him to learn how to manage the clock, when we want to run the clock and when we want to speed up when it inside of two minutes. He hasn’t gotten that yet, but it’s coming, but he was a bright spot there the other night and he did a good job.”

On anticipating using him more the last two games:

“Oh absolutely, like we talk about, the more productive they are, the more they get to play and he was very productive the other night. He’ll come in and rotate with Kellen like Kyle was doing earlier in the game.”

On what they are doing to correct discipline issues:

“Discipline side of it were late hits, you know I don’t really have a problem with physical fouls. You know some penalties were personal fouls were judgment calls. It was a play where a young kid got into the game for the first time; he is being overly aggressive and makes a tackle on the sideline and the momentum happened all together and he slams the guy, he just has to know where he is on the field. He still thinks he is on the field when he takes the guy down, slams him out of bounds, well there is your penalty. Again it is from the neck up, you address it, it is not so much of a thing where you punish him for getting this, but you watch the film and educate them, review it, and if a guy is continually showing up with personal fouls then he isn’t going to play, you can’t trust him to go on the field and not control himself, then he can’t play.”

On how practice has been this week:

“It’s been good, you know I thought we started practice yesterday a little quiet, everybody was kind of feeling it out. Just like I told the coaches yesterday, put a rock in your shoe, just go out there and coach. You got to put a big rock in your shoe at this part of the year. We still have a chance to have a winning season, which I think is only the second one in 16-17 years, you have a chance to play for a winning season, go out as a winner, you have a chance to win the next two and potentially catch one of those bowl games. So number one, regardless of if this is the only game we are playing this whole year, you are playing this game to win, every single one of them. We concentrate and focus at practice and we as coaches have to get the pace of practice picked up today. It was decent at the start of yesterday, and it finished very well, but I am expecting today to be on.”

Harder to do in week 10 than week 2 to have focus in practice:

“Yes, no doubt.  It’s harder as a coach, because the injuries have complied up now and we are having to shuffle a lot of people around now and different people are going to have to play in different spots now because of those injuries. They know the routine and most of the time monotony is a killer so you got to kind of change it up and keep it fresh in some spots and we took off some pads last week and I thought we entered into the game with a lot of enthusiasm before the game, we got guys motivated, they were ready to go, they were ready to play and some things didn’t turn out the way we wanted them but as far as our preparation, as far as them getting on the field and coming ready to play, it was there last Saturday and it is going to be there this Saturday and really that is the game we have to motivate, because without a doubt we don’t have to motivate next week. I’ve been here before and you’ll see a group of guys, that it’s amazing how much effort you’ll see against Pitt State and I don’t want to move ahead, the effort will be there and it was always my thinking before was how can we get them to play like it is Pitt State every game, with that enthusiasm, with that intensity, and we are still not there yet, but we are getting better.”

On limiting big plays:

“We can’t give up big plays. That’s what killed us Saturday was the big plays. I thought we stopped the run game pretty decently throughout the game, but the big plays killed us and that is what we have to stop. We got to keep things in front of us and tackle and line up again and execute and not give them big scores like that.”

On response been recruiting wise with season they have had so far:

“You know with us, and I’ll tell you, we are going to stay real quiet with who we are recruiting, I learned that at Nichols State years ago.  We are going to stay real quiet with who we are recruiting and we are not going to let a lot of people know who we are recruiting and then on signing day, you can find out. I’ll let you in on this though the minute we can get out, we are going to the local areas first and we are going to concentrate on a 60-mile radius around Joplin and the entire coaching staff is pretty much going to be in a high school the Monday after the Pitt game, so we’ll be out and about and doing our due diligence to recruit the local area first. I hope the high school coaches will see how important it is to us that we are all out there in full force recruiting their high schools right off the bat.”

 
 

Junior running back Travis Hurd

On Hurricane Sandy affecting his family in Branford, Connecticut:

“Sandy hit us pretty hard, a lot of flooding in town, a lot of trees down, a lot of power lines down.  My town won’t have power at least until Friday or Saturday, you know it is getting on slowly, but a lot of lines went down, a lot of water everywhere so it hit us pretty hard.”

On talking to parents:

“My parents called me the night before and told me this thing was going to hit around noon so I might not have power, but we had a little generator hooked up so we were ready for it.

Believe what he was seeing on TV:

“We had a hurricane last year (Irene) and that hit us pretty bad, but we didn’t get flooding like this time. It came really inland this year. Irene was more on the coast, but this time it came really inland.  I don’t live near the water and there was flooding by my house, so it was definitely a lot different.”

On opening kickoff return vs. Lindenwood that he returned for touchdown:

“We had them schemed out, we knew where they were going to kick it, we knew how they were going to kick it, people executed their blocks and next thing I know I am running down there with five of my teammates to the left of me, bringing me into the endzone. You know that is a real good feeling when I got five of my teammates around me I feel untouchable, and we went up seven and then you guys know what happened the rest of the game.”

On if he thought he was going to be tackled:

“No, he was a kicker, definitely not getting me.”

On describing his running style:

“I don’t know. I just try to do everything without thinking, just try to react to everything. I can’t really plan on how I do things. I just try to react, I can’t really plan on how I do things, I just react to what the guy in front of me does. I try to be elusive, never get tackled by the first guy, that’s my motto.”

On strength as a running back:

“I think I have good vision. I just try to set up my blocks. Even before the play some, I kind of have an idea of where I may want to go, so I would definitely say vision.”

Staying even-keeled every week:

“Well after every game, we have to put aside whether we won or lost and we have to come back and focus on the team ahead, so practice has to stay the same. Intensity has to be high; we got to be ready to go regardless of win or loss. So I don’t think it drops, I think we have to stay the same, we have to keep getting ready, we can’t be looking backwards.”

On if practice gets old this time of year:

“I don’t think so. I am still having fun with it.”

On how he is doing health-wise:

“Physically, I am healthy. I think everybody is doing well too. It is a hard-nosed offense, you know offensive line makes great cuts, they to really come after it, slot backs have to execute their blocks because we have to block for each other and quarterbacks have to make great decisions with the ball and we just get after it.”

 

Senior defensive lineman Brandon Williams:

On how he is preparing for Truman:

“Just listen to what my coaches say and they put the scheme, and I execute to the best of my ability. Everybody as a team, enthusiasm. Everyone should ready to go on Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s same thing, Thursday and Friday’s polish it up and get ready to play on Saturday’s.”

On voicing to teammates the importance of having a winning season:

“I am voicing it big time. I am coming out of my shell big time vocally, a lot know, ever since last game. You know this is my last season, and every senior on this team, this is the last year they will put the pads on, we all want to be winners coming out, so this winning season would not only mean a lot to the seniors and as a team, but as a community and Joplin.”

On leadership at this point in the season:

“The leadership at this point in the season has definitely elevated.  Just for the simple fact that it is the last few games and we still are playing for a lot as a team, everyone knows we have a chance to do something that hasn’t been done in a while here. Everyone is talking, not just the seniors, let’s go, we only got two games left and we got to make a difference and we got to make it.”

On how being more of a vocal leader has affected defense:

“They definitely listen, they are listening to me more, obviously I wasn’t talking much, so when I start talking, it is more one of those things where it is oh crap, he is going off, we got to get stuff together. It’s good for me, because I didn’t think I had it in me, but once I started talking and being vocal, everybody is being vocal and doing their part.”

On changes they are making defensively:

“Just intensity, being in the right place at the right time, footwork, just doing the basics, getting the basics down, just doing what you got to do and doing the best you can.”