Daniel tries to make peace with mistakes

Monday, November 10, 2008 | 9:08 p.m. CST; updated 12:01 a.m. CST, Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel, left, is hit by Kansas State defensive end Eric Childs in Saturday's victory over the Wildcats.

COLUMBIA — Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel had some drastic things to say Saturday after the Tigers defeated Kansas State for their third consecutive victory.

Saturday's game

No. 12 Missouri (8-2, 4-2) at Iowa State (2-8, 0-6)

WHEN: 5:40 p.m.

WHERE: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa


TV: Fox Sports Network

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“Right now, I’m hurting this team,” Daniel said.

It might be considered odd timing for that statement, but it’s clear wins aren’t enough to satisfy Daniel if he’s not playing his best.

But after nearly two days to think it over, Daniel had forgiven himself for his mistakes.

Well, sort of.

“If you look back, I am being a little too hard on myself,” Daniel said Monday. “That’s just the competitor I am. That’s how I play, that’s how I go about things. It’s been that way since high school. I’m not going to change for the last three games of the year.”

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel certainly understands Daniel’s high expectations for himself, but he agreed that his quarterback is taking his mistakes too hard.

“He’s a great competitor,” Pinkel said. “He’s just got to relax and do what he does, he’s still the best quarterback I’ve ever seen.”

While Pinkel doesn’t have a problem with Daniel being hard on himself for his mistakes, he said he thinks too much focus on what goes wrong only leads to more mistakes.

“I think when you get like that, you start to press a little bit,” Pinkel said. “He’s so used to everything going perfect all the time. That’s not going to happen, that’s not going to happen for any quarterback.”

But for Daniel, the mistakes have started to come at inopportune times. Twice in the final drive at Baylor, he was nearly intercepted. Against Kansas State, he admitted that he made some poor decisions that resulted in interceptions for the Wildcats.

“I’ve just got to be more careful with the football,” Daniel said. “You look at the first interception, I was getting hit when I was throwing the ball, and just shouldn’t have thrown the football. I should have taken it for a sack. That’s just trying to do too much.”

But throughout Daniel’s spell of trying to do too much, Pinkel has insisted that mistakes have not affected Daniel’s confidence, and the quarterback confirmed that.

“I’m going to keep throwing the football around,” he said. “We’re not going to stop throwing the football. The team has confidence in me, and I have confidence in myself. I’ve just got to go out there and can’t try to hurt the team with the turnovers.”

COACH SAUNDERS?: Pinkel has never hesitated to tell his players not to follow him into coaching, and hopes that they would be smarter than that. But that stance doesn’t appear to apply to receiver Tommy Saunders who says he wants to be a strength and conditioning coach.

Pinkel has encouraged Saunders to pursue that goal.

“He’d be a great motivator,” Pinkel said. “I’d hire that guy.”

Would Pinkel bring Saunders back to Columbia in that position?

“Down the road, possibly,” he said. “I think Pat Ivey would probably want that right now.”

PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY: Bring up any game that he’s played in at either Missouri or Southlake Carroll High School and Daniel can describe what he thinks were the most important plays in the game. He thinks that’s a common trait among quarterbacks.

“A lot of quarterbacks remember distinct plays in the game,” he said. “(They remember) turning points in the game or special moments to them, what they did. I think it’s just a quarterback thing.”

Daniel said that he can describe three to five plays in detail from each game that he has played.

PLEASED WITH THE FORECAST: Pinkel might be alone in his positive outlook on the weather in Columbia this week. With temperatures predicted to be in the 30s in Ames, he’s hoping for a cold week so his team can adjust.

“You’re always concerned going into a game and not preparing your players,” Pinkel said. “But I don’t really have the answer for not preparing for the cold.”

Pinkel said the low temperatures for the Kansas State game were a start for his team as it prepares for the final few games.

THE RECRUITING PITCH THAT WASN’T: While talking about what tight end Chase Coffman and former tight end Martin Rucker have done for the position, Pinkel talked about their impact for the Missouri program off the field as well as on.

“This really helps you recruit high-level players at the position,” he said. “If you play tight end in high school, we’re going to have back-to-back All-Americans. This would probably be a pretty good place to go.”

He then quickly added, “That was not a recruiting pitch.”


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