Missouri football team uses bye week to prepare for Nebraska

Sunday, September 27, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 11:37 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 8, 2009

RENO, Nev. – Despite another slow start for the Missouri football team, coach Gary Pinkel had reason to be pleased Friday night.

Missouri managed to get past its struggles to earn a 31-21 victory at Nevada to finish its nonconference slate unbeaten.

Next week is a bye week for the Tigers, and Pinkel said it will be a natural break between nonconference games and the Big 12 Conference season.

"We put our nonconference games in like a small league by itself," he said. "I think that's helped our football team to focus on all four of these games."

Linebacker Andrew Gachkar said players won't dwell on nonconference success for long.

"I don't think anyone thought we were going to be 4-0 besides us," he said. "It's definitely a big thing, we took care of the first part of the season, but that season's over. Now we've got to go to conference play and take care of Nebraska, so that's definitely going to be a tough game."

One of the goals for the bye week, players said, is as simple as building energy and getting healthy.

"We usually get a couple running days in. But we really like to get our bodies taken care of," Gachkar said. "We like to get well rested for our big game, but then we have lots of studying going on. Definitely we're going to hit the film room up a ton, just totally get into Nebraska and see what they're doing.

"We don't have that many injuries right now either, which is definitely a good thing, too."

Pinkel said it gives the team a chance to make adjustments in areas where problems occurred in earlier games.

"I see a lot of little things that shouldn't happen," he said. "That's coaching and that's teaching. That's my fault. We'll work on getting those things better. We can become a lot, lot better team than we are. We do a lot of things right. My job is to fix things."

Linebacker Will Ebner said the days off will help in preparation.

"Obviously our coaches stress watching film, which they'll give us our film early, so we can get on top of Nebraska," he said. "It's going to be a huge game for us. It's at our place. It'll be a wild crowd. We're ready for that game."

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David Weber September 27, 2009 | 9:46 a.m.

Congratulations Tigers. Solid road win against a quality opponent. I'll admit your team looks better than I thought it would. GP is a good coach. Gabbert is picking teams apart, looks cool in the pocket, and seems to keep himself out of trouble even when he gets flushed. Looks like the North had a good weekend. October 8th should be a good game.

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dolph lester September 28, 2009 | 1:30 p.m.

Missouri isn't going to get national recognition until we beat Nebraska at home. Ilinois at the Dome in St. Louis was a big win, but didn't garner any respect because the Illini are luke warm at best. The next three wins are against also rans so until we beat the Huskers at home, we won't get the respect we deserve. Go Tigers.

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Blaine Gabbert September 29, 2009 | 7:40 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
j johnson October 1, 2009 | 4:58 p.m.

Dear Mizzou,

I'm very much looking forward to a great NU-Mizzou game this year in Columbia. I think you may be surprised by how much progress the Huskers have made on defense over the past year. While I wouldn't say the Blackshirts are back, I think we are getting very close.

I wish you and your football team all the best.

Good luck to you, my Tiger friends!

Herbie Husker

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