COLUMBIA — It's just one loss, but Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel is taking it pretty hard.
"We're not playing our best, offensively or defensively," Pinkel said Monday at Missouri's weekly media day. "It's my job to get our football team to play better than that, off the bat, and I didn't do a very good job."
Missouri will now try to bounce back from the 31-17 loss to Nebraska. The Tigers (7-1, 3-1 Big 12) face Texas Tech on Saturday in a nationally-televised, prime-time road game.
Pinkel announced that middle linebacker Luke Lambert, who has a sprained right knee, will miss his third-straight game.
Lambert is expected to be the only Tiger out for the Texas Tech game. But that's not to say that the Tigers are in perfect health.
"When you play the schedule we have played and are going to play, you are going to have some guys with bumps and bruises," Pinkel said.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert sustained a bushel of big Cornhusker hits this past Saturday in Nebraska, raising suspicion that he might have sustained a concussion during the game. But Pinkel didn't see any reason to be concerned about Gabbert's health.
"I don't know what you are talking about… he seemed fine to me," Pinkel said. "He took some hits, it's a tough business."
One big hit on Gabbert will be receiving extra scrutiny this week, after Pinkel asked the Big 12 to review of a fourth quarter play in which Nebraska safety Courtney Osbourne hit Gabbert helmet-to-helmet.
Nebraska linebacker Eric Martin was suspended from the Missouri game for a helmet-to-helmet hit the week before.
Pinkel claimed that his intentions in asking for a review were not vengeful, but rather educational.
"It's very important for us in teaching our players, our defensive players and everybody, how they are going to call it, how they are going to interpret it," Pinkel said. "We don't always agree with officiating, never will, never have. But they do a good job, and the communication, I think, is really good."
Although Pinkel knows who his starting quarterback will be Saturday, he does not know who he will be preparing to face in Lubbock. Texas Tech has used two different quarterbacks this season. Both Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield received playing time in the Red Raiders' loss to Texas A&M last week.
"I don't think you can really be concerned about that," Pinkel said. "We look more at the scheme that they play and what they do."