Week #11 FB Press Conference Transcript

Head Coach Daryl Daye

On this Saturday’s game vs. Pittsburg State being a meaningful game in November:

“Absolutely, got a big game coming up. The kids are excited, city’s excited, you know, hopefully everyone will show up and support these seniors and we have a heck of a football game.

On if he is worried the team may get over excited for this game:

“Not really, excited is good, tight, not loose enough is always a concern, but we are doing things as a coaching staff and trying to enjoy ourselves this week. We have a winning season and what we in Louisiana call a lan-yap, a little extra, so if we are able to go out there and get the win that would be great for the school, the seniors, everybody, that is what we are trying to do, that is what we are trying to stress, just go have fun, play the game, enjoy the game, fly around, be loose, let’s get into the fourth quarter and see if we got a chance to win it.

On what he sees on film that impresses him about Pitt State:

“They are a complete football team. They have depth as well, good quarterback, big physical back, good size at the offensive line, outstanding talent at receiver.  Defensively, big physical guys up front, run well in the secondary and excellent linebackers. They are a complete football team, just the last couple weeks they stubbed their toe here and there and it could have gone either way and it could be a lot different in their record, but they are a good football team.”

On struggles they have had this year on defense:

“I think a lot of that is field position too, if you look back. Their defense has been put in a lot of short fields the past couple games, but also contribute that to them playing pretty good football teams. Obviously, Lindenwood is a little better than everybody gave them credit for being. They are a good football team, they have talent, they throw the ball, they run the ball, as well as Northwest and Missouri Western. Those are two in the playoffs and Lindenwood might be if they were not eligible.”

On adjustments made from first to second quarter offensively throughout the year:

“You know with our offense, you never know what you are going to get defensively each week. Some teams will totally abandon what they are doing defensively to stop it or they will adapt their defense to stop it.  It usually takes us about a quarter or so to figure out what they are doing and try to adjust to, of course we plan and prepare for them based off what we think they are going to do, and then if they come out early and you have prepared for that, you got a chance to be successful against that it.  If not, you have to evaluate as a coach what they are doing and make the changes and make the right calls from there. Credit our offensive coaches, they communicate well on the phones, and they figure it out pretty quick.

On opportunity to beat Pitt State:

“There is no doubt you will see the bar being raised by the effort of our kids on Saturday. When I was here four years before, it was incredible how hard they played against Pitt and how much they want to win and the effort is there. As a coaching staff, we need that effort every week. We need to gear our mind that every week is a Pitt State-type effort. That is how you win your championships, that is how we get this program to get to the next level. We can’t wait to have our best effort against Pitt, our best effort needs to come week after week and continue to climb until Pitt being the rival. You know it is a big game, you know you hear a lot of people that come up to you and say we don’t care if you win another game just beat Pitt, well we want to win every game. Obviously, Pitt is the rival and that is great and it is a great rivalry our guys get to play in, but they have dominated that rivalry. We are going to do our best to try to change that.”

On if he is personally excited for this game:

“Very excited, you know, but every game, you know winning is precious, but to be sitting here and you take a quick look back, and I am going to brag on our staff, two weeks prior to the signing date, we sign a class of 14, we end up signing 7 to 9 players in July, recruiting never stopped, we bring in 70 plus new players and there is 35 players left off the roster last year and the guys who buyed into what we are doing stayed, those seniors committed themselves and they are going out winners and nobody can take away from them. To get to Pitt and have a winning season, it is lan-yap.”

On how special it is to set single season school team rushing record with 70+ new players in the program and where offense can get to once recruiting for this offense is in full swing:

“You know sky is the limit. You know recruiting is everything, getting out there and doing your job and getting the best players you can get in here, but ultimately when I see these seniors, I was a part of recruiting some of these guys when I was here before, but the minute we took the job as a staff, these became our seniors, these are our guys, they aren’t somebody else’s guys that moved on and we are trying to get them out of here. These are our seniors, we are proud of them, they are our family and we are their family and they are most important to us right now and of course they are always going to be welcome back. It just takes time to build and it’s not something where you can just punch a fast forward button. You got to get out there on the road, hustle and recruit and get the best players we can get in here, but definitely having a winning season makes a huge difference in recruiting.”

On seeing development of senior class from first stepping on campus to playing their last home game Saturday:

“Oh, it’s great. We got Alex Wong and Landon Zerkel here today. I think about where they are going to be in 10 years, all degreed up with a lot of money in their pockets wanting to get back to Missouri Southern. They have already made those commitments. You know it’s great, that is why you do this, that’s why in my mind I came back to Missouri Southern was to see these guys in 10-15 years and give them a hug and say I am so proud of you and what a great time we had, you guys went out winners. That’s so awesome for them and I am so happy for them.

 

Senior linebacker Alex Wong

On any concern about a letdown this week after securing a winning season last week:

“No, it’s all about putting in the hard work during the week and trusting our assignments and the coaches that they will put us in great position to have success on the field, it’s more of a team effort.”

On if you can be too fired up for this game:

“You always to have play within the scheme of what we are doing defensively and offensively. Yes, it is another game on Saturday and it happens to be Pitt, so we just have play within ourselves and play with high emotions, but not lose our heads.”

On if he prefers playing them last game of the season:

“It doesn’t matter cause you only get so many opportunities to play college football, beginning or end, it’s all relatively the same.”

On if it seems career has flown by:

“It’s flown by fast actually. Coach Daye recruited me when he was defensive coordinator and that seems like yesterday and know we are sitting here talking about last college football game. It goes by in a hurry. You know after junior college, you don’t even know it, but that is half of your career, and then you come here, you get settled in and it is your last one before you know it. I was actually talking to the freshman and telling them it goes by in a hurry. Your freshman year actually goes by the fastest cause you did not have an off season, so definitely enjoy it.”

On how to prepare for offense that you don’t know what to expect from:

“You definitely got to be prepared. They got a physical runner, they got a receiver that can definitely extend the field and cause some mismatch issues, so you got to be prepared for what they are going to present to you, that’s for sure.”

On what he expects Pitt State to present offensively:

“A very physical-type offense.  Offensively they get their guys in space and try to exploit that.”

On opportunity to beat Pitt St. in final game as a Lion:

“It’s all about building something special here and that is the reason why we are here and the reason why we play college football to be in those positions. You don’t ever go into a fight tip-toeing, you got to bring everything with it.”

On how you will look back on this season as the start of building something special:

“Most definitely, I wish it wasn’t the last game of my college career. You know wish you had to do it all over again. These are going to be the most special times of your life, someday, I’ll have a job and it will all be different and you don’t get to compete in this sense as much in life.”

 

Senior wide receiver Landon Zerkel

On talking about the last time MSSU beat Pitt State:

“You know we really don’t discuss the past. We started something new this year with Coach Daye and we are excited to get to play them this week.”

On what he sees on Pitt State defensively:

“They are just an athletic team. Each year I’ve played them they are going to give you their best effort week in and week out. Obviously they have a great linebacker, their secondary is good and their defensive line is solid, so you have to play your best football to beat them.”

On career flying by:

“It’s gone by quick. You know my redshirt year when I had shoulder surgery seemed like the slowest year of my life, sitting out. You know I’ve never had to sit out a sport an entire year, but these last four years have flown by and it has been a great time.”

On playing this week:

“Yeah, I’ll be out there for sure this week.”

On growth and learning from adversity while at MSSU:

“You know football has helped shaped me as a man, you know with my coaches especially have been there for me and we have changed. I have been through every style of offense here from no-huddle to more pro-style to now the triple-option, but it has been a great experience, everything you could ask for.”

On history between Webb City and Pitt State in terms of football:

“Yeah, you know Webb City and Pitt have a connection with kids and coaches there, but I feel Southern is growing up there with Webb City too. You know they are both great programs, so it’s just something I did a little different with former quarterback Colin Howard.”