Mizzou not looking to live down to expectationsMissouri coach Gary Pinkel already senses a prove-something attitude from his team. "I think so, but I also think that’s OK,” Pinkel said. "There are some other national powers that they lose a lot of players, get a lot of players drafted and people assume they’re just going to reload. But you have to earn that. … (Our players) certainly did have a chip.” Even though they played in the last two Big 12 Championship games and were briefly the nation’s No. 1 team in 2007, there are some underwhelming expectations for the Tigers this season after quarterback Chase Daniel finished his senior season and receiver-kick returner Jeremy Maclin left early for the NFL. Missouri was even the underdog for its season opener against Illinois. The Tigers responded with a surprisingly easy 37-9 victory, which pushed them into the AP poll at No. 25 this week. Daniel’s successor, Blaine Gabbert, threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score. Pinkel described the opener as "our opportunity to show that we’ve got a decent football team, and I’m proud of the way they played.” That likely was Missouri’s biggest challenge before Big 12 play. The Tigers play the next two Saturdays at home against Bowling Green and Furman before wrapping up non-conference play Sept. 25 at Nevada.
BALANCED RED RAIDERSTexas Tech coach Mike Leach has a slightly different definition of balanced offense. "I’m proud to say we’re probably the most balanced team in the nation,” said Leach, whose Red Raiders opened the season with 405 of their 445 total yards through the air. "Balance has virtually nothing to do with rushing as opposed to passing. It has to do with your ability to get ball in all your players’ hands,” Leach said. "We had 10 receivers touch the ball and three running backs. So if you run across anybody any more balanced than that, I’d like to meet them.”
QUOTABLE"In all honestly, it just felt a little different to me.” — Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, on coaching his first game after a three-year "retirement.”
Mizzou not looking to live down to expectations