Selected tidbits from Mizzou's media day session on Monday as the Tigers (5-5) prepare to play Syracuse (5-5) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Faurot Field on ESPNU:
• Mizzou enters the Syracuse game seeking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. But since their bye week, the Tigers have won two out of three, with the loss a narrow 14-7 one at Florida. “Attitude-wise, it's a refill,” MU coach Gary Pinkel said. “You fill your tanks up a little bit.”
• One of MU's tricks this week, though, might be to keep the tank from flowing over after all the emotion of the 51-48 overtime win at Tennessee. Or as quarterback James Franklin put it, to take the positives from that but “not letting it feel like we just won a championship and not even prepare well this week.”
• Pinkel said Mizzou had little choice but to schedule Syracuse for what was an open date because of all the shuffling involved with the switch from the Big 12 to the SEC this season. It was essential, he said, that MU avoid scheduling a second FCS foe in addition to Southeastern Louisiana since only one win over an FCS team would count toward bowl eligibility. Syracuse is just 5-5, but it beat previously undefeated Louisville last week, four of its losses were by a total of 27 points and it trailed USC 35-29 until a late Trojans touchdown. MU thought Syracuse would be a pretty good team, Pinkel said, “but I didn't know if they were going to be this good.”
• Pinkel to MU fans: “I was very appreciative with the Mizzou fans and the turnout we had at the Tennessee game. Our fans get it, being in this league, and I appreciate that as we build our program and continue to try and make it better. … That being said, too, we’re going to break next week for Thanksgiving and we’d like all of the students to sign up and be at the game and not go home until Sunday; so we’ve got to get that message out. And certainly all of the people who live here in Columbia, if they could just come support us as they’ve done all year we’d be very appreciative of that also.”
• Mizzou's regular-season finale at Texas A&M on Nov. 24 is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff on either ESPN or ESPN2.