Here’s a few of Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel’s notable statements this week concerning his team’s showdown at South Carolina on Saturday. Quotes were pulled from his Monday meeting with the media and Wednesday’s SEC coaches teleconference.

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General intrigue heading in after upset loss to Indiana:

“I think the most important thing is, nobody likes to lose. And half the teams in the country lose every week. Nobody likes being a part of that. But the most important thing is to stay positive. And keep working hard. South Carolina is a very good football team. I’ve got great respect for head coach Steve Spurrier and what he has done there. It’s a great place to play (Williams-Brice Stadium). We opened up there a few years ago and it’s a great environment. We’re entering the SEC schedule now and we’re excited about that. We’re going to work real hard and play our best.”

On Dylan Thompson’s progression at quarterback:

“I think he has gotten better with experience just like anyone else does. I think he’s a really good player. He’s playing very well. Their offensive scheme is really good. They’re very good at what they do. I’m impressed with (Steve Spurrier) and the job he has done and what they do with their offense. He’s really playing well. They have some good receivers making plays for him and they can run the ball which certainly helps.”

On the difference between this year’s Gamecocks vs. 2013 South Carolina:

“They struggled against (Texas) A&M the first game, and they just keep getting better. Obviously, the win against Georgia was huge, in a pressure-packed situation. It was just a great college football game. Quarterback’s playing well, great running back and the receivers are excellent. The defense, they’re younger than they’ve been in the past, but they’re very athletic. Then they coach well and keep getting better and better. They’ve got a very good football team. I think (Spurrier) knows it and, like all of us, everybody just wants to keep improving, so that you become a better football team.”

On how Mizzou matches up with the Gamecocks’ running game:

“They’ve got a good run game and they’re good up front. We’re certainly going to be challenged there. We’ve given up some big plays and that has really hurt our defense. We just have to keep working hard and get better. It will definitely be a challenge for us.”

On whether last year’s double overtime loss to South Carolina left a lingering headache:

“They just did what you have to do to win in the fourth quarter. That was the only regular-season game we lost last year. They had a great fourth quarter, got them two overtimes and they did the things necessary to win. From that approach, I take is certainly we learned from that. Especially in this league, there’s so many great teams in this league you’ve got to be able to finish.”