Notes from Monday's news conference -

Notes from Monday's news conference

Injury front

Tigers TE Chase Coffman did not play against Kansas State last week, but Coach Gary Pinkel expects him to be ready for Iowa State on Saturday. He perhaps could have played against the Wildcats.

"It was a decision that was made just right before the game," Pinkel said. "He probably could have gone ... we said overall, it would probably be wise if we could keep him out for this game.

"I would be very surprised if he did not play this week."

QB Chase Daniel is happy to get his favorite target back.

"It's always good to have the best tight end in NCAA history," Daniel said. "We miss Chase, I'm not going to lie and say we didn't."

Pinkel says, overall, he considers his team fortunate.

"We're probably as healthy as you can be at this time of the year," Pinkel said, before knocking on his wooden podium.

A chilly night

Despite Fox Sports Net zooming in on shirtless males in the MU student section, Saturday night was quite cold in Columbia, with the wind chill hovering around the freezing point.

The forecast for this Saturday in Ames, Iowa, could be even worse, as both teams look at a high of 33 degrees Fahrenheit and a chance for snow showers.

Pinkel is pleased the Tigers were able to get some work done in cold weather.

"We got a little bit of cold work on Saturday, so that was good," Pinkel said. "I feel good we got the cold temperatures last Saturday."

No second-guessing

Freshman QB Blaine Gabbert has appeared in five games in 2008 and completed five of 13 passes, with no touchdowns or interceptions.

While that is not exactly a full day's work, Pinkel does not regret the decision to let the former Parkway West star play instead of redshirt.

"I think it was worth it," Pinkel said. "He's practicing everyday, he's working hard, he's got in games ... he's improving."

Gabbert will almost certainly be the starter for the Tigers next season. Daniel hopes he has helped the freshman.

"He needs someone to look up to and I'm that guy for him," Daniel said. "He's trying to get as much information out of me as he possibly can, and I'm more than willing to give that information up if asks."

Another for the mantle

Daniel is a finalist for the 2008 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation's top senior quarterback.

Also nominated are Graham Harrell of Texas Tech, Utah's Brian Johnson, John Parker Wilson of Alabama, and Pat White, who quarterbacks the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Past winners include NFL stars Peyton and Eli Manning, Carson Palmer and Brady Quinn.

Fun fact

For all the attention bestowed upon Texas Tech offense, they are not even the most prolific unit in the Big 12.

That title would belong to Oklahoma, who have scored 514 points the season. The Red Raiders follow with 479 and the Tigers have scored 451, good for third in the conference.

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