Postgame Quotes - Wrestling vs. No. 19 Missouri

Chattanooga Wrestling - Postgame Quotes
No. 19 Missouri at Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tenn. - Maclellan Gym
Jan. 16, 2010

Chattanooga Head Coach Heath Eslinger:
Thoughts on the match
"We're on the line from going from good to great. The steps are not fancy or fun, they're just baby steps. Are we willing to take all those baby steps to get to the other side, that's the question, because we're there. We're right there."

What will it take to compete with competition like Missouri?
"Can we work hard when there is no emotion? Can we eat right when there is no weigh in? Can we get extra workouts in just for the sake of getting an extra work out? Those are the steps we have to take."

What were expectations from tonight?
"We wanted to win the dual. I don't know why you'd show up for an athletic event not wanting to win. We were here to win the dual. We knew we had a chance. We knew it was a tall order, but those are the hurdles. That was fun."

What does it look like going forward?
"We have a huge match next Sunday that's even bigger than this one. Greensboro is tough and we've got to put together seven days of practice and we've got to get in there Sunday and turn the score around."

When will this program be able to compete at the highest level?
"Why not Monday? Let's get Missouri to put their singlets back on and do it tonight. Whenever we want to, it's a mental change. It has nothing to do with our capabilities."

On the final match (174)
"Those are two of the best guys in the country. He is trying to win an NCAA title and we are too."

Keep the series going?
"They are one of the best teams in the country. As long as they want to keep it going we'll keep it going."

Sophomore Jason McCroskey:
Talk about your match
"Before the match, when they drew 184, I was shaking and freaking out. That changed my gameplan and warm-up and everything. I just settled down and said let's get this thing going. I got him down and got my back points, and I thought, 'I got this.' I wasn't feeling a major or anything yet, but after I got that second takedown I knew I could do this. I wanted him to throw a leg in there because that's kind of my style, but he messed it up and went cross body. It was fun."

On facing a big school like Missouri
"It excites you. For me it's hard to get pumped up for a small school. But with a big school coming in, it's like no pressure. We're the underdog, we're supposed to lose. So why not show them what we've got?"

Thoughts on the team as a whole
"I thought it was probably the best we've ever wrestled as a group. Its just baby steps. If we just do a couple things right here or there and stay focused, we can do it."

Missouri Head Coach Brian Smith
Impressions on the match
"I thought Tennessee-Chattanooga wrestled really hard. Coach Eslinger is doing a really great job. We are just really young. We're still growing. We're trying to get kids to open up and score more and it's just a little frustrating because I know we're better than this, The good thing is we got a win. We've got to get them to believe. We've got a 97-pounder from Maryville, Tenn. doing well, but I think I had eight freshmen and sophomores in the lineup tonight so I know I have to be patient."

How impressed were you with Chattanooga?
"Every dual meet is going to be a fight. We're just a young team. This is a hostile environment, and some of them got a little frustrated by that. But they're going to have to learn to deal with that because when we get into the Big 12 its going to be a couple thousand. But this is good, the crowds are always good when we come down here. I always like to come down here."

Do you want to keep the series going?
"I've got a Georgia and a Tennessee kid in my lineup and I'm from Florida and this is the most Southern program so this is a way to keep the program thriving."

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