Transcripts: KU Press Conference

University of Kansas
Nov. 6, 2007
Head Coach Mark Mangino:

On the offensive performance against Nebraska:

“Obviously we had an outstanding offensive performance. Todd Reesing led the way, of course. He threw the ball extremely well and took control of things. Our receivers played well. Dezmon Briscoe, a true freshman, had a big day. Brandon McAnderson continues to run the ball very well for us in compliment with Jake Sharp and the offensive line continues to play solid football in the run game and in pass protection.”

On the defensive performance against Nebraska:

“Early on, we had to make some adjustments when Nebraska threw the ball quite frequently. Our defensive coaches did a good job of making adjustments. We were able to take over (on offense) with a short field on several occasions because of turnovers and also because of the kickoff return unit and Marcus Herford’s returns.”

On the upcoming game against Oklahoma State:

“Oklahoma State is a very good football team. On the offensive side they have a lot of capable, quality players. Their quarterback, Zac Robinson, is a very capable guy. He’s thrown the ball for over 2,000 yards and has run the ball for 400 or maybe 500 (yards). Dantrell Savage, their tailback, is a very talented, quick, speedy guy. On defense they have some really good schemes and good athletes. Their defensive line is physical and jumps the ball, their linebackers are very, very active and their secondary is good. I think this is a really good football team. They’ve had a tough, tough loss to deal with after the Texas game, but we are prepared to go into Stillwater and play well.”

On the troubles with the pass coverage vs. Nebraska:

“There are no concerns. They are all correctable things. We had a few communication breakdowns. We understand that can happen and how to deal with that. I thought our defensive coaches made excellent adjustments at the half and our kids understood and consequently we forced four turnovers in a row. Every phase of our team can get better. One of the things is that we need to get a better rush with four (linemen) and that’s something that we will work on. We can’t give the quarterback a whole lot of time to throw the ball.”

On the struggles with the defense against Oklahoma State last season:

“Our defense has played well all year. We are going to play a really explosive offensive team and we aren’t going to do anything special for the defense that we wouldn’t do for the offense or special teams. That’s last year. We don’t measure ourselves on last year. That’s history and we learned from that. We’ve been looking at 2007 now.”

On the potential of Dezmon Briscoe:

“I think you have to take into consideration that he’s playing as a true freshman and he’s very productive. I don’t’ know. I think he can probably do what he wants to do in this game.”

On Oklahoma State WR Adarius Bowman:

“Adarius had a great day on us last year. But that was last year. We have great respect for him. He is one of the most talented receivers in the league. He’s big and strong, but he’s also fast. He has great athleticism and great change of direction. He is very, very talented.”

On Oklahoma State as a dangerous team:

“Everybody is dangerous that we’re going to play because at this point in time we are going to get everyone’s best shot. So, we have great respect for them, we think they are a very, very good football team. They lost some games that they could have easily won that could have changed the complexion of things for them, but it is still a very talented and a very good football team.”

On dealing with the excessive media requests:

“More than anything right now there are a lot of people that are demanding our time and we have to get to a point where we have to say no. We certainly can’t reach out to everybody in the mass media. There are people that want more time with me or the players and we’re trying to keep the same routine here, but we know (the media) has work to do and we want to accommodate (the media). After Tuesday’s workout and everything, I don’t let anyone pull me anymore. I know where my focus has to be and our players do and our coaches do.”

On building the program:

“On of the things I didn’t do was show up with a plan that said ‘by year three we have to win this many games, year five, year six.’ What happens if you don’t, what do you tell your players then? We came in with some very, very basic principles. As coaches we were going to raise the standards of the players in every way. We would not yield or bend those standards for anybody. We have a set way of how we want to do things and we believe in it and we do it no matter what. We felt like we had to be able to develop players in our program. Not only do you have to coach them well on game day, but on the practice field. We wanted to have a quality strength and conditioning program, make sure their academic needs are being met and make sure that they’re getting the proper nutrition. Those are all things that we believe in and we felt that if we just stayed on track and didn’t let anybody talk us out of it, that good things would happen.”

On keeping everyone focused:

“It’s great when you have a lot of people in your program because it means that the kids and everyone is doing something right. But we are not going to be taken off track. We have a smart bunch of kids here that see what is taking place. They are enjoying it, but they are not caught up in it. As a coach, you’re focused on the day’s work, the challenges, and the preparation. I think coaches tend to reflect on winning seasons after they are completed.”

On whether he can take some satisfaction to how far the program has come:

“I think there is some satisfaction. You can’t help but be happy for these kids that work so hard. We’ve talked about how we’ve wanted to do something special and how we wanted to be a really good football team and its starting to take shape. The coaches and I know we still have work to do and we have challenges ahead. Let’s just stay on track, keep at it and not get caught up in all of this stuff because when it’s all said and done, it’s what you did in the very end that matter most.”

On whether Todd Reesing has exceeded his expectations:

“Well we thought he was going to be really good and with a sophomore that’s putting up the kind of numbers that he is, you almost have to say, yes. But I’m not surprised. I’m not caught off guard by it, but I’m pretty pleased about what he’s done to this point.”

On Derek Fine’s production this year:

“Derek Fine is a veteran guy. He knows how this game is played, he knows how to get open and Todd is very good at finding him. Derek has been a solid guy for us. He’s a four year starter in the program and I know that Todd has a lot of confidence in him.”

Players of the Week:

Offensive: Todd Reesing

Defensive: No Selection

Special Teams: Marcus Herford

Scout Offense: Rameses Arceo

Scout Defense: Eric Tyler

Kansas Player Quotes

Junior Defensive End Russell Brorsen

On playing on a team that lacks star power:

“We know that we are not the five-star guys and so we come in and work hard and try to do the best we can. And it’s worked out pretty well.”

On last season’s loss to Oklahoma State:

“We look back on that. We were up and they came back and had that huge half against us. But we did that same thing a couple times last year so I do not think it provides any more motivation than the other games we have played this year. This definitely fell into the category of finishing games off. It was not the only one, but it was one of the worst. In the third and fourth quarter, we just could not finish it. It was definitely motivation during the offseason for this year.”

On being undefeated in November:
“The best thing to do about that is, honestly, try not to think about it because when you start thinking about that, you start thinking down the road and you really cannot do that. Every team we play is a quality a team, so you really do have to take it one week at a time and it has worked out pretty well so far.”

On growing up in Stillwater, Okla.:

“I do not know a whole lot about the (football) program. But I do know that they are a good team and that their players play really hard. They have had a coaching change since I have left, so I do not know a whole lot about the team.”

Junior Linebacker James Holt

On Oklahoma State’s offense:

“We are going to have to work really hard this week to get ready because I know that they have a very explosive offense. We are going to have to stick to our basics and just play with them. You just have to read your keys and listen to our coaches to what they want to adjust to. And to never give up no matter what the lead is.”

On if the team feels like they have surpassed expectations:

“I do not think we are saying, ‘We told you so.’ We are trying to stay humble about it. We knew that we had a good team, and our hard work has paid off to where we have at that point and it is really nice to be there. We are keeping the same mentality because we do not want to think that we are the big dogs or anything. Because then you will relax and get beat. We are keeping the same routine so that we play the same each week.”

On the Nebraska game:

“We were more focused on the run game, and when they came out and threw 50 passes, we were not really expecting that. It threw us off guard a little bit, but I think we are going to focus more on being sound with our technique this week. We need to stay assignment sound instead of concentrating on the run.”

On Oklahoma State Wide Receiver Adarius Bowman:

“We definitely want to wrap him up. The main thing is to try to keep him from getting the ball. We know that he is going to make plays, but it comes down to how we are going to bounce back after he makes a play.”

Junior Center Ryan Cantrell
On if there was a moment when he knew this team was going to be special:

“I would probably say the first play of the game against K-State when Todd (Reesing) threw that pick and everybody came to the sidelines like nothing happened and that it did not matter. We knew that one play was not going to define our season or that game. We have the confidence in ourselves to know that we can go out there and do work.”

On if learning Offensive Coordinator Ed Warinner’s offense was difficult:

“We kept a lot of the same styles of plays. We already had a lot of these plays in the offense, but the times when he want to run them are a little bit different. There is not a whole lot of learning that is still going on.”

On the Nebraska game:

“We did not run a large variety of plays. We ran our base offense. There was not anything out of the ordinary that we ran. It showed what our offense can do when it is hitting on all cylinders. I think that game was one of the first times that we have been hitting on all cylinders as a total offense. Every receiver caught the ball, and we blocked pretty well up front. The running backs and tight ends blocked well and the receivers blocked well in the run game. It is pretty much all you could ask for.”

Senior Kicker Scott Webb

On if he’s enjoying the season:

“I am just concentrating game-by-game. I’ll try to soak it in a lot more after the season. I’ll have a lot more time on my hands then, but it has been a lot of fun.”

On his confidence after missing a few kicks:

“I shake them off. I do not even know what you are talking about right now, but I cannot comment on that right now.”

On the team’s preseason expectations:
“I would not say that the Big 12 Championship were the only thing on our mind. You have to go into every season hoping for the best. And that is what we have really done. But, every season we post three goals and the Big 12 Championship was on there for sure. A lot of people had higher expectations than that.”

On playing in his home state of Oklahoma:

“It has been a few years since I have played down there. It is always exciting. You are going to see a couple people in blue, even in the OSU Students section, and those are my friends.”

Sophomore Safety Darrell Stuckey

On if the goal is to get to the National Championship game:

“That is always the long-term goal, but we tend focus on our short-term goals. We take it one game at-a-time, one series at-a-time, one play at-a-time.”

On last year’s game against Oklahoma State:

“There was a lot of tension, and disappointment. It was one of those things where a lot of anger was felt.”

On Oklahoma State Wide Receiver Adarius Bowman’s 300 yard game last year:

“He’s a talented receiver; I do not want to take anything from him. But a lot of it was our lack of assignments and getting to where we needed to be. It was a lack of our knowledge of the game as a whole. It is a knowledge that we all have now. We have a whole different demeanor now. We are a different team. We can look back at that and learn from that.”

On breaking the current trends of Kansas football:

“Trends and rules are meant to be broken. Records are meant to be shattered. It is one of those things where we are an evolving team. And we are evolving into a team that KU has never seen and accomplished.”


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