Mark Mangino Quotes From Miami

Mark Mangino, Head Coach
Kansas University

On being in the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl …
Well we’re excited to be here. We’ve waited a long time to get down here to south Florida and get ready for the Orange Bowl. We’re pretty excited. We brought about a third of our team traveled with us. The rest of the team is en route from their homes in various parts of the country. We’ll have a team meeting tonight and we’ll get to work tomorrow on the practice field.

On balancing game preparation and enjoying trip …
This is a very mature team. Our players understand when it’s time to work and when it’s time to have fun. They’ve been able to do that all season long and this won’t change. We’re excited to be here at the FedEx Orange Bowl and to be in south Florida and the great hospitality. I’ve been to the Orange Bowl before (in 2001 as Offensive Coordinator of Oklahoma in win over FSU 13-2). It’s a great bowl. The people who run it do an outstanding job. I’m sure that they’ll show our players a good time, but our players will know when to work and when to have fun.

On the flight to Miami …
It was good. It was a about little over two hours. A few bumps here and there, but nothing major.

On the weather in Kansas…
Cold. It’s cold. Probably somewhere in the forties, it’s a bit chilly. It snowed yesterday a little bit. It’s not snowing today.

On game preparation for the FedEx Orange Bowl…
I’d say that we have the game plan completely installed. We did that back in Kansas and now our practices here are just to sharpen them up. Get the timing down and smooth all of the rough edges. We will practice and we will practice pretty intensely too. Our first few practices here we’ll hit. There’ll be contact.

On the layoff after the regular season and its effect on the team…
I think anytime you have an opportunity to play in a BCS bowl, you have to prepare for that. I don’t see it being a big deal. I think we’ll be well prepared. We used the rest wisely early on. We were banged up pretty good, but we’re doing all right now. And we think we’re in pretty good shape. The layoff won’t be a big factor for us.

On Kansas not belonging in a BCS game…
Since when is 11-1 not good enough to play in a BCS bowl? That’s what I say. I can’t be concerned about other teams, because I don’t have control over other teams. I don’t have control over the process, but we’re an 11-1 team and I think that speaks for itself. That’s good enough to play in a BCS bowl in our opinion and we’re looking forward to it.

On lack of respect despite accomplishments this season …
We played all year with a chip on our shoulder. We’ll play this one that way too. The kind of talk that you’re bringing up is something that we’ve heard from the first game we played this year. We’re used to that kind of talk. We’re used to being considered underdogs, not good enough. We hear that all of the time. It’s something we are used to and we channel our energy in the right direction when we hear those kind of things.

On the 2007 season …
It’s been a great season. It’s arguably one of the best ever at Kansas, but it’s not over. We’ve got one more game to play. This game is really important to our players. They want to play well. They want to win on the national stage and for us to do that we’ve got to continue to have good preparations and prepare for a very good Virginia Tech team.

On coaching against Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer …
Coach Beamer is an outstanding coach. He’s built a program that’s strong and sturdy, 15 bowl games in a row. He’s a very talented coach. He’s done a great job. We’re a lot like Virginia Tech was maybe15 years ago. We understand what it took for them to build their program and we’re kind of on the ground floor ourselves.

On the challenges of playing Virginia Tech …
They pose a lot of challenges. They’re athletic. They’re speedy. They play very well on defense. They have great special teams. They have some really talented kids on offense. It’s a very good team. We’ve been watching them on tape and we understand that.

On why Kansas program now is like Virginia Tech 15 years ago …
Coach Beamer had to build his program and he went through a lot of the things that we’ve gone through in the early years here. Trying to get the right people in the right spots … trying to develop a recruiting base … trying to develop a mentality and we’re kinda like they were in the early stages. We’re trying to change the way people think about Kansas football just the same way coach Beamer changed the way people thought about Virginia Tech football.

On this being the start of something big and not just a fluke season…
It’s the start. A lot of people think going to the Orange Bowl is the destination. We’d like to think this is just the beginning for our program.


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