Orange Bowl Reaction: Governor Sebelius Celebrates With The Team

KANSAS LINEBACKER MIKE RIVER ON THE WIN

This feels so good. It's been a long time since winter conditioning started. This is one of the best feelings I've had in a long time. I'm just glad we won this game and are Orange Bowl champions. This feels awesome. On how the win validates what his team had accomplished heading into this game (This win) shows the strength of the Big 12. It show the strength of Kansas. We went out there and we played some Jayhawk football. We showed them what we had and we laid it to them. We are just happy to win the game. On the Kansas linebackers We always heard about

(Virginia Tech's) linebackers and didn't hear about us. It feels good. The LBs went out there and tore it up. We performed really well together and we?re definitely a force to be reckoned with. Kansas tight end Derek Fine On if he thought his team could achieve what it has this season Absolutely. I knew that we had a special team going into this year. I knew that we had special players. It was just a matter of putting it together. You could tell that we really had the team cohesion that we needed in the summer. That's when it really came together. We set those goals for a reason. We knew we could get there. On if the win silences the team's doubters heading into this game This (win) verifies it. Virginia Tech is a very good football team. They were No. 3 in the nation and ACC champions. They didn't get here because of a fluke reason. We came out and played a really good game against them. I think any (doubts) about this program, these players, these coaches and what is going on here, is all gone. This is a BCS game. This is a national stage. We came out and we won. For us, the scoreboard says it all.

KANSAS WIDE RECEIVER DEXTON FIELDS

(On how he feels after the win) This was an amazing experience. You've just got to give glory to God. He's brought us through a lot. We were 73 percent supposed to lose, but we've overcame a lot of obstacles and it's just a great feeling to prove everybody wrong.

(On how coming into the game as an underdog affected the team) It's motivation.That's what we've been dealing with all year. When we played Kansas State, they were 4-1 and we were 5-0 and we were still doubted or the underdog. Every game that we played in, except for a couple of games in conference, we were supposed to lose. It's just exciting. You don't know how it feels to come and prove them wrong, nationally too.

(On his thoughts when Virginia Tech began to get back into the game) They were coming back. We never get down, even when we were losing to Missouri, we never get down. You could kind of sense that they were coming back, but we just kept our poise, kept our poise and did what we do best.

KANSAS QUARTERBACK TODD REESING

(On his feelings when the game ended) Walking up to the line of scrimmage and knowing that after I kneeled the ball the game would be over and we would win, as soon as that clock ticked zero-zero it was awesome. I threw the ball up and everyone started celebrating. It's that feeling that you work for all year long and off-season and during the summer, it's everything that you work for in football. To be at the top, kind of the pinnacle of our season, it's a great feeling.

(On the team setting the bar high for next season) We did. This has been the best season in Kansas football history, so we've got some big shoes to fill next year. We're losing some good seniors, but we've got a lot of guys coming back. We're going to go into this off-season just like last year and get ready for next year.

(On having to capitalize on your opportunities against such a strong defense) We knew that we'd have to capitalize on plays and drives when we needed to, and that's one thing this offense has been able to do all year long. When we had to make plays and when we needed to get points we've found a way to do that. Our defense came up huge tonight. They played unbelievable, getting turnovers for us and getting us a chance to score with the short field. That was big for us on offense. They did have a great defense, though. They are one of the best teams in the nation year-in and year-our, and it's no different this year. We found a way to move the ball when we had to and make some plays and everyone played hard. We found a way to get enough points to win and that's what matters.

KANSAS LINEBACKER JOE MORTENSEN

(On the toughness of quarterback Todd Reesing) He's a soldier. That kid is so tough. It's a credit to him, because he didn't play his best game, but he was out there running around, throwing balls. He wouldn't quit and it showed how tough of a guy he is.

(On if he thinks Kansas defense surprised some people tonight) I think we did. That was one thing we wanted to show. They have a great defense, one of the best in the nation. We kind of want to show everybody what we can do. They talk about their safeties and their linebackers and what they can do and they're top-10 in everything. It was a challenger for us and we rose to the occasion. We out-played their defense, and that's what we wanted to do.

(On his blocked field goal) It was great. Coach called an all-out block and we've been practicing it. We got great penetration by the d-line and I just turned my shoulders, slipped through, and blocked it.
It was great.

KANSAS CORNERBACK AQIB TALIB

(On his interception return for a touchdown) That was maybe one of he few chances I had to be in situation like that, so I was just excited and got caught up in the moment. I didn't mean to get the flag, but I just got caught up in the moment.

(On if his performance today helped solidify his decision regarding the NFL Draft) It just solidified an Orange Bowl win, that's all. I'm ready to enjoy my night and worry about the future in the future.

(On the media's focus on the Virginia Tech defense rather than the Kansas defense) We could care less if they had put us in the spotlight. We would've prepared the same and performed the same. We could care less how the hyped up the game. We prepared like it was the Orange Bowl.

(On Kansas' ability to score points after forcing turnovers) We did a good job scoring off the turnovers. I think one time we kind of left points on the field, but the majority of the time we put points on the board. That was a big part of the game.

KANSAS WIDE RECEIVER MARCUS HENRY

(On how good this victory feels) It's pretty great. As you can tell, I lost my voice. I really don't talk that much, so for me to lose my voice, it's pretty exciting.

(On the performance of the Kansas defense) The defense played extremely well today, getting turnovers and getting stops when we needed them. During the stretch they just played really well out there.

(On what it means to get this victory for Coach Mark Mangino) I think it's big, especially for him and the program, just knowing that last year we were bowl eligible and didn't make it to a bowl. This year we came back and went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl, so it's pretty amazing.

(On if he thinks this is the best Kansas football team ever) According to our record, I guess it is. We?ll see years later, but right now I think we?re the best.

KANSAS SAFETY JUSTIN THORNTON

(On his interception) We lost some of the momentum there coming out of halftime when they ran that punt back. Their defense was getting after us, but it was definitely a big shift in the game. A fourth-quarter interception, and I was able to return it to inside the five. It was definitely big-time.

(On if the team felt added pressure entering this game) There wasn't too much added pressure. We work hard. Our guys on the team, we have a good focus and a good mentality on this team. We know what to focus on. We know when we need to buckle down and work and get things done.

(On the Kansas pass rush) It was on for tonight. They were able to get off bocks and get to the quarterback.

[The coaching staff] was calling good plays all night, put us in some good blitzes and we were able to get to the quarterback a couple of different times.


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