Orange Bowl Reaction: Head Coach Mark Mangino


THE MODERATOR: Head coach from Kansas, Mark Mangino, has joined us. Coach, what does it mean to this program to win the FedEx Orange Bowl?

COACH MANGINO: It means a lot. It's another step for our program. I'm especially happy for our players who have worked so hard and some of them have been in the program four or five years. And, you know, they had to endure the tough times to get here. I'm especially proud of them. More than anything I want to first of all I want to give credit to Virginia Tech. Really good football team. Very well coached. Good schemes on offense and defense, and in their special teams. Very formidable opponent. They really are everything as advertised. But our kids were determined to play well. A lot of folks counted us out on this one, and we heard that for about a month. And that's okay because we've been in that position quite a bit. I think we always play better when we're an underdog anyhow. So I'm very proud of our players, many of whom are here now. But it's been a great day for K.U. football. It truly has been.

Q. Aqib, the interception, can you talk about exactly what you saw on that play and just how you sort of developed that anticipation that you've learned on defense.

AQIB TALIB: We saw a lot of outs on film, and Coach had us in the call where I was able to jump any route. So I just kind of slowed down in my back-pedal and he ran the out. And the quarterback was a little late on the throw and he threw me the ball.

Q. Kind of the same question: Justin, can you talk about your interception and how critical a play was that for you guys.

JUSTIN THORNTON: Early in the game we noticed he was trying to hit verticals down the seam, and we were in our cover two shell. Knowing that I was able to sit down and sat on the route. And I spun out of it, seen nothing but green grass and one big guy in the end zone trying to get me. I made a move, stumbled and lost my balance. Lost momentum. I wanted to score on that, but it was all good. They got me down, our offense was able to knock it in the next play. It was a crucial interception in the fourth quarter.

Q. Todd, could you discuss the momentum swings in this game and overcoming the big swings that went both ways?

TODD REESING: Well, obviously, it was a very emotional game being the Orange Bowl. Both teams came out ready to play and played real hard all game long. For us on offense, we were going up against a great defense in Virginia Tech. It was really an up-and-down game, a roller coaster of emotions. Our defense was able to get turnovers and get us the ball in good position, and that was huge for the game. The offense came through when we had to. Made plays when we needed to to get the ball in the end zone and made points on the board. But it was back and forth. It was a real fun game to play in. Q. Joe, you talked earlier this week about the significance of playing in a BCS January 4, 2008

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