Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes - Aug. 31

Aug. 31, 2010


Coach Long|Coach Torbush|Dudley|Oguntodu|Pick|Sands|Thorson

Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Kansas vs. North Dakota State

Aug. 31, 2010 – Lawrence, Kan.

Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill

On game week:
“It is very good to finally have game week here. I know that our players are very, very excited to find another off-color jersey. They can’t wait for 6:10 p.m. on Saturday to get everything started from that standpoint. I know our players are energized. I know they are ready to play an outstanding game. They are ready to go out and be a part of our fantastic Jayhawk fans.”

To Jayhawk fans:
“I would like for them to be making sure to wear blue, making sure they come to the game energized and be ready to go with some enthusiasm. Also, (I want them) to be involved throughout the game and making sure also that they wear blue shirts so we can see that blue `wave the wheat’ throughout the stadium. So hopefully we see that, making sure they are loud with all of our KU chants.”

On the staff:
“I just want to make one statement about our staff. That is probably the one big thing that we have going on in this football program right now. We have an outstanding staff. These guys have done a great job so far, they have really prepared our football team. (They have) 225 years of experience as far as our coaches go. I know that we are somewhere in the top of the country when you talk about years of experience with our coaching staff.”

On North Dakota State:
“I know their head coach fairly well, we have known each other since 1980. We coached at Nebraska there for quite awhile. The one thing that jumps out at me is I have noticed they have beaten three FBS schools. That gets your attention right off the bat when you have someone in the FCS division and where they have defeated some people. He has done an outstanding job, I know that his team will play hard, I know that they have been coached well. I know he is a very good defensive-minded coach and I know he gets his guys to play well in a great way. They are really a downhill running type team. They have a good running back, they finally, I think, found a really good quarterback. They do a bit of a balanced offense. On the defensive side, I know the majority of the time they come out in a 4-3 defense. That is what he (NDSU coach Craig Bohl) has done pretty much all his career. He has had a lot of success.”

On first game at KU:
“It is very exciting for us to play in this first ball game and we are excited to know what our team is going to be like. I do know our team is going to be competitive, they are going to be physical and we are going to play fast. Those are the things that we demanded of our football team as we went on through pre-season camp and as we go on to game week at this point now. (We want) to get things started in the right way.”

On similarities with North Dakota State:
“I think there are plusses and minuses in both ways. We all know, too, every season you kind of look at what you have done in the past and any adjustment you need to make, so I think we are similar in that way. We start talking about the quarterback situation; they obviously had a little bit of a quarterback competition as well. So I think we are similar in (some) ways. (In the) first ball game, you never know how your players are going to respond, but I know that we are both excited to see an opponent.”

On coaching his first game at KU:

“The only reason I would say it may be extra-special is just because our oldest daughter is attending here and that makes it a little more special. There is a little bit of a closer knit (group) with students to alumni (with the football team), and my daughter being here, and then we are all here together as a family. You never dream of that actually happening. So just from that perspective (this week’s game is special), but everything else as in preparation for a football game, that’s no different than from what I have done any other games I have been a head football coach. So again, there is probably more people coming in, and probably a little bit more special too, my mom and dad have never seen me as a head football coach. My mom and dad are going to be here. Probably the last time they’ve seen me play is probably playing back in 1983 as a Nebraska football player. So that’s what probably makes it a little bit more special are those two things, my daughter being here and then my mom and dad having a chance to be here too.”

On KU football game day experience:
“The first thing that jumps out is that we have a lot of students come. I think that’s great when you have your students come and being involved and all of that. I think that’s exciting. I also know that our fans are passionate about the game; we have a great tradition with the KU chants and all the things of that nature. I think that we are going to have a great product. As we all know, people want to come to see football games when you have a good product out there. I think they are going to see the first ball game and throughout the season, they are going to see our team improve, and we have people to be excited about on our football team. We are going to be exciting. That is the kind of brand that we want to play and I think our fans will be excited about that.”

Since leaving Buffalo:
“I think in some ways it has been a long time and in some ways it’s been a short time. I think it’s a short time because I am excited. When you get ready to play a football game, even as a coach, I still probably have that same excitement I did as a player. I still have those little butterflies as you first go out as far as on the warm-ups and right before the first snap. Once the first snap goes, then you are kind of ready to go, even though I’m not going to go out there and get hit and all those types of things. But I get excited and I get passionate about the game, and get focused on the job that needs to get done. So again, college football is just an exciting time. It is definitely one of the top sports in America, everybody gets excited about college football and people are passionate about their University, and the University of Kansas is no different than any other place in the country.”

On running backs and sharing time:
“I just want them to score fast and score often. (If) they do that, we are in good shape. We don’t have anything set from that standpoint. I think we are all kind of seeing where we are at, we have a game plan. No question about it, we are always going to have to adjust in games, that does happen. I think for sure two guys are going to do the majority of (carrying the ball) as far as (Angus) Quigley and (DeShaun) Sands. After that, we will just kind of see how it all goes. Whether the freshman get in and play, we are still working through that this week. We are going to take it week by week and we are going to play the best guys and whoever gives us the best chance to be successful that is what we are going to do.”

On Toben Opurum:
“We are planning on playing him. I can’t sit here and say how many reps we are going to play him. He is going to play at our strong side linebacker, and give him some reps and go from there. I know he probably isn’t going to play the majority of the game, but yes, he is planning on playing and we will go from there.”

Freshman defensive end Tyrone Sellers

On tasting victory:

“There is definitely a feeling of wanting to win. You have got a new coaching staff and new philosophy. We have all bought in and we all want to win. It has been a while since some of us have played and gotten a win. It is something we are really looking forward to and we are really prepared for.”

On playing NDSU:

“They have a good running back. They run their offense and they stay on schedule, they don’t panic when they get behind. They are a good team and you can’t sleep on them. We are prepared and we are ready for game day.”

Senior cornerback Chris Harris

On his feelings for Saturday:

“It has gotten here so fast. I am very excited. My teammates and I are just eager to get out there and get a win.”

On the competition at the corner position:

“It has been a great competition out there. It is so hard to say who has been playing the best because we have all been playing so well. Whoever plays, I am confident we are going to go out there and do the job.”

On how he views the other corners:

“Calvin (Rubles) is 6’3″ and has great size for a corner. His length is going to help him cover his whole side. It is hard to throw on somebody that tall. He is just improved a lot from a physical standpoint through tackling. He is really using his long arms now. Isiah (Barfield) just makes plays. He is just very athletic. He has all the speed that you need. He is just back there making plays.”

Sophomore quarterback Kale Pick:

On how it has been since he was named starter:

“The biggest thing is probably the leadership role. You can only lead so much when you are in competition time. Once you name the starter, you can go out there and be more vocal and show them you are the guy.”

On how the leadership role has developed:

“You can’t be the big leader until you are named the guy. A lot of people probably wouldn’t listen to you if you tried to take over during competition because there is a chance you might not be named the starter. So it definitely developed after I was named the starter.”

On being under the coach’s scrutiny:

“I like it. It keeps me on my toes. He’ will tell me if I am doing stuff wrong and I like that too. He is there to help me get better and he will help me improve if I am doing something that he doesn’t like.”

Senior wide receiver Johnathan Wilson

On the Game against NDSU:

“I `m real excited to get back out there and hopefully get a win. We haven’t had a win in a long time. I think the rest of the team and I are excited to be back on the field and get another victory.”

On how game day will feel with a new staff and program:

“In a sense it’s going to feel different since we are not going to have the old coaching staff with us. However, at the end of the day it is still football and I believe it is going to be the same.”

On teammate Kale Pick:

“Ever since he was named the starter his confidence level has increased. I think he is going to handle his first game starting very well. He likes to run the ball and he has a lot of confidence and I believe he is going to make a lot of plays out there for us.”

Senior offensive lineman Brad Thorson

On the game against NDSU:

“I believe a key is consistency in this game. I think that we need to prove to ourselves that we can run the ball well, pass the ball well, and that we are comfortable running everything in our play book. We need to be able to do everything in our offense.”

On the new coaching staff:

“The coaches have put a lot in front of us and expect a lot out of us. I really want to see us rise to the challenge and prove to the coaches that we can handle what they are expecting out of us.”

On the starter picked for the first game:

“I feel really good about the guys starting right now. I think Coach Gill is concerned about developing depth and what is going to be our greatest chance to win. I think the other great thing about position changes or guys coming into new roles is that everyone has been mature about it.”

On Toben changing positions:

“Toben moving was a big shock to a lot of people, but Toben has really excelled in his new position. In his new position he is not missing a beat because he doesn’t know his reads. He has been in there with Coach Torbush to figure out what he needs to know.”

On the teams view on Coach Gill:

“The guys on the team trust that he is going to put them in the best position possible. The team is responding to Coach Gill very well.”

Senior defensive end Quintin Woods

On being in the program for a year:

“Going through a year has helped me a lot from the terminology to everything football wise. We all know that we need to step it up this year. We came together as a team and we know what we have to get done. We have been working hard in the off-season and are ready for the season to get here.”

On being in the program last year:

“I believe for everybody it was a tough year. However, I believe that we need to put it in the past and be ready to move forward. Right now we are happy where we are at with Coach Gill and we are ready to move forward.”

On this year’s defense:

“I believe that this year’s defense is more focused in and on our individual assignments we are hungrier. We are just ready to prove to everybody what we are made of.”

On game week against NDSU:

“We are focused in a little more in-depth as far as practice and meetings. We are getting focused in and prepared for Saturday.”

On what the defense needs to focus on against NDSU:

“We need to focus on North Dakota State’s running game. We are going to have to buckle up and play aggressive.”