Postgame Quotes vs. McNeese State

Sept. 3, 2011

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas Player Quotes
Kansas 42, McNeese State 24
September 3, 2011

Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill

On explosiveness of young players:
“It was good to see some of our young guys make plays offensively and defensively. It was good to see that with not only our young guys but also our veterans.”

On running the ball:
“We definitely believe it is a key to run the football, and we want to do that throughout the season. There are other things we can do, such as throw the ball down the field and utilize play-action passes, but we went in to the ball game wanting to establish the run.”

On the defense:
“I think our defense played well. They’re a good football team and you’re going to see that this year and in the future. McNeeseState is a well represented program and they did well this game. Our guys can learn from this. Our defense did some good things but I think we can learn to get off the field better on third down.”

On the in game injuries:
“Jordan Webb went back into the game so I don’t anticipate it being a serious matter, but you never know how he will feel after going home. Daymond Patterson has a groin injury and we will see the severity of it as he gets some MRIs, but right now we will say that he is doubtful for next week.”

Kansas Sophomore Quarterback Jordan Webb

On how the win will help the team:
“It definitely gives us a lot of confidence. We went out and did exactly what we wanted to do. We were physical and we had a great tempo. This game definitely gives us a lot of confidence.”

On taking a few big hits:
“I took a few shots, but overall the protection was really good. We ran the ball well so that’s going to keep them off me.”

On how the team played:
“We did exactly what we wanted to do. We ran the ball and as quarterbacks and receivers we made the plays that we needed to and that’s the team we need to be.”

On the freshmen that played:
“(Anthony Pierson) had a great game. He is really fun to watch. I am really excited that he had a great game. JaCorey (Shepherd) came out really well. I was a little nervous for him. I was waiting to see how he would do in a game because as a receiver a game is a little different than practice. He did great and he’s going to be really good for us.”

Junior Wide Receiver Kale Pick

On JaCorey Shepherd’s touchdown where it appeared the ball was intended for (wide receiver Kale) Pick:

“I thought I had the ball the whole time until he caught it. He caught it, I saw a guy trailing him so I made a block and he got in to the end zone.”

On the speed of Kansas’ freshmen running backs and receivers:
“We have a lot of speed for our skill guys. JaCorey (Shepherd) has good speed. (Anthony) Pierson has good speed. They were factors in this game.”

On using the wildcat offense:
“It just gives the defense a different look from our offense. Christian (Matthews) did a good job running that today with Anthony (Pierson).”

On if he was surprised by some of the big plays from Kansas’ freshmen:
“At least from my perspective I wasn’t. I’ve seen Anthony (Pierson) and JaCorey (Shepherd) make plays in practice and they both have a lot of speed and had great games today.”

Senior Tight End Tim Biere

On how the offense played:
“We came out and just got rolling. We had 300 yards rushing—you can’t ask for more than that. The offensive line played great and the receivers blocked well. It was a good start.”

On the passing of former Kansas coach Don Fambrough:
“Coach Fam was great. He used to come before the Missouri (game) week. That guy had so much passion for KU and he hated Missouri. I’m sure people in Missouri can sleep well tonight knowing that he’s not around. He was a great man. He was always at practice and always had a smile. He always loved the Jayhawks and he had so much passion for us. We’re going to miss him around here.”

On comparing this year’s first game to last year’s:
“It’s night and day. This year we are feeling good going in to week two and this time last year we were feeling terrible. The offense got rolling tonight and last year we didn’t get rolling in that first game. We feel really good right now.”

Senior Linebacker Steven Johnson

On the amount of time defense was on the field:
“I feel as though in the first quarter we were on the field a lot, but in the second quarter I thought to myself, ‘this is going to help us in the long run,’ when we get to Big 12 play. It was a great opportunity for our defense to learn and just fight through adversity.”

On getting third down stops:
“They were running a lot of screens and we were in the dime. When we are in practice we have to really hone in on the screen game. We have to learn our pass reads and things like that. It wasn’t stuff that they we’re doing, we were beating ourselves. We played well on first and second down and we were in great positions on third downs, but we have to finish out drives and get our defense to the sideline.”

On the play of the freshmen:
“I had a feeling that we were going to be a good, fast team. On offense, with (freshman wide receiver) JaCorey Shepherd and (freshman running back) Tony Pierson they are fast and they make plays. Coach Gill is doing a great job of recruiting and as a team we are getting better. We are taking this win in stride, but we are going to get better from here. Just keeping it behind us and looking forward to the next game.”

Sophomore Linebacker Darius Willis

On the first game of the season:
“It was a good feeling, nerves were up at first, but after the first hit, the defense started settling in and it started getting fun.”

On the play of Steven Johnson:
“It gets me amped. I like to see my teammates doing well. Him playing that way, just made me want to play better.”

On the play of the freshman:
“They surprised me a little bit. It is exciting to see that type of thing happen.”

Junior Defensive End Toben Opurum

On his play:
“I felt like I played a pretty good game. We got a lot of work to do, but I like where we started. On defense we want to do much better team than what we showed today.”

On the McNeese offense:
“It was an on-field adjustment that we had to make. They threw a lot more screens than we expected and it was hurting us for awhile. Once we adjusted, I think we picked up on it pretty well. Teams are going to throw wrinkles at us that we didn’t see on film to affect our defense, but we have to bend and not break. That’s our motto.”

On preparation for next week’s game:
“We need to be a more physical defense, we can’t miss tackles against Northern Illinois. They are a very physical team and we have to match their physical ability with ours, so no more missed tackles, and just stay focused on what our game plan is.”

McNeese State Head Coach Matt Viator

On his team’s performance:
“I am really proud of our kids and I thought we played extremely hard. Unfortunately, we had two very silly penalties in the first half, which cost us eleven points and then we didn’t finish some plays on offense. Against a good football team on the road, you cannot do that.”

On Kansas’ performance:
“Give Kansas credit because what Coach Gill and his staff did tonight is what we feared. Foot to foot, run the football. The other thing that I thought Kansas did a great job with tonight was the no-huddle. That is something new that they got us with because they did not do it last year. Give Coach Gill and his staff credit.”

On what he could have done differently to beat Kansas:
“For us to win a game like this we would have had to get ahead, so they would have to spread it out and try to throw it. Unfortunately, we got behind and we never could get them out of just running the ball and throwing the play action.”

McNeese State Junior Quarterback Riley Dodge

On his team’s offensive performance:
“I thought we were pretty dynamic at times. We definitely had some good stuff. I thought our receivers did a heck of a job and our offensive line was excellent all night. KU is pretty big up front and they’ve got some good athletes. No. 35 (Toben Opurum) is pretty good.”

On the hit he took on the last play:
“I just got my bell rung. I had to figure out where I was for a second.”

On splitting QB duties with sophomore Cody Stroud:
“You’ve just got to prepare yourself. I was watching the defense while Cody was in. Then when he comes off, I’m talking to him and telling him what I see. I just have to stay loose by stretching and throwing. I thought Cody and I did a great job. I thought he did a heck of a job throwing the ball tonight.”