Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes (9-9-08)

Sept. 9, 2008

Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 9, 2008

Head Coach Mark Mangino

Opening remarks:

“Reflecting on the game Saturday (vs. Louisiana Tech), I liked our effort and I liked the way we played. Our defense got a shutout. Any time that can happen, it is a good day. Our defense continues to play sound, fundamental football. We need to continue to go in that direction. Offensively, we put up a lot of yardage, but probably didn’t put up nearly as many points as we could have. Examining our red zone offense, we need to get more touchdowns than field goals. I am not that concerned about it though because any time you put up the kind of yardage that we have then the little things will start to come together.

This week we play a very good, ranked South Florida team. They feature an outstanding quarterback who throws the ball very well, yet also runs the ball very well in a designed run game. They have various plays that are designed for the quarterback to carry the football in the same fashion that a tailback would carry the ball. Defensively, they are very good. They have some outstanding defensive players, including George Selvie, who is probably recognized as one of the top defensive ends in college football. It will be a good challenge for us. It will be a big challenge because it is our first road game of the year and you are always anxious to play well in your first road game to set the tempo. We are looking forward to the challenge and we are ready to go. We have had a good week so far, so I feel very good about our preparation.”

On containing South Florida defensive end George Selvie:

“There are a number of things in your entire offensive structure that you can do. There are some things that you can do with the players who are competing against him. He is awfully talented and a really good football player. But we feel pretty good in our matchup. We aren’t going to spend the whole night focusing on George Selvie. When you focus on one aspect of a team’s defense, if they have enough good players, they will hurt you somewhere else. You have to keep it in perspective. You want to do some things to keep Selvie from having a major impact on your offense, however there are so many other quality football players out there that you can’t just focus on one guy.”

On playing on a Friday night:

“As I have said before, I would prefer not to play on Friday nights. But to tell you the truth, we have to take opportunities as they come. There had been talk about playing on Thursday night and there had been talk about Friday night, but there was no talk about the game being televised on a Saturday. Personally, I would prefer not to have to travel on that short of a week for a road trip to the East coast. I didn’t think that was in the best interest of our program at all. We were able to work it out with South Florida and ESPN that it would be played on Friday night, and that was the best scenario for us.”

“I am a former high school coach. I am kind of old fashioned in the sense that Friday nights have traditionally been reserved for high school football. But I have seen some high school games being televised nationally. I think that the network people are trying to be fair to high schools in that they need some Friday nights for college football, but they also want to promote high school football.”

On playing in a nationally televised game (ESPN2):

“We have been getting a lot of televised games the last couple of years because we have been playing at a higher level. That is helpful in many ways. That helps recruiting and that helps with people who make decisions with the rankings. There are a lot of positives about playing a game that will be watched by a national audience.”

On preparing for a shortened week:

“Somewhere along the line you have to absorb 24 hours. So far we have probably absorbed about 15 of those already. We have been here later than usual, which is okay, because I have worked late hours before. Our players have practiced two days in a row without any recovery time. They practiced Sunday and again yesterday. We will back way off this afternoon. We will have what we call a Thursday practice on Wednesday. As far as the preparation for South Florida, we are on track. We are not behind in any way. We have just had to put a little more time into it, but that is all part of the deal.”

On playing South Florida in 2006 in Lawrence:

“I realized that they had some really talented players. We thought that the quarterback had the potential to be pretty good, but he was young when he was here. Their defense was as good as any that we had played that year in the Big 12. I am not surprised at all with their descent into a top-20 program.”

On Todd Reesing:

“Well, first of all, he worked at his game hard in the offseason in the summer. I think he is getting rid of the ball quicker than he was a year ago. He is doing a better job of keeping his eyes down field when he leaves the pocket. He is even more confident than he was a year ago because he experienced an entire season and he knows what to expect. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone, anywhere.”

Junior Running Back Angus Quigley

On his experience in the program thus far:

“It has been very difficult. You get your hopes up, then you get hurt, then you rehab and you think that next season will be better. You go into camp, and then get hurt right away for the second year in a row. You kind of feel forgotten, but then you just keep working hard and things work out. That is where I am now.”

On his role with this team:

“Coming into the season I knew my role on the team was as the third-string running back. You have to earn your stripes around here. I was playing on special teams and that was the role I was going to take on this year. If I am needed to take some carries then I will try to do my best. That is what has played out for me so far.”

Explaining his success running the ball this year:

“I am not exactly sure (why I have had success). I’m not going to say that the offensive line likes me any better than the other guys or that they block any harder or anything like that. I know what I am doing and I have been here a while. I am the most experienced inexperienced running back that we have here. I kind of know the system in and out and I know what to look for. I run hard and do what I have to do.”

Junior Safety Darrell Stuckey

His thoughts on South Florida:

“They are very balanced and they play very hard. They do lot things well and they have a lot of great athletes. We are going to have to be on our P’s and Q’s.”

On South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe

“He is a lot like some of the quarterbacks in the Big 12. Most of our quarterbacks can run and throw. It’s not something that we haven’t seen before, but it is something that will prepare us better for our conference games.”

His thoughts on playing a ranked team this early:

“They are ranked and they have earned it. They are very good and they deserve everything they have been given up to this point. This is a great challenge for us and it is something for us to go in and overcome.”

On having former teammate Aqib Talib on the sidelines on Friday:
“It will be good to have a familiar face and to hear his words of encouragement. It is always good to have a familiar face or alumni who have helped the program get to where it is today and come back and take part in our activities.”

Sophomore Cornerback Chris Harris

On the South Florida game:

“It is a big game for us to go play a ranked team like ourselves and try to go on the road and win like we did last year. Everyone says we always play cupcakes so this is about respect for us, playing a team that is ranked. We are going to try and prove that we should be ranked higher.”

On dealing with the shortened week of practice:

“It hasn’t really been that bad for me because a lot of teams run the same combinations and routes. For the linebackers and linemen, it is probably more difficult for them.”

On the game slowing down for him in his sophomore campaign:

“It has slowed down a lot. I pretty much know now what I am going to run into when I get out there and my thought process isn’t as wild as it was last year. It has just slowed down a lot for me and it has helped me to make more plays.”

Junior Running Back Jocques Crawford

On the transition from junior college to Kansas:

“The toughest things about the transition, at least from the two teams that we played so far, are the defensive backs have a lot of speed and they blitz a lot. There isn’t a lot we can do running the ball against teams that are going to blitz their linebackers nearly every down.”

On South Florida:

“From the scouting report that we have seen so far they don’t seem like a team that blitzes as much, so hopefully we are able to run the ball more when I am in the game. They have a good defense. I have heard they have a very good defensive end. I will do my best do block him when I am in the game.”

Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver Tertavian Ingram

On going home to Tampa:

“When I was being recruited I looked at the schedule for the years ahead and I saw we played USF my freshman year and then I knew that I would go back home. I knew it would be a fun experience, so I’ve been looking forward to it since I came here.”

On playing in Raymond James Stadium:

“I have gone to a lot of Bucs games and was a big Bucs fan growing up, so I have been there a lot and I know it’s going to be quite an experience. Especially because I have been to a couple of sold out games there and when I talked to my mom and everyone back home they said the game has been sold out for two weeks, so I know it’s going to be real rowdy and one of the experiences I’ve been waiting for my whole career here.”

On if it will be odd playing on a Friday night:

“It’s not really odd because now they have games on Thursday and Friday nights so it isn’t really a big deal. It is a big marquee game. I know a couple years back it probably wouldn’t have when we played them my freshman year, but now both programs have come along and developed players. Putting it on a Friday night makes sense to me because it will probably be the only college game on that night so they probably want to show that big matchup. I know it’s the biggest talk in Tampa about USF since I have been there.”

Sophomore Wide Receiver Dezmon Briscoe

On how this shorter week differs from the others:

“It’s a lot more intense since we don’t have our day off like we usually do, so we need to focus more because it is such a short week and so we need to come together as a team and get ready for this next opponent.”

On the challenges that USF poses:

“They are a ranked opponent and the best team that we have faced up to this point so we are going to have to approach the game a little more intense than the other games, and I believe if we execute as a unit then we should be okay.”

On going on the road for the first time this year:

“It feels good to leave the house to go somewhere else and work as a unit and see how we work on the road.”

On what he expects out of this first big test:

“They are going to be more physical than the first two teams we have played and of course they have a lot of talent on defense and offensive side of the ball. They have better corners height wise and they like to press, but if we come out and execute then we should be all right.”

On the offense spreading the ball around:

“That’s what I like about our offense, there isn’t just one individual – we all make plays and the opponent’s defense can’t just key in on one person they have to worry about more and that’s our advantage going against opponents.”