KU Football Press Conference Quotes (Sept. 11, 2007)

Sept. 11, 2007

Head Coach Mark Mangino: <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

On last Saturday’s win over <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Southeastern Louisiana:

“I am very pleased with a lot of areas. I feel like we are getting better assignment-wise, execution-wise and on special teams. We are making a lot of improvement in areas of offense. We just feel like we have to be better fundamentally there with the little things of finishing blocks, making good reads and finding holes in the zone. There weren’t a lot of holes in the zone versus Southeastern Louisiana. I thought we did a good job, but we can get better.”

On the defense thus far this season:

“On defense, we’re doing a great job of stopping the run. We didn’t get tested a lot this past week, but we will this week. We just want to get some turnovers on the defensive side of the ball.”

On Toledo:

“Toledo is much like the team that they had last year. Offensively, they are averaging about 400 yards per game and they are passing for close to 270 (yards per game). They are moving the ball on offense, there’s no question. They have been using two quarterbacks and they’ve had success with each one. Chris Hopkins has played there a long time. He’s a tight end, a big target and they have a couple good wide receivers. Jalen Parmele, their tailback, is very productive. He gets tough yardage and hits creases. He is a very productive player. On defense, they have some new kids, but they have a lot of kids that were the same as last year, too. They are big and physical up front on the defensive line. They are similar to what they were last year. So, we are looking forward to a great week of preparation and getting ready to play game number three.”

Coaches’ Players of the Game vs. Southeastern Louisiana

Defense: Joe Mortensen and James McClinton

Offense: Anthony Collins

Special Teams: Marcus Herford

Scout Offense: Xavier Rambo

Scout Defense: Jake Schermer

Junior Offensive Lineman Adrian Mayes

On being recruited at KansasState:

“I thought this (Kansas) would be a better fit for me. Basically with Coach Mangino, I thought he was a great coach. I think he’s really knowledgable about all aspects of the game. He’s good at explaining a lot of situations.”

On being named a starter:

“It is very exciting. I like to work hard and I worked hard to put myself in that position.”

On the new offense:

“It’s fast and pretty exciting. I like it a lot.”

Junior Linebacker Joe Mortensen:

On playing inside linebacker:

“As far as vision goes, you can see the guards pull and the quarterback is right in front of you, so I can make my reads a lot quicker. As an outside linebacker you have to look at a receiver and read the lineman so it’s a little tougher. In the middle you can get your read really quick so you react a lot faster.”

On the defense’s toughness:

“I would like to say that we are really tough. Watching film the last two weeks, we are all sprinting there (to the ball carrier). We are not always the most talented, but if you see a defense running to the ball every play it says a lot about its toughness.”

On Brandon McAnderson and Jake Sharp:

“It is definitely a `thunder and lightning’ set. When we practice against our offense, we have to know what personnel are in. Sharp is one of those shifty guys that will make you miss while B-Mac (Brandon McAnderson) can also make you miss, but if you do not have your pads low, he will run you over. It’s definitely a good tandem that opposing defenses have to go against.”

On playing against a big running back versus a smaller, quicker running back:

“I like contact so I like the big backs. They can hit you, but that is one thing about playing middle linebacker, I like it when people run at me and try to hit me.”

On KU’s defensive team speed:

“We are a lot faster. That is one thing that coach had us constantly working on this past year. We worked on our fast twitch muscles and a lot of our movement was focused on speed this year. We will not have to rush as many guys as we did last year because if the quarterback starts scrambling we will be able to get to the ball. As a linebacker, it (improved speed) helps us laterally and our footwork is a lot better than it was last year.”

On the revenge factor against Toledo:

“Every game is emotional. We go out there and play like we are playing the best team in the nation. That’s how we try to approach it. We always try to find something to be mad about. They are coming to our house and we do not want anyone to beat us in our house.”

Freshman Defensive End Jake Laptad:

On if he expected to play as a true freshman:

“I was not sure. At first, I was planning on redshirting, but after I put on all that weight. I came up here and did my best. And now I’m playing.”

On playing at a powerhouse high school program:

“It helped a lot. Other players that I have talked to did whatever they wanted to out on the field, but I had to worry about my technique and assignments. Our defense was also similar to Kansas’ defense.”

On earning more playing time:

“I just have to be patient. I know that I am a freshman so I have plenty of time to get on the field.”

On shutting out Southeasernt Louisiana:

“It was big. That is one of our main goals as a defense and anytime a defense does that you know they are playing well. Coach Mangino told us that there should not be a drop off from the 1’s to the 2’s so we just tried to keep playing like them.”

Sophomore Running Back Jake Sharp:

On if last year’s loss to Toledo is a factor:

“It has definitely been in the back of our minds. There is no mistaking that. We know that they beat us straight-up and we were really upset about it and we are going to prepare like we have prepared for all our opponents. We are going to have a great game plan.”

On playing more as a sophomore:

“It’s a lot more fun. I love being out there and I feel a little more a part of the team. I feel like the team can definitely count on me to make things happen.”