KU Football Press Conference Quotes (Sept. 18)

Sept. 18, 2007


Players of the Week from the <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Toledo Game <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Offense: Jake Sharp

Defense: Darrell Stuckey

Special Teams: Micah Brown

Scout Offense: A.J. Stewart

Scout Defense: Isiah Barfield

Head Coach Mark Mangino:

On the performance last week:

“I felt good about the way we played on the offensive side of the ball. We were able to move the ball well. We were backed up quite a bit in the game, but a lot of that had to do with the outstanding punter Toledo had. He is a very fine, fine punter. But we still managed to get the drives out of there. I think we had an 81-yard drive and a 92-yard drive. I think when you consider the situations we were in, our offense did a fine job. I thought we did a good job (on defense) against the run. Our run defense did pretty well and I am pleased with our pass coverage.”

On the upcoming game against Florida International:

“It’s going to be another tough game. They went toe-to-toe with Miami (Fla.) last week and they’ve played another tough opponent in Maryland. Also, being at PennState in their first game and the first game with a new coach, in front of 107,000 fans, they did a formidable job. Overall, we are just looking to finish up our non-conference schedule strong.”

Sophomore Safety Darrell Stuckey

On not being injured:

“To be at full health feels amazing. It feels like I’m moving too fast. I’m anxious to move and sometimes I react too fast and just want to be able to move closer to it (the football). Sometimes I get myself out of position and make it more difficult than what it should be. For instance on Saturday, it (the interception) could have easily been a catch where I could have caught and ran and advanced the ball. But because of the fact that I got myself out of position, instead of backpedaling back the whole time, I made an awkward catch and ended up falling for it as a caught it.”

On playing most of career at full capacity before being injured:

“I think it’s more psychological than anything. I’ve never really been injured in football ever (before last year). Just to go out there I have to change my whole mind frame. I’m used to coming down hill and like Joe (Mortensen) always tells me, sacrifice my body.

Sophomore Quarterback Todd Reesing

On areas to improve his game:

“After this last game, my completion percentage was a lot lower than I would like. There were a few drops and there were some passes that I did not put on target, so the combination of those two things caused a drop-off from the past two weeks, but that does not worry me too much. This week we will bounce back. The receivers will not drop any balls and I should be crisper. If we take care of that, then I think we will be back on track as we get ready for the Big 12. Other than that, if I hold onto the football and continue to make smart decisions then I think we will be headed in the right direction.”

On the game against Florida International:

“It is a chance for us to get better, get our fourth win, stay undefeated and get one more win closer to bowl eligibility. All of those things make this game just as important as any other game. It is our final tune-up before Big 12 play and it gives us a chance to make corrections and further improve our team. It is a big game and we are excited to get back out there and play again and continue this little streak we are on.”

On if Kansas has been tested thus far:

“I think we have been tested. The teams we have played have thrown a lot of blitzes and different looks at us. From that perspective, we have had to adjust to a lot of different schemes. They have tested our offensive line by blitzing so much and they have tested us by making us check out of plays. Our receivers have had to play against man coverage and some different zone coverages. I think we have been tested, but I think the level of competition will continue to rise throughout the season as we play further into the Big 12 season and games get closer. We have faced some good competition and have been tested so I have to be pleased with where we are at right now.”

Sophomore Quarterback Kerry Meier

On comparing last year’s team to this year’s team:

“The confidence we are gaining with each game, you can see it in each individual player. We are playing great ball right now, offensively, defensively and on the special teams. I hope we can continue to play our game.”

On adjusting to his new role as the backup quarterback:

“You would think it would be a lot different, but it really is not. In football, you are only one play away. So when you go into games, you have to prepare like anything could happen. I still attack with the same confidence, but it is a little different. I am practicing each week, though, just like I need to be ready to go.”

Sophomore Running Back Jake Sharp

On running the ball up the middle and to the outside:

“If a speed back is in the game, then the defense is going to try and close down the perimeter, which would open up the middle. The fastest way to the endzone is vertical, so going up the middle is definitely the way to go. I make one hard cut and then I have to make sure I get vertical because if you sit and play around then you are going to get caught. You have to trust that cut and go with it.”

On assessing his career at Kansas:

“I am definitely not satisfied. I’ll never be satisfied, but I am happy where we are at as a whole core. I feel like I’ve made the most out of my opportunities.”

Freshman Cornerback Chris Harris

On the defense and what his role will be when fellow cornerback Kendrick Harper returns from injury:

“We are really gelling right now on defense, so I do not know what is going to happen after the bye week, but I am looking forward to Florida International right now. As long as I keep doing my job and the defense keeps playing like we are, I don’t know what could happen. When he (Kendrick Harper) comes back, our secondary will be so athletic and deep. We’ll be a very athletic group. I do not see anyone picking us apart with the depth that we will have.”

On his play:

“I think I am doing alright. I am getting better as every game goes on this year. I’m trying to get better every game.”

On Florida International’s struggles:

“If they are down, we need to keep them down. That is basically what we are trying to do to every opponent we play. We are just trying to get better as a team and get ready for the Big 12 Conference.”

Junior Offensive Lineman Chet Hartley

On why he chose the JUCO route:

“My senior year, we had a 1-8 season so my recruiting dropped off and I had some D-II schools looking at me. I figured that JUCO would be the way to go because I could spend two years there and two years at D-I. If I ever wanted to go D-I, then I was not going to get there going that way (D-II) so JUCO was about the only way I could achieve that.”

On the no-huddle offense:

“It was hard to get used to, but it is helping us a lot. It saves us jogging back to the huddle seven yards and jogging back to the line. We are at the line the whole time and he (quarterback Todd Reesing) calls the play at the line.”

On the non-conference schedule:

“It is hard to say how good a team is going to be before the year. They chose the schedule and it is going to help us if we win all four of them and it is going to help us prepare for Big 12 play.”