Jayhawk Football Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 21, 2004

Jayhawk Football Weekly Press Conference – Sept. 21, 2004

Head Coach Mark Mangino Opening Statement “Good afternoon. Let me start by announcing our players of the game for the Northwestern game. On special teams, Clark McCracken; on defense, Nick Reid; and on offense, Brandon Rideau. The defensive scout team player of the week was Courtney Smith and offensive scout team player of the week was Damond Berry.”

“Recapping last week’s game, we have to improve fundamental football, that’s what it boils down to. We are going to have to improve in all areas fundamentally. We have to develop the emotional maturity to finish a game on both sides of the ball. We have to know when it is time to shut the game down and get a victory. That is something that we will learn as we gain experience. We have to play smart football. We played aggressive football, but we have to play smarter, because we had too many penalties. Good football teams can play with a lot of aggression, but also play smart football. Everything that was not positive from last week’s game we can correct, and that is the good news. I want to give our kids credit for playing a hard game and fighting and competing down to the wire. But we have to win those games, there is no question about that.”

“This week we play a very good Texas Tech team. They are much improved on defense than they were a year ago. They have an offense that spreads the field and attacks you at the line of scrimmage, horizontally and vertically. They are going to put the ball up a lot, but you still have to defend the run or they can hurt your with it. They have an excellent quarterback who has been in their system and has learned it and adjusted very well to what they do. They have some good receivers like Hicks, who is playing great football for them right now. So it is a good match-up and a good challenge for us. We will be ready.”

On KU’s confidence being deflated after last week’s loss “I don’t think so. Our defense is just playing too well and our offense is making progress and starting to mature a little bit. I would term the mood of the team as being a little angrier more than anything.”

On the pressure on KU’s offense to maintain drives against Texas Tech “We’d like our offense to sustain drives and move the chains. I think that time of possession is going to be important in a game like this for our offense, but our defense is going to have to step up and make plays. One of the keys to playing good defense this week will be assignment-sound football. If our kids will be very precise in their assignments and how they pursue things, I feel good about our defense. We have to be assignment-sound, because if we are not, Texas Tech will find flaws and exploit those flaws until we do something about it.”

On the kicking situation “I visited with our kickers yesterday. We are going to have Johnny Beck handle all of the kickoff duties. He has done extremely well and is one of the reasons why our defense has been getting good field position. Scott Webb will handle all the of PAT and field goal opportunities.”

On the running game “We have to run the ball better. There is no question about that. I don’t want to point the finger at any one person. I think running the football is a cooperative effort. I think our receivers and tight ends need to improve blocking on the perimeter. We just have to be overall polished in the run game and it’s coming along. Our running back had a few creases that they misread and did not get the read that was there. We have to get our run game working and I think we will.”

On Texas Tech’s offensive success “They do a good job of developing players in their system. When Mike (Leach) arrived there, he had a special kid in Kliff Kingsbury. I really thought he was a tremendous competitor. These other guys have been in the system, have practiced in it and learned it. I think they learn from being in the system and preparing themselves for their chance to get up there and perform. They throw the ball a lot in different formations and they have some unusual line splits. When you throw they ball as many times as they do, you get pretty good at it.”

On KU’s defense adjusting to Texas Tech’s offense “We are not going to make any radical changes to our defensive structure. We always have things prepared for each and every opponent. We are going to do what we do best. We are going to play our defense like we are capable of, and ask our players to do what they are capable of. We are not going to invent a new defense for this offense — that would be foolish.”

Kansas Player Quotes Kansas Offensive Lineman Bob Whitaker On the offensive line “We are starting to mesh pretty well together. We know each other, we have been getting better each game and we need to improve again this week. We have to get out there and do the right assignments. If we do that we will be okay. We need to have good balance this weekend.”

Kansas Linebacker Brandon Perkins On Texas Tech’s offense “Since I’ve only been here two years, this is going to be a complete change for me — playing against a team that likes to throw a lot. Hopefully, we can go out and defend.

On the start of Big 12 play “Hopefully, last week’s loss will tune us up for conference play and get us ready to go and get a win. You get hungry when you lose, you want to get that bad taste out of your mouth. We are going to play real hard this week so we can go out and produce on Saturday.”

Kansas Safety Tony Stubbs On the team’s confidence “I don’t think it (the loss to Northwestern) deflated us. We will bounce back. We can win ball games, so we just have to go out there and stay focused through all four quarters.”

On Texas Tech’s receivers “It is going to be tough because they have real long arms and they’re tall, so we just have to try and contain them. We will really have to play their hands and try to bat the ball down. We have focused more on the passing game this week than the running game, but not that much has changed. We are going to practice the same way we always do.”

Kansas Cornerback Theo Baines On the Texas Tech game “We are facing another good passing team. We need to go out there and try and execute our game plan and do the best we can to contain the QB. This team is known for passing, but they are not totally different than the teams we have already played. We know what they are going to do, so we will be prepared. We have to close quickly and react to the ball faster, but it helps us out that we know what they are going to do. We are excited about this challenge, this gives the secondary a chance to make a statement and we can show what type of defense we are. I think we can gain some respect from this game.”