Kansas 35, Southern Miss 28 Post-game Quotes

Sept. 26, 2009

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas 35, Southern Miss 28

September 26, 2009

Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Mark Mangino

On Southern Miss:

“Offensively they did a good job of trying to keep us off balance today. They were a formidable offensive team to compete against. That’s good for us because we’re right up to conference play. The defense, when they had to in the fourth quarter, shut them down and made plays. That’s the key. They gave us a lot of looks that we had not seen before. We had to adjust on the run, but our coaches on defense stayed with it and did a good job of getting our kids settled down and made the proper adjustments so that we could stop them in the fourth quarter.”

On the play of senior receiver Kerry Meier who set a career high with 141 yards receiving:

“They both had great days no question. Kerry (Meier) just quietly does that stuff. He makes play after play. He’s a tremendous playmaker for us. He gets open when a lot of receivers would struggle. He finds a way to get open and get the ball. He gets yard after the catch.”

On the play of true freshman running back Toben Opurum in his first start:

There was a lot of pressure on Toben (Opurum) today. We down played that with him all week. He had to go in there and start as a true freshman and it’s a difficult duty. He did a marvelous job. The only glitch all day was when he turned the ball over. He ran hard and ran smart. He got some good yardage after first contact. He pass protected well. We’re really excited about his play today as a true freshman.”

On how he feels the team has performed so far:

“I really feel good about our team in terms of attitude and fight they have in them, the competitive spirit that they have. Today for three quarters on defense it didn’t look like it, but you have to understand when the game was on the line our kids fought for the ball on defense. We’re far from a finished product. We have a lot of work to do. This off week will be very important. We have to get better in a lot of areas, but I like where we are right now and I like the direction of our ball club.”

Kansas players

Junior Defensive End Jake Laptad

On the overall play of the defense:

“We knew we weren’t playing our best game to start off. I feel like we stepped up in the fourth quarter and made plays when it counted.”

On the emotional toll a game takes:

“We know that we’re tired, but we know they are tired, too, so we always condition after practice. I feel like that was a helpful step to get the win today. I feel they were a little more tired than us.”

On KU’s only sack:

“The quarterback was getting rid of the ball really quickly and I was getting frustrated with not being able to get him down. But to step up at the end and get that was rewarding.”

Senior Cornerback Chris Harris

On KU’s defensive play:

“We had to try to make the stops. Some games, we’ll be struggling and the offense will have to win for us, so we knew today we had to win for them.”

On stopping Southern Mississippi’s DeAndre Brown:

“It was a big challenge. You can see by today that he’s a future first round draft pick. I give him credit for coming out today and playing really well.”

On Southern Mississippi’s Damion Fletcher:

“Our main goal was to stop him because he holds all of their records. We knew he would come in and try to run, so we felt that if we stopped the run and made them one-dimensional, we could come out with a win.”

Senior Quarterback Todd Reesing

On his personal foul:

“I will make sure I hand the ball to the referee, so I don’t get any unsportsman-like penalties. That was a rough one. I’ve never seen that one before.”

On if he was surprised that it was a close game:

“Not at all. We knew coming in that they were a very good team. Looking back, we didn’t really know how good they were. I have to give a lot of credit to them because they are a really good football team. They played hard and gave us some new looks that we weren’t familiar with. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are contending for their conference championship.”

On the defense in the fourth quarter:

“They were huge. They had never gotten a team in all four quarters of the game, and that’s what this was. They played hard from the first play to the last in the game. The defense came up huge at the end, and that’s big for them. It’s a confidence booster going into conference play.”

Freshman Running Back Toben Opurum

On whether or not he expected Jake to play:

“They’re looking at him everyday to see how he’s doing. They just wanted to hold him out and let him get some rest. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was ready to play.”

On Southern Miss:

“They are definitely by far the best team we’ve played so far. I feel like they’ll do really well in their conference and it was definitely a test to see where we are. I think we handled it well.”

On what he takes from this game:

“Basically we don’t want to be satisfied. This game here came down to the last minute and you can’t be satisfied with what you’ve done either in the first half or the first three quarters. You’ve got to play the entire game”

Sophomore Cornerback Ryan Murphy

On the progress that he’s made:

“I know that I’m making progress. The coaches tell me I’ve been doing a great job and they’ve been trying to get me more action. The first couple of games I really didn’t get a whole lot of playing time, but these last couple of games I’ve been trying to make the most of it.”

On the improvement of the defense in the fourth quarter:

“Well we felt like we played well in the first half. We came out there in the second half and we knew we had to shut them down. In the fourth quarter it felt like we got stop after stop and it was just huge. One person after another was making plays and that’s what we need to be successful.”

Senior Wide Receiver Kerry Meier

On the game as a whole:

“Southern Miss came out and did everything we thought they were going to do. They did it well for four quarters and we found ourselves in a tough situation. We found just enough plays to seal the victory and we are happy to be 4-0 right now.”

On his career day (141 receiving yards):

“If you push yourself and work hard throughout the week, Saturdays will be a lot easier. If you’re pushing yourself hard and pushing your teammates, stuff comes easier on game day. It’s a testament to our coaching staff, to our players and to myself for pushing each other.”

On the feud with the basketball team:

“With all the stuff that went down, people could look at that stuff as a distraction. But I think we came out today and performed like nothing happened last week. What happened with the basketball team happened and we’ve moved on. We turned our attention and focus to Southern Miss. The basketball team turned their focus toward what they’ve got to do to get ready for their upcoming season. What’s happened is in the past, it’s behind us now and we are moving on to bigger things.”

Southern Mississippi Head Coach Larry Fedora

On getting into the Kansas red zone twice in first half with no conversions:

“We turned it over once on a blitz. They came off the backside and then on fourth and six inches we didn’t get the first down. It’s disappointing that we didn’t convert both those times. When you get into a game like this one you can’t miss those type of opportunities.”

On DeAndre Brown and Damion Fletcher being out late in the game:

“They were banged up and neither one of them felt like they could go 100 percent and at that time we needed guys that could go 100 percent.”

On Quarterback Austin Davis’ game:

“I think he played well and I think he played the game well. Obviously on the pick, he couldn’t see the things that were happening and we don’t want him to throw it in that situation, but I still thought he did a good job managing the football team. And overall, I’m still proud of the way our football team played. We knew it was going to be a four quarter game and we knew there was going to be adversity in the game. I don’t think our guys ever flinched, I think they just kept playing and playing and I’m proud of the way they played.”

Southern Mississippi players

Jamie Collins Freshman DB

On the team’s overall play:

“We came out and played our best. They fought back, and we got tired and did not have enough energy. They made plays and we did not.”

On the play of Todd Reesing:

“We did what we were supposed to, but he still made a few plays. He is good, he still made plays.”

On the Kansas offense:

“They have a pretty good offense. I can’t take anything away from them.”

On having such great stats as a freshman:

“You have got to play ball freshman or not. You have to get out there and do what you got to do.”

Jonathan Massey Junior TE

On the game:

“We had a couple of penalties that put us behind the chains and were missed opportunities. It was a heartbreaking loss because we felt like we played the way that we wanted to minus the mistakes.”

On his personal performance:

“It is really hard to think of anything that I have done with such a heartbreaking loss.”

On what put Kansas over the top:

“They have a great team, but we feel like we have a great team as well. I really feel like the mistakes and missed opportunities that we had are what shot us in the foot.”