Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes Sept. 30, 2008

Sept. 30, 2008

Kansas Football Press Conference

Sept. 30, 2008

Head Coach Mark Mangino

Opening remarks:

“We are preparing for our first Big 12 Conference game against Iowa State. They are 2-2 right now. You can see that their program is starting to really good things in the run game and in the pass game. I think that he is one of the better defensive ends we will play. On offense they have been using two quarterbacks who are both very good athletes. Both (Austen) Arnaud and (Phillip) Bates can beat you with their athleticism, so you can’t take them lightly as far as their ability to run the football. They have a lot of veteran guys on the offensive line returning, which should be a strong suit for them. Iowa State will be ready to play just like we will this Saturday.”

On the Iowa State defense:

“They don’t take a lot of chances. They play sound, fundamental football. They like to be in zone coverage as much as they can. They are getting adequate pressure from the defensive front. Those are probably the key reasons they have done well this year.”

On the KU running game:

“They have a situation where they really play fundamental football and that is the basis for rebuilding a program. Defensively, they have some good athletes. Their linebackers are active. The young fellow by the name of (Jesse) Smith, the inside backer, is a pretty good player. They have a very good corner in Chris Singleton. They have a defensive end, Kirk Taylor, who last year did a lot of

“I think we did get better at running the football this week. I also think we got better at blocking. We had a good week of fundamentals with offensive line play and with the tight ends. I feel good about our backs. I feel that they have a better understanding of what is going on. I think we have cleaned some things up here and there to help them out, but more than anything, the offensive line has improved and has to continue to improve.”

On Iowa State leading the Big 12 in turnover margin:

“We are in charge of taking care of the ball no matter who we play. Their kids are good at (creating turnovers). It is just good fundamental play that creates turnovers, but sometimes it is ineptitude of the opponent. Either way they have done a very good job with that.”

On the KU linebackers:
“There is no question that we can play better at that position. We can run downhill a lot better. We can do a lot better in our zone reads and pass defense. There are certainly areas for improvement. Nobody understands better than they do that they can play better. We have a veteran crew and I expect them to play well.”

Senior Wide Receiver Dexton Fields

On pressing to make up for lost time:

“Obviously since I haven’t been playing I can’t try to come back in and try to take over the offense. I am just going to try and get myself acclimated on what we are doing and fitting back into the schemes.”

On being rusty:

“I will have a little gimp in my step from my injury, but I don’t feel rusty. I am pretty sure that my timing is going to be okay.”

On Todd Reesing:

“There aren’t many quarterbacks that have done what Todd has done or can do what Todd can do. All we have to do is get open and he makes our jobs a lot easier. A lot of times he knows exactly what the defenses are doing and it helps him find the open man easier.”

On things he has learned from just watching the games:

“I think I need to step up and be more of a leader, especially if we get into tight games to help the guys realize that you are going to make mistakes. That is just the nature of any sport. It also gave me a chance to refresh my mind and know what I need to do now to come back and make an impact on this team.”

Junior Running Back Angus Quigley

On improving the running game during the off-week:

“We put some extra time into working on the running game. We just had to grind it out all week. Practices were long and they were tough. We pushed ourselves to the limits and tried to do whatever we could to get the running game going. Even though this was an off week, it wasn’t really an off week. We knew we had to get better. We are nowhere near where we need to be in that part of the game. All week we grinded it out and practiced hard, but it was good for the team.”

On the offensive line:

“Those guys worked extremely hard all week. They were sweating and were dog-tired. It gives the running backs confidence when we see our offensive lineman working like that. They are trying to be more physical and that was encouraging.”

On heading into conference play:

“The games count now and it is going to be fun. We are trying to push ourselves now. You always want to go into conference play playing your best. We had a week off and we polished up our game a little bit.”

Junior Quarterback Todd Reesing

On what having Dexton Fields back means to him:

“He is a guy who has a lot of experience. He is the most experienced wide out we have. He has played the most, caught a lot of balls last year and knows how to get the job done. He knows how to get open, blocks well and provides some leadership, so having him back is going to be a big help for us on offense.”

On the Iowa State defense:

“Any time a team can cause a lot of turnovers, it is going to give them a chance to win a ballgame. Whenever you can get the ball back in the hands of your offense it really deflates the other team, so we have to do a great job of taking care of the ball and limit our turnovers, because those are game changers. If we can do that I think we will be fine.”

On how the bye week affects the running game:

“We implemented some new things and worked really hard with the offensive line and running backs, getting those guys to understand what their job is and where the holes are that they are supposed to hit. So I think there was improvement that was made and hopefully we will come out this next week and get things started off on the right foot for conference.”

On how the bye week helps the team:

“I think any time you can have a bye week after playing a third of your season and before conference play it is going to help. It gives you an opportunity to reflect back on what you have done and really learn from the mistakes that you have made in the first four games and grow on the things that you have done well. So we took the bye week and made the best of it, had some good practices, learned a lot and I think it will make us better and get us rested up for this first game.”

Senior Cornerback Kendrick Harper

On being injured the first half of last season and this season:

“In a way it is frustrating, but there is nothing you can really do about it. All you can do is just look forward to the games ahead and so that is what I am looking forward to.”

On the support from roommate Chris Harris during the injury:

“Chris is my roommate so me, him, and Darrell Stuckey talk everyday about situations like this, Chris and Darrell are really good guys to look up to and they help to keep me up all the time. They keep telling me to work through it and I’ll be back on the field in no time.”