Jayhawk Football Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 5, 2004

Jayhawk Football Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Head Coach Mark Mangino Opening Statement

“I would like to begin by naming our players of the game from last week — on offense John Randle; on defense, Charles Gordon; on special teams, Johnny Beck; offensive scout team was Jim Reuber and defensive scout team was Marcus Hicks. I’ll recap my thoughts on the Nebraska game. Once again, we are improving on defense and becoming a more assignment-sound team. We are playing with a tough mental edge. We had a good start with that this year and we need to continue to build on that. On the offensive side of the ball, we have to be better in third down situations — but a part of that is being better on first down situations so that we are not put in the position of third and long. Overall, I like the way our kids are competing and the way they stayed poised and fought in Lincoln. That give us much to build upon.

I see a lot of good things with this K-State team. Obviously, on offense they have Darren Sproles, one of the best running backs in the country. If you don’t play good, sound defense, he can hurt you. He is strong, quick and makes a lot of plays. He is just a phenomenal player. I’m impressed with the work of Dylan Meier. I always saw him as a throwing-type of quarterback, but watching tapes of him, I’m impressed with his footspeed and his quickness. He runs the option game well and can carry the ball for them. I am impressed with all of the things that he can do. He is in a situation that is somewhat like our quarterback. He is learning on the job. (Brian) Casey, the tight end, is an NFL-type player for K-State on the offensive side.

On the defensive side, Jermaine Berry’s motor is running on every play. He is undersized guy, but he makes a lot of plays. Cedrick Williams at cornerback is another guy that can play on Sundays. He is a physical corner that tackles well. This Kansas State team is a formidable opponent and we will have to be ready to go. I am confident that we will be ready.”

On quarterback Adam Barmann “He is coming along really well. He was put in a tough venue on Saturday night and I though he was poised and competitive. That doesn’t mean he played flawless — he made mistakes. We will work through the process with him and he’ll get better each and every week.”

On the KU receivers “We have to catch a lot of balls at practice. There is no idle time for the receivers. If they aren’t in drills, they need to be standing in front of the Jugs machine and the tennis ball machine. It’s just concentration. We shouldn’t do that (drop passes) and I am not pleased about that. Some the experienced guys on the team need to focus — there is no reason to have that happen. They will get back to being focused and back to following the ball in and tucking it away this week.”

On Kansas State running back Darren Sproles this season “He is the same great player that he was a year ago. He is tough to tackle and a hard-nosed guy. I really admire his play.”

On KU’s kicking situation “We have to be patient with both the kickers and decide later in the week who is going to kick the ball well. Let’s give credit to Johnny Beck. He was out there in the bullpen (vs. Nebraska) and wasn’t supposed to kick and I called on him and told him to go out and kick. Maybe he does better out of the bullpen.”

On the K-State defense “I’d say they are talented, but they are going through some changes. They’ve lost some talented guys on defense in the last couple of years and they are developing some guys now. One of the things that Coach Synder is known for is developing talent. Their defense will be better against us than it was against Texas A&M.”

Selected Player Quotes

Senior Offensive Lineman Tony Coker

On his playing status “I’m ready to go. Everything feels good. I’m ready to get back out on the field. It’s been frustrating watching from the sidelines. It’s my senior year and I want to be out there helping the team.”

On the K-State rivalry “It’s a big deal, but we take it as any other game. It is the most important game, because it is the next game on the schedule. I’m really excited for the opportunity to play them at home this year. Hopefully we come out with the victory.”

Junior Linebacker Banks Floodman

On K-State “We have to play flawless football. We have to swarm to the ball. We understand they are going to play great this weekend. They have played great against us in the past, and we have to step it up this weekend and see what we can do.”

On Darren Sproles “You have to get four or five guys around him. He is very elusive. You also have to keep your head up when you go in to make a tackle on him or he will go right by you. We understand that and we are going to be swarming to the ball this week as much as possible.”

Sophomore running back John Randle

On leading the charge against K-State “We are confident in our abilities this year. We are going to come out and play. I don’t feel any added stress on me. We are going in with confidence. We just have to go out and play. It is an exciting week for us. The next game is the most important game and this is the next game.”

On the last three losses “I’m not going to lie, it is a little discouraging. We just always keep our heads up after the game we know that we have next week to look forward to. We always bounce back for the next game and we will be ready. We have to play both halves. We need to execute the whole ballgame.”

On the K-State defense “They always play us tough. K-State is a great team with a great defense. We are going to have to go out and play hard to beat them. We are preparing hard this week so that we can do that.”